Thursday, August 16, 2007

Keep the Change!

I'm sure we've all said "Keep the change" at some point in our lives - whether at a coffee shop or restaurant or at a lemonade stand.

Yet how many of us actually take our own advice?

I had the privilege of speaking for a national bank's student loan team today in Minneapolis and we had a great time learning from each other.

The team has endured lots of changes way beyond their control which will greatly impact the way they do business in the future. Like most of us, they are not in love with these changes. But the only options they have are to stay stuck or move forward.

Part of the problem most people encounter when dealing with change is that we have a lot of trouble making changes stick. And is it any wonder?

I wrote one whole chapter on change in my book The 100% Factor, and one of the stories I told there is explaining what change really is. Let's consider change for a quarter. You can make change for a quarter in any number of combinations, but there really isn't any change going on there at all. That's what's usually wrong with our experience with change in our lives. We're not willing to give something up. In order for 25 cents to undergo real change, I have to give up my money and get something completely unlike money in return. When I'm willing to give something up, then I have the opportunity to move in a new direction.

We talked today about the distinctions between change, transition, and transformation. We used William Bridges' Managing Transitions as a reference. There we learned that change is external and transition is what happens to us psychologically as a result of the change. It's really not the changes that do us in, it's the transitions. Transformation, then, is what we can create to go forward because transformation is not dependent on the past - it allows us to create from nothing.

The team today was fabulous and I had a blast spending time with them last night at dinner and this morning. I'm confident they are on the way to transforming their relationship with the new way they will be doing business.

Go ahead - keep the change. You'll be glad you did!


At 11:28 PM, Blogger Thom said...

Wow. Thanks for this. I've heard two different people mention your book in the last seven days. I plan to purchase a copy in the next few days.

Thom Quinn

At 7:10 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...


That's fantastic! I'll really appreciate your feedback on the book! Thanks so much for visiting - I'll look forward to "seeing" you again!


At 1:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My workplace has undergone some recent changes, and as staff fluctuates and organization patterns alter, "change" is inevitable. It is really tempting to say (to self as well as others), "Why can't it be like it was?" instead of remaining open and positively receptive to the transformation that COULD take place.

Thanks for the subtle reminder to welcome change when it happens--Being conscious of the potential is more than half the struggle!

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

Lisa: Change is never an easy concept to accept - simple, yes; but easy, not always. However, when we realize that wanting what is no longer possible is really what we're stuck with, our awareness is expanded, and the choices become more clear. Simple - yes; easy - not always. You're right: being conscious is WAY more than half of the struggle. How many people are sleepwalking through their lives??? You're not - CONGRATULATIONS on that!

At 9:10 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Speaking as someone who's working through some profound changes in my own life, thanks for this reminder that "change" means more than just painting the walls a different shade of blue. These days, I'm more conscious of how seemingly small changes add up over time and, pretty soon, I'm going to look around and not recognize where I'm at. I can't wait!

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Jodee Bock said...

You're entirely welcome, Jeschramm! One thing I'm learning is that happiness is really achievable when I realize that there is no there ... it just is. When I stop trying to pursue it, it's just there. Awareness, for me, leads to that place of happiness. What a treat to be able to share this journey with readers like you!


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