Light Bulbs, People, and Change

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I love those jokes that begin, “How many X does it take to change a light bulb?” Here’s my favorite.

“How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”

“Just one. But the light bulb has to sincerely want to change.”

That joke has been running through my head.  Yesterday I posted, “Gonna have to face it, we’re addicted to change.” This morning, I read Susan Maaza’s excellent post titled: “Change is Good BUT I’d Rather Do It Later.” The post is worth reading in full, but here’s the money quote.

“I believe that a powerful relationship with change is essential to thriving in today’s world.”

Change is what we do. We grow older. Our bodies change in big ways and small ones.

We have relationships that change. My wife is sitting on the porch right now with a friend she’s known for more than fifty years. But the women they are today are different from the girls they were in elementary school, or the young mothers they were, or the women they were even two years ago.

Technology changes around us. I “met” Susan Maaza on Twitter, a technology that was unimagined even in science fiction back when I made my first telephone call. I picked up the phone and waited for the operator to say, “Number, please.”

Change is a part of life. But not all change is created equal.

We love change when it makes things better. But even then, we sometimes, as Susan says, “want to do it later.”

We hate change most when it is done to us, rammed down our throats by forces beyond our control. Like the light bulb, it’s best if we sincerely want to change.

Boss’s Bottom Line

One of the characteristics of a great working environment is that people have the maximum control possible over their work life. Make sure you apply that same rule to any change that will affect them.

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