Survival, Not Mandatory

I have always prided myself on my openness to embrace change. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me to see my own reaction when faced with an organizational change of considerable span and significance.

One of my all-time favourite quotations finds a prominent place at my workstation.  It’s by the legendary Quality guru – W. Edwards Deming :

It is not necessary to change;
Survival is not mandatory.

I have always prided myself on my openness to embrace change. So it came as a bit of a surprise to me to see my own reaction when faced with an organizational change of considerable span and significance.

The entire distribution structure of my organization changed this month.  And with it, changed the lives of over 3000 employees.  Without getting into too many details, let me say that every one’s comfort zone was shaken up and stirred.  People were shunted around cities, and found themselves handling markets they had never worked in before.  Key managers were posted in positions that made them oversee channels of doing business that they may or may not have had previous experience with.  And, if you were lucky, you continued handling the same portfolio you did last year, but under a different department or a new boss.  As I said before, the world started looking a wee bit different to just about every one.

It was all done for good reason, I’m sure.  But who’s asking? 

The basic problem is that almost every one resists change – of almost any kind.  (And these were not ‘small’ changes by any standard.)  As a result, general sentiment starts becoming negative, and people start reading between the lines (where none exist), and begin looking for options “in case things don’t work out”.  Productivity suffers, as all kinds of fears and (mis) apprehensions start creeping in people’s minds. Every thing gets exaggerated!

For all my openness to change, I also went through some of that, just a few days ago.  My rational self explained it away by telling myself that I am merely weighing the pros and cons of it all.  But, the fact of the matter is, deep down, I was also a bit apprehensive – What would the future have in store for me?  How would my world change?  Will it all work out for the better?  Questions, questions and more questions?

The only thing that helped me overcome these misplaced fears was my belief in myself, my optimism and the tremendous joy I get from learning new things with each new experience!  As someone wise once said, “All’s well that ends well”.