My parents were hardcore hippies. We didn’t just have a VW microbus; we lived in it — travelling hither and yon, camping and campfire singing and collecting shells on the beach. Their idea of “settling down” was to buy a small farm where we’d grow our own food. The first year, we ate a lot of tomato sandwiches. But the next year was when it happened.
I was nine, my brother seven. And as the school bus creaked to a stop at the end of the unpaved road that led to our farm, there was a man waiting to pick us up. I grabbed my brother, screamed “Stranger!” and the bus driver slammed the doors shut. It took a little while to sort it all out. But it turns out the guy wasn’t a stranger at all; he was my dad. And that day he’d gotten the bright idea to cut his long hair short and shave off his bushy beard. He wasn’t even wearing a necklace or a dashiki! How was I supposed to know?
We joke about it to this day. But on that day, it was no laughing matter, and it took quite some time for me and my brother to be comfortable around him, to trust him, to accept the change. Change is what brought that story to mind today. As I scanned the headlines and dug into the articles that caught my fancy, I noticed a common thread – change. Climate change. This piece about how when technology platforms change, old leaders are seldom the new leaders. This fascinating article examining how changes in energy, communication, an information technology will shape businesses (some very cool concepts for forward-thinking continuity professionals!). Even this one about changes in the way tea is traded and what could result (Did you know tea is the most-consumed beverage in the world, after water?).
Some changes we can prepare for; other surprise us. But how we handle change is what determines our success or failure – sometimes even our survival. So, here’s one more article for you. This one talks about helping your team deal with change and what you can do to ease the blow, grease the wheels, and ensure that they’ll continue to trust you – even when things get scary.