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"Wanting to know where we are going is often how we fail to go anywhere at all." -Julia Cameron

Not too long ago it was time for us to get on "the Cloud." Movin' on up to “the Cloud" meant change with a capital C. While we were excited to have new tools and improved capabilities, technology changes still do not seem to come all that easy for us. What does come easy is helping our clients plan and navigate personal and organizational change. Are you picking up on the irony here?
 
While we believe it's healthy for us to experience frequent change so that we remain tuned into what our clients go through, that doesn't make it any easier.
 
At an intellectual level, these kinds of changes make total sense and are completely necessary to do business successfully. At an emotional level, it can be a whole different story. Implementing change triggers our creativity, and we begin to imagine worst case scenarios. We can become fixated on the downside, and our attention goes to identifying and managing risks.
 
Let's be clear...change isn't really what makes us crazy. It's the darned uncertainty. What we knew for sure yesterday is likely called into question today, and we again set out on the road less traveled where uncertainty abounds.
 
Along with uncertainty comes an even more frightening feeling: the loss of control. While I do not consider myself a control freak, there are those in my family who might beg to differ. 
 
We know very well that we must adapt to change or become extinct when it comes to technology. We can know change is good for us, yet still push back on it with all our might.
 
For example, I worried loudly about such things as:

  • Where is this cloud?
  • Will hackers be hanging out on the cloud too? 
  • What if all our documents, calendar, emails and other files just evaporate en route to the cloud?

Mike, The Computer Guru, was more than patient with me as I expressed all my fears and concerns. He finally suggested that perhaps we should just wait until I could become more comfortable. That was all it took for me to say, "No, let's do it now. If we wait until I become comfortable, we will surely become extinct." 
 
As we work with clients helping them to plan and navigate the complexities of change in their organizations, we remind folks to be far more worried if their organization is not creating and implementing change. Remaining static is a far riskier position. We are not suggesting that you just free-fall into change. When you find yourself resisting or pushing back, identify your fears about the change itself. Be sure to give equal attention to the risks of remaining status quo. And, if you cannot manage the change yourself, consider asking for guidance from a coach or consultant, someone who has helped others through a similar change. 
 
As it turned out, our move to the cloud was a non-event, thanks to Mike, and since then we have been focusing our creativity on our new capabilities and how it helps us move forward, rather than fretting about worst case scenarios. 

Jeanne Gladden

Born to be in business, Jeanne Gladden is a business coach, consultant and educator.

 

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