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Time’s a wonderful thing. Constantly ticking away. The meter is always running. Like most businesses we’ve been through some changes over the years and none more so than in the last year and the pace is ever quickening. There is an old English Proverb that says, “Change is as good as a rest” suggesting that you can get as much good from changing the work you do as from having a rest. Really? Surely the mantra is, “Change is the only constant”.
I googled “Managing Change” and got 398,000,000 pages which is rather more than I bargained for. Conversely the French have a slightly different view: “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” or “The more things change, the more things stay the same.” Well, that’s just being bloody minded and typically French. And before you accuse me of being anti French I am, in fact, 1/8 French.
Now, Buddhists know a thing or two about change: in around 500 B.C. Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism, said, “Everything changes, nothing remains without change.” So it seems best to think about change and how it affects us and our businesses.
Now, with all the books and webpages devoted to the subject what can I add to the whole debate? Well, I’m not entirely sure apart from giving you something to think about when faced with change so that you might try and approach it with a potentially different mind-set. However, there’s no way I can cover 398m Google Pages in the 5 minutes it’ll take you to read this so, to give some context, I thought I’d look at Births and Deaths. Fun, eh?
I found this: During the next 5 minutes, across the world, 1225 people will be born and 550 will die. Net gain: 675. In another 24 hours from the moment you read this there will be 194,400 more people on the planet than there are now. In a week: an extra 1.5 million and this time next year an extra 71 million.
So what? Well, we mainly fall into two camps: optimists or pessimists, glass half full or glass half empty types, so some of you’ll read that with dismay and some’ll read it with hope. Most will probably be completely ambivalent (if, indeed, you’re still reading). Some of you may also be realists. Personally, I’m an optimistically pessimistic realist so I’m perfectly aware my glass is now half empty but, as I’ve enjoyed the first half, I want another so I’m constantly looking to get it filled up again. That means I spend a lot of time looking for potential glass-filling opportunities which brings me back to Births and Deaths…
With all those extra mouths on the planet what an opportunity – an ever growing potential customer base for the goods and services we all create, source and supply. How will you change to cope? How will you make the most of what time is left on your meter? If you want to tell me, I’ll be in the bar with the less than full glass which I’ll be raising to the 1225 born since you started to read this and farewell to the 550 who’ve left us. Change really is the only constant.