Adaptive Change

Change is hard and yet more than ever we’re surrounded by a need to change.  The vehicle(s) that got you where you are today is increasingly faced with not just a need for a tune-up or even a newer model, but often a completely new mode of transport.  That is, different ways to view, analyze, and navigate through life.

Change for change sake is generally not the answer, nor is trying to find one’s comfort zone and cruising through life on auto-pilot.  Does past history, experience, and knowledge count for anything?  Sure it does, if you don’t let it blind you to new opportunities and ways of looking at things.  Adaptive Change is the type of change and challenge to seek out as we push ourselves to continually grow, develop, and sustain our energies and passions in life.

Just as Professor Heifetz talks of the “possibility of loss . . . generating resistance” in the link above, Seth Godin repeatedly refers to the lizard brain in his new book Linchpin.  Fear, in many forms, often holds us back and yet pushing through that fear to scale new heights and try new things is what often leads us to newer and better opportunities.

While it’s been a few months since I heard this sermon, I appreciate Andrew Warner’s bringing Heifetz’ notions of adaptive versus technical change to my attention.  While it’s generally easier to follow a road map versus drawing your own, the latter can help you determine if there’s a better way.  Are you creating your own paths and ways to get where you want to go or just trying to follow the worn-out roads of those that went before?


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