Alan Cohen said, “This moment has nothing to do wth the last one, unless you choose the past to continue.”
We all remember moments when everything instantly changed.
On a national level, every thing before and after these moments was different:
- JFK assisination
- 911 World Trade attack
In both of these instance, the nation stopped, noticed, and was forever changed.
- The Cubs win the pennant in 2016 after 108 years
- The ’89 Loma Prieta earthquake in the SF Bay area
- A major employer decides to move or close turning a boom town into a ghost town
On a personal level, you’re forever changed after:
- A marriage/divorce
- Birth of a child
- Major career change
- Death of a parent, spouse or child
In each of these examples of national, regional, or personal moments, everything can be categorized as before or after the moment. Things were one way before and another way after. What was important before is now no longer important. What was hardly even noticed before is suddenly the only thing that matters. In each case, it’s impossible to go back to the old way with the knowledge of the new way. Those moments were eventful, memorable and life changing.
In the business world, organizations are always attempting to change.
CEOs and leaders want their people and organization to move from A (the current place or old way) to B (the future place or new way).
In rare occasions a dramatic, shocking, or eventful moment occurs and the entire organization ‘gets’ the need to change. Immediately. No turning back. Such a moment could be an industrial accident; a new, mandatory, regulatory requirement; the loss of a major client; or a hostile takeover.
Notice that all of the examples describe negative occurrences. And many of the examples I gave for national, regional and personal moments are also negative.
Change is readily accepted when people feel like they have no other option. Negative occurrences often create the feeling of no other option.
So how does an organization create a moment to move a basically healthy company forward and keep changing with the times? How do they stay ahead of the curve before something really bad happens? Do all change moments need to be negative? Or do they only need to be eventful, memorable, and life changing?
This is the challenge every leader faces on a regular basis.
Great leaders know this moment has nothing to do with the last one, unless they choose the past to continue.
Steve Weber is the Change Ambassador. He works with leaders of organizations that need an important change to occur quickly, with a minimal amount of pain, and with a maximum amount of employee buy-in. Steve creates moments that are eventful, memorable, and life changing.