Monday, September 19, 2011

Change Is Coming, Like It Or Not

One of my favorite quotes for years has been, "The definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." unknown source.

I think a lot of times people would really like for things to change in their personal life, but they don't follow through to develop new strategies in order to make them happen. When we want change, WE must change. If we want to lose weight, we have to change diet and exercise habits. If we want to make better grades, we have to change study habits. Some people may need to attend class more regularly. You get the gist. 

When I worked for a big agency, I remember at various times through the years we would have major change that no one ever asked for. Sometimes we would have this unrequested change almost overnight - although there were times there would be a major announcement that on a specific date such and such would hapen. Sometimes it was good, such as the time my agency entered the computer age and every employee got a computer on their desk. At the time, there were many people that didn't even know how to operate a computer. It was in the days before most households even had a computer. Classes had to be organized so everyone could learn how to operate a computer. We also had to learn the software system that was developed that was specific to our program. It was intensive, but worth it in the long run. I truly enjoyed that computer system and the changes it involved...the time involved, not so much. For an entire summer while the people with school related jobs were off doing their thing, my unit was working hundreds of hours of overtime converting everything we had on paper to a screen on a computer system.  It was worth it, because in the long run the system helped us save time, it had the potential to make children safer because we had so much more capabilities we had not had in the past.  We were able to determine the history of, for instance, a sex offender. As they say, "the possibilities were endless".  Oklahoma had the most sophisticated computerized child welfare system in America at that point.  It was the only time I ever received overtime pay at that job, our family used some of the money to replace our color TV that the screen was showing everything in various shades of green. So in the long run, I guess my family thought it was worth it.  

Not every change was as valuable or welcomed. Other changes came along that just seemed foolish, time wasting, or petty. There would be people that just couldn't deal with it. Sometimes they were the employees that I supervised and I had to hear all their complaints. I would tell them we didn't have any choice, it was either deal with it at the office or go somewhere else. But, one of the most important lessons I learned while I was persevering through all those changes, often unwanted, was that those who don't like change need to develop a strategy to deal with it or figure out a way to get off the bus.

This is life, change is going to happen whether we want it or not.  But expecting things to happen without change is, as the quote says, insanity.                  Elaine Bellamy

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