We tend to deny the things about ourselves that we don’t like. Some of those things are obvious to others while others are hidden below the surface and we cover them up like an addict covers up their addiction.
It is hard to change and sometimes change doesn’t happen until it is forced upon us. Our health can slip away for years then it becomes a choice of change or die. Our marriage can slip away and then it becomes a choice of change or lose it. Our children can slip away and then it can be too late to convince them that we’ve changed. Denying the need for change only ends in one result…..something changes for the better or worse.
Avoiding the Worse Results
Change can have a positive result if we take the time to understand what value can be created from the change and learn what is required to make the change. Instead many of us, both personally as well as organizationally, fake change and end up getting worse results. The reason is we denied the need to truly change and while verbalizing the need for change our behavior remained the same.
Grant McCracken writes in HBR: There’s a convenient forgetting going on out there. Our lives are now filled with a stream of disruption, things that are new and strange. Whatever our first reaction, we now like to pretend we were early adopters and enthusiasts. Call it “disruption denial.”
The fact of the matter is our professional lives now churn with change. Markets change. Technology changes. Consumers change. Channels change. Competitors change. This is an era of disruption. Not disruption as the occasional event, but disruption as the constant, chronic condition of our professional lives. You would hope that we were getting better at understanding and managing change. And sometimes we are. Too often however, our response is to ignore and forget change, to fake our way through it, to pretend an engagement and a mastery we do not have. And that’s bad. That means we are not getting better at change, but steadily worse. We are denying disruption, instead of adapting to it.
Today’s market dynamics are fueled by a connected world engaged, informed and creating rapid cycles of change that wait for no one to catch up. You cannot deny the power of the human spirit, the creativity of human capital and force of the human network.
Adapt to these forces and grow with it. Deny these forces and you will lose the value created by it.