Evolution or Extinction?

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During our vacation this summer we spent a few days in Chicago and spent one of our days at The Field Museum. As we walked through a great exhibit on evolution a couple of quotations caught my eye along with a couple of observations of how successful species who are better at adapting to their environment tend to exist longer while less adaptable species become extinct. 
One of the quotations was that “Evolution favors bodies that fare well in their environment.”
Less environmentally-adaptable creatures become extinct as the earth changes. And the same thing can happen in the corporate world.
If you are struggling with adapting to change, you might be putting your career on the endangered species list. An organization with this mentality may find itself extinct.
It amazes me to see how the majority of people are stubborn and fearful towards change while a small minority of change provocateurs are determined to confront and over turn the status quo.
Most of us are pretty resilient and adaptable to change over the MEDIUM to LONG TERM – often because we have no choice!
The problem appears to be in the SHORT term. If change always seems to be happening TO you, consider becoming a proactive change initiator.
One General Manager was sharing his concern that there were so many opportunities to improve his back office admin functions and yet his salaried staff were reluctant to adopt the change, let alone lead it.
If you find yourself dragging your feet with change, consider getting out in front of it. You’ll be positioning yourself as a leader and you will discover that the change can be exhilarating and motivating instead or threatening and demotivating.
Reflection Questions

  • Take a moment to observe how your department functions. What are all the annoyances and frustrations that you put up with instead of fixing?
  • What do you think is holding you back from being more proactive at fixing the systems that cause you the most grief?
  • If you tend to respond defensively to changes, reflect on why that is and set a personal goal to be a creator of change.

By being a leader of change you can take your career off the endangered species list and not only survive but thrive.