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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven

Whether you attribute this quote to the song from the mid 1960s from The Byrds – Turn! Turn! Turn!), or go even further back to its original source from King Solomon, the context implies a sense of change … that over the course of time, things are not going to stay the same.

Looking back over the course of my career, I can certainly see the truth in this. And know I’m not the only one.  Think about it, (and in sticking with the theme of the song) haven’t you experienced …

  • jobs you’ve enjoyed, and jobs you’ve endured
  • leaders you’ve admired, and those you’ve disdained
  • teams with chemistry, and teams with dysfunction
  • projects that have succeeded, and projects that failed

So why is it that when change presents itself in the workplace, it is generally received with trepidation? I found this article in Forbes this morning titled How to Make Change Work For You that offered a few suggestions … “In work and in life, change is inevitable” … “Humans are hardwired to operate in comfortable patterns. We crave constancy” … “People don’t know how to start dealing with change, or if they’re capable”.

The flip side is that people are fully capable of dealing with change.  The author advocates a FEAR problem solving method … Focus, Engage, Assess and React. It is a simpler way of addressing change than some of the other 10 or 12 step methods out there but generally hits some of the same points.  For example, Focus=acknowledge the change,  Engage=get involved in the change, etc.  Simple, easy to understand … I like it.

The reality is that change is neither good nor bad necessarily … it just is.  And while we cannot always control our circumstances or external factors that lead to change, we can control how we respond.

The other reality is that understanding everything I just wrote about doesn’t diminish the fact that sometimes change just flat out sucks.  Especially when you find yourself in an environment where things click … boss, co-workers, project(s). For me personally, this past year has been a season of fun I haven’t experienced in awhile. Unfortunately that season is coming to an end with my boss having announced is resignation the other day.

C’est la vie! As another verse in the song alludes to … “a time to break down, and a time to build up”.  Time to see what the next chapter holds!