In business, leaders are often asked to be "change agents" and that has been a buzzword for a while and something that many of us put on our resumes. In truth, change of any kind is initially uncomfortable and many of us try to avoid it. The pitfalls with this approach are that familiarity breeds contempt. After a while, when things are so routine, so unchanging, progress ceases to be made and in effect we start to regress - move backwards. More than ever, in the ever changing world in which we live and work, if we fail to be nimble in our apprach to change, we will be left behind watching our competitors roar ahead of us in a cloud of dust.
Change is necessary. Change is actually essential. But change is not comfortable. The answer to getting better at navigating change, is practice. Like any skill, change requires that we practice it, and practice it often. In that way, we will slowly become more comfortable with the uncomfortableness of change and rather than run from it, moan about it, complain about it, we will begin to embrace the positive effects that change can bring.
Are the recent changes to Facebook a step backwards or forwards? I really don't know. But I am pretty sure that within a few weeks the naysayers and complainers will have begun to accept the new look and very soon will have forgotten the previous iteration altogether.
As business leaders, or change agents, our responsibility is to support our teams through the uncomfortableness of change, not to isolate them from it. We must encourage doing things just a little differently every day, to break habits, open the mind and explore the positive benefits of change. In many of my training sessions, I encourage the participants at the end of the day to drive home by a different route, and pay attention to how it feels. Or if they usually enter the house by the side door, to go in through the front.
Practicing change is easy. The more comfortable we get with that feeling of initial discomfort, the greater the ultimate benefits.