Anchoring Change

We are living through a period of unprecedented change. Even that grandiose statement is somewhat understated and strangely inadequate to describe the magnitude of change we are currently experiencing. We will continue to pore over why it was allowed to get so bad before governments took action, and we will continue to dig deep to find the resolve within us to withstand the enormity of the change we are living through.

The argument of preparedness is an interesting one. Could we have seen Covid-19 coming and if so, could we have done something better to contain it? The answer to both questions is a resounding yes. Just look at the countries that carried out its disaster planning and then acted on the findings, as opposed to those countries that ignored the findings and did nothing. Covid-19 was predictable insofar as we knew something like it was coming. What was less predictable was when it would come, how it would unfold, and what impact it would have on all aspects of society. It begs the question, ‘can you properly plan for a pandemic?’

There will never be a perfect plan for something that is inherently unpredictable and uncertain. Future gazing requires a healthy dose of guesswork and being comfortable with the fact that it will almost certainly unfold differently and unexpectedly. Very few plans survive first contact with the enemy, and Covid-19 has been a formidable adversary. But that doesn’t mean you fly blind without a plan.

That’s why I suggest we need to approach change with a mixture of caution and bravado. Plan as best as we can, but then be ready to change our plan.

Here are my six CHANGE Anchors for anyone in need of a reminder that change is a moving target requiring us to move with it, or preferably get ahead of it.

· Contingency: recognise that very few plans survive first contact and have backups ready to go

· Humility: be comfortable with the fact that you’ll get some stuff wrong and don’t pretend to be a hero

· Adaptability: move quickly when it becomes clear that something isn’t working: time costs money and even lives

· Nerve: have the guts to try things out, even if they might seem daft

· Glide: move freely and controllably from state to state rather than lurching wildly as if being tossed in a storm

· Expertise: surround yourself with people who bring diverse skill sets and opinions and then listen to them with respect

Please check out my latest book, Small Change Big Returns.

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