Change

Change is inevitable; growth is optional.

“For most of us, the unknown is so terrifying that we will remain with what we have long after it is apparent that it is punishing to do so.”

Daryl Conner

Before change is implemented there are usually 5 stages that a person (or team/workforce) goes through. This 5-stage process has been termed, ‘The D.R.E.A.D. of change’. Dread standing for:

  • Denial
  • Resistance
  • Examination
  • Acceptance
  • Doing

There was once a poor chicken farmer whose land flooded each year with the spring rains, killing most of his chickens. Every year the floods got worse and worse until eventually the farmer went to his local pastor and cried out in despair: “What am I to do? I’m doomed! I can’t afford to move to another place and I can’t sell the one I have. What am I to do?” The pastor replied calmly, “Stop trying to raise chickens and change to ducks instead!” – In order for things to change you have got to change; for things to get better you’ve got to get better.

Everybody thinks of changing humanity but nobody thinks of changing himself.

Tolstoy

“If your horse is dead, for goodness sake, dismount!”

Attributed to Eddy Ketchursid

For a long time, the Swiss had a lock on watchmaking. They built the best watches money could buy, and by the 1940s, they produced 80 percent of all the watches worldwide. In the late 1960s, when an inventor presented an idea for a new type of watch to the leaders of a Swiss watch company, they rejected it. In fact, every Swiss company he approached had the same negative reaction. Believing his design had merit, the man took it to a company in Japan. The name of the organisation was Seiko, the design of the watch was digital, and today, 80 percent of all watches use a digital design.

John Maxwell

Source: John Maxwell, 1999, The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, p.50

No one likes change, but here’s an idea that will help you to get people ‘on-board’ and accept that change is necessary? Simply replace the word ‘change’ with the words ‘enhanced performance’ or ‘improvement’. Reason: No one likes change but people are always much more agreeable to – and, therefore, more likely to accept – ideas that will provide improvements and increased performance.

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Reinhold Niebuhr

In Westminster Abbey, London where many of England’s great kings, queens and dignitaries of old are buried, there’s the tomb of an Anglican Bishop and upon the tombstone, the following inscription:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits. I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realise: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”

Adapted from Success One Day At A Time by John Maxwell, published by J. Countryman Books

In 1963, MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz presented the hypothesis that became known as the butterfly effect. He theorised that a minor event, like the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil, could conceivably alter wind currents sufficiently to cause a tornado in Texas. Lorenz came to the simple yet profound conclusion: ‘Minuscule changes in input can make macroscopic differences in output.’

That simple discovery has the power to change your life. It can radically alter your spiritual, emotional, relational or financial forecast. It can change the atmosphere of your organisation or your marriage. One decision. One change. One risk. One idea. That’s all it takes. You don’t have to make one hundred changes. All that does is divide your energy by one hundred, and results in a 1 per cent chance of success. You have to be 100 per cent committed to one change. It will take an all-out effort. It will probably be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But that one change has the potential to make a 100 per cent difference in your life.

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson, All In, p.103-4

A change is a good as a rest: Everyday Bill brought his packed lunch along to the building site where he was working. And every day, at lunchtime, he would open his lunch box and exclaim, “Oh no! Cheese sandwiches again!” After several weeks of listening to this same daily comment, one of his workmates finally said, “Look if you are fed up with cheese why don’t you ask your wife to put something different in your sandwiches?” Bill looked up and replied, “I don’t have a wife. I’m single!” His workmate looked puzzled and asked, “Well, who makes your sandwiches then?” To this Bill simply replied, “I do!”

MORAL: If you continue doing what you’ve always done you are going continue getting the same results.

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.”

Mark Twain

People who don’t change eventually become extinct. Always have done, always will do.

Imagine a beautiful china teacup saying, ‘I wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I was just a cold, hard lump of clay. One day the potter picked me up and said, “I could do something with this.” Then he started to put pressure on me and change my shape. I said, “What are you doing? That hurts. Stop!” But he said, “Not yet.” Then he put me on a wheel and began to spin me around and around until I shouted, “Let me off.” He replied, “Not yet.” Then he shaped me into a cup and put me in a hot oven. I cried, “Let me out of here, I’m suffocating.” But he looked at me and said, “Not yet,” When he took me out, I thought his work on me was over, but then he started to paint me. I couldn’t believe what he did next. He put me back into the oven, and I said, “I can’t stand this, please let me out!” But he said, “Not yet.” Finally he took me out of the oven and he put me on a shelf where I thought he had forgotten me… Then one day he took me off the shelf and held me up before a mirror. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had become a beautiful teacup that everyone wants to buy and drink from.’

Are there things going on in your life right now that you don’t understand? Stay close to God. Trust him and when you finally arrive at the place God wants you to be, you’ll realise He’s been making you into a vessel that He can use… to bless you and bless others through you.

Source: The UCB Word For Today , 15/11/2008

A fish or a shark will never outgrow its environment. Put it into a pond and it will grow only a few feet, but put it in the ocean and it will grow to be a great white, 20 feet long. If you want to grow (or your people to grow) change your environment.

There comes a point when enough is enough. We know we cannot continue down the path we are on because it’s a dead end relationally, physically, or spiritually. It may not kill us, but it will eat us alive. The good news is this: you are only one decision away from a totally different life. One risk can revolutionise your life. One change can change everything. If you start small and stay consistent, anything is possible. A one percent change, given enough time, can make a ninety-nine percent difference in your life. But you cannot leave change to chance. You’ve got to grab it and go for it.

Mark Batterson

Mark Batterson, 2013, All In, Grand Rapids: Michigan, Zondervan, p.110

It’s your job to love people, and it’s God’s job to change them! Stop trying to do what only God can do! You simply cannot change other people. You can inspire them and motivate them and even threaten them, but you cannot change them.

“When the 50’s come around again we’ll be ready!”

(Anonymous graffiti placed on the notice board of an organisation that had fallen behind the times.)

Ask any smart fisherman and he will tell you, if your bait isn’t working… change it!

The only change that people like is the kind that jangles in your pocket!

The human mind is like a parachute: it only works properly when it is open! Similarly with change, it is only effective if people are open to it.

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount and change horses. – Rather than following good old common sense, however, we often try alternative strategies. Here is today’s advice in the form of “The Top Ten Strategies for Dealing With A Dead Horse.”

  1. Buy a stronger whip.
  2. Change riders.
  3. Appoint a committee to study the horse.
  4. Find a team to revive the horse.
  5. Send out a memo declaring that the horse isn’t really dead.
  6. Hire an expensive consultant to find the real problem.
  7. Harness several horses together for increased speed and efficiency.
  8. Rewrite the standard definition of a “live” horse.
  9. Declare that the horse is better, faster and cheaper when it’s dead.
  10. Promote the horse to a supervisory position.

Anon.

Two caterpillars sitting on a leaf saw a butterfly passing by. One turned to the other and said, ‘Huh, you won’t catch me up there in one of those things!’

Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly and for the same reason.

Anon.