Change is constant. But so is fear about change. I for one used to loathe change; I viewed it as a wrecking ball of chaos and confusion, a “nothing good can come from this” situation, a date with death (to be dramatic).
Moving homes used to disrupt my thinking, my behavior, my normal daily routine… And thinking about it – and fearing it – during the lead-up made change that much more difficult to handle.
But that was then.
When I entered the workforce I came to realize that change is what drives progress, what drives innovation (and vice versa) and what, eventually, drives success. For to resist change is to dig an early grave for your business.
I’m not trying to be some sort of motivational business philosopher. This has all been written about before in countless business management books, and has been preached before by many successful business pioneers, one of them being Henri de Castries, AXA Group chairman and chief executive officer.
I was fortunate to be invited to hear Henri speak at AXA Group’s international media seminar in Sauternes, France, last month. In a chateau on the French countryside filled with press from around the world, Henri spoke at length about shifts in the economy, in consumer behaviors, in natural disasters and, most of all, in technology. He spoke about change.
“If you look at changes in mankind, it’s gradual, gradual, gradual and then a BIG shift,” he exclaimed. “Think about the telephone, the computer. It takes a long time [to get to these innovations] but it’s shortening. We are just at the point where I think things are starting to accelerate rapidly. And I think this is going to change the world drastically.”