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Change, Transformation & the Spiral of Expansion

A dear friend of mine, a psychologist, made an observation about me recently. She said, "Susan, you're unique - you LOVE change!"

I laughed, but I had to acknowledge she was right. In fact, I used to teach a workshop called Managing Change & Transition. During the 2 day program we'd discuss how and why so many people have a hard time with one or both...

...because the truth is, although these two words are often used interchangeably, they're really quite different in nuance.

#Change can be passive when referring to shifts, whether external (like a growing hostile political environment) or internal (such as finding you've developed anxiety when in small spaces).

#Transition however, refers to active efforts to adapt to those changes.

In my workshops I used to joke about poor old "Uncle Bob"--a fictitious character who despite an external, social shift & emerging preference for thinner, longer ties--refused to transition, instead insisting on wearing his short thick ties because they were in fine shape.

And while his refusal to transition in this particular example doesn't really hold serious implications (except for maybe some ridicule), think of the situations in which it might: e.g. a business that fails to read the writing on the wall--a new technology threatens to render its service obsolete; a corporation significantly downsizes, requiring its existing staff to take on broader roles and more responsibilities; a newbie entrepreneur enters a highly competitive industry but continues to perform as if she were a 9to5 employee.

"Change is inevitable, growth is optional"

~ John Maxwell

People always say change is hard. I don't think change is hard. I think it's inevitable. What's hard is the #transformation we're required to make in the face of change. But perhaps transformation is hard because we mistakenly believe it means we'll be starting over, from ground level, step one, with nothing to build from, when so often that isn't true.

I prefer to think of transformation as an ever expanding spiral - the spiral goes round and round, covering similar territory, only each time it grows outwards, expanding--covering new ground, new lessons, new abilities.


#Transformation is the process of such expansion--building on what already exists in order to form something stronger, more beautiful, more adaptable, more suitable for the changes occurring both within and without. Just think of the butterfly: it does not create itself from nothing, it uses material its had all along even as it reassembles into something new...

...something that enables it to fly!

What are your thoughts about #change #transition #transformation and #expansion?

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