The Politics of Change

Change is in the air. That is to say, the Cherry Blossoms are predicted to bloom early in Washington this year.

Depending on your political view you might see it as Mother Nature’s bunting on display in celebration of Sunday night’s historic Health Care vote.

Or the end of the world.

It depends on your perspective.

Which is true of all change. In single owner businesses. Or growing governments. The politics of change is inherent to every upheaval of the status quo.

As a species we are driven towards and repelled by change in almost equal measure.

Our base DNA compels us to evolve. From primordial sludge to sentient beings. The underlying message of change or perish having been cellularly imprinted on us. A trait which has seen us take giant steps at light speed. We dismiss it now, but Lindbergh first crossed the Atlantic only 42 years before Armstrong walked on the moon.

42 years. A rate of evolution that suggests the iPad is simply a precursor to implants.

Technology has always had an advantage in that respect. It’s easier to provide a demonstration for one thing. Seeing the future is a lot safer than imagining it for many people.
For the politics of change also encompasses a Dark Art. Fear. That there is danger outside the cave we have built. That the known, dark and damp as it might be, is safer than the unknown.

Fear manifests itself in a variety of forms. Some unconscious. Some by design. And the larger the organization, the greater the certainty that it is fear has brought them to a place they now don’t want to be.

That we are still fearful is why we as a species are still here. That we are what we are, is evidence that we overcome it every day.

It is a fight great organizations take on with conscious commitment. By staring down the closed and the proprietary actor, and embracing the transparent and the authentic.

It has never been easier to discern authenticity. For today the internet records everything. Every word, every tweet, every utterance. Today we can measure intent against action. Thesis against reality. Say one thing and do another and we will know.

The onlyquestion now is whether we are prepared to do something about it.

Empathetically. For no matter how well presented, fear is an attempt to protect our own weakness. And no one judges those more harshly than we do ourselves.

But consistently. Because to ignore it or placate in others is to adopt it as our own guiding force.

A decision that leads us in only one direction.

And to one inevitable conclusion.