Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Embrace the Change

Apparently I’m a change agent.  Those of you in Corporate America playing Buzzword Bingo, go check off that square now.

You haven’t heard of Buzzword Bingo?  (Some know the game by its less clean name.)  It’s even on Wikipedia – I checked.  When in a meeting, you have a sheet of paper with a bingo grid.  Each square contains a corporate buzzword or phrase.  Good candidates are things like synergy, think outside the box, organizational process assets, etc.  Best buzzword I ever heard – Workforce Shaping.  Anyway …

Someone mentioned this morning that people don’t like change.  Ain’t that the truth.  We’ve been languishing along in this country with this overwhelming malaise over bad economic times for the last three years.  And it seems a lot of us find every excuse in the book to stay idle where we are.  It’s like we’re hunkering down and curling up into a ball, hoping everything will blow over.

It affects our work, our willingness to take risks, our health, our faith.  We pour ourselves into jobs we hate because we feel fortunate (rightfully so) to have jobs.  We don’t even make a Plan B because we’re so wrapped up in maintaining the status quo.  Keep your nose to the grindstone and make it to retirement age.  So many of us dream of being independently wealthy or just having a less stressful existence, but it’s only a dream. 

As if work stress isn’t detrimental enough to our health, there’s the phenomenon I call the Dollar Menu Daze.  “I don’t have a lot of money or time to spare, but if I stick to the dollar menu, I can get a burger & fries for $2!”  All things in moderation – the occasional fast food meal is not going to kill you.  But for too many of us the drive-through has become too much a way of life.  Obesity rates in this country and around the world are staggering.  Staggering.  And anecdotally, the depression I observe in people with poor nutrition habits is, well, depressing.  It’s a vicious circle in a lot of cases … eat bad, so you feel bad, and you feel bad, so you think there’s nothing you can do to fix your bad eating habits.

And then there’s faith.  Certainly there are still lots of people on fire for Jesus.  (Yay!)  But have you noticed the church is not immune to the financial / health / etc. malaise, depression, bad mood, whatever you want to call it?  Call me a heretic (hat tip to my Sunday school teacher), but we’ve changed or stalled or something. 

Disclaimer: By “the church” I mean The Church in general, not any particular denomination, location, or congregation.

Years ago in my corporate life I established a mantra that still comes in handy. 

Embrace the change.  There will always be change.

As a project leader I needed to keep a team of people focused and productive in the midst of changing information, changing business conditions, and the changing minds of clients. 

Little did I know at the time that just shifting my mindset would be so beneficial.  Once you accept that there will always be change in your life, and that change may indeed be healthy, a whole world of possibilities opens up.  Think about that.