I love to muse, perfect title for the CBJ column. Most of the time people cannot tell that I am musing about change but it makes me happy!
Nothing that is can pause or stay;
The moon will wax, the moon will wane,
The mist and cloud will turn to rain,
The rain to mist and cloud again,
Tomorrow be today.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ah, don’t these classic words lead you to musing about change. There are many healthy aspects of musing, so give some consideration to stopping and changing your perspective on work and life. Musing can take many forms and is very much up to the individual. Here’s what I see as I write sitting in Capanna Coffee right now:
Three young twenty-somethings are having an engaging conversation. Two are on cell phone devices, one is writing a paper. All three are contributing to the conversation.
A middle-aged man is eating lunch while reading a book and holding a cell phone.
Thirteen people are in my field of view. Ten of us are working on laptops.
From this perspective, our musing might have been very different a decade ago. Most of us realize that things are changing faster than ever. That’s nothing new, except when you think about what hasn’t changed? Us, people, all with different backgrounds doing different stuff.
John P. Kotter in his book, Buy-in, says the single biggest mistake that people make when communicating a new vision of change is under-communication. I couldn’t agree more as I have seen many times in organizations and companies where I have consulted. In one organization where I was facilitating a change process, we developed a multi-level communication plan to articulate the changes: Write a memo and distribute electronically, post on a company bulletin board, with a supervisor and staff verbally present the information at every shift. Even with the communication plan, some employees still did not understand what was happening.
Kotter says the second mistake is that the change is communicated with all “head” and no “heart”.
Kotter says many great leaders are beacons of common sense, with clarity, simplicity and steadfast common sense in the face of a complex changing world…they mobilize action to achieve important ends.
I close with a classic musing from successful basketball coach John Wooden, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” The heart is always a good place to start in this busy world but don’t forget common sense is sometimes all we need. (BTW Leo is doing better BFN!)