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Change Management

“Since changes are going on anyway,
the great thing is to learn enough about them so that we will be able to lay
hold of them and turn them in the direction of our desires. Conditions and
events are neither to be fled from nor passively acquiesced in; they are to be
utilized and directed.” — John Dewey

It’s not surprising that Dewey bases his approach to change
management on active learning. Since change is a fact of life, you might as
well make the best of it. Learn as much as you can about the changes in your
life and then use them, as much as possible, to your advantage. William O.
Douglas suggested that success in using change in your best interest depends,
in large measure, on adjusting your thinking to conform to today’s reality.
“Security can only be achieved through constant change, through discarding
old ideas that have outlived their usefulness and adapting others to current
facts.” Francis Bacon also agreed that you need to take charge of change
and mold it to your purposes. “Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if
they be not altered for the better designedly.”

However, there are cautionary voices as you slide into the
driver’s seat of your life. For example, Ellen Glasgow said, “All change is not
growth, as all movement is not forward.” Distinguishing good change from the
not so good is an important aspect of the learning Dewey recommended. Arnold
Bennett also raised the voice of caution, “Any change, even a change for the
better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” Nonetheless,
G. C. Lichtenberg submitted what is likely the take home point here, “I cannot
say whether things will get better if we change; what I can say is they must
change if they are to get better.”

The substance of your life is in continuous change. The elements
form and then rearrange. Some of those elements you can move and shift. Change
can be slow or unusually swift.

It’s an ongoing saga through each twist and turn. You refuse to
change. It’s not your concern. W. Edwards Deming discovered the conclusion to
the story. “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”

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