Saturday, February 22, 2014

Week Eight – Adaptability is the name of the game!

If you are one of those people who likes to plan your day or week and stick to your plan… this blog will make you uncomfortable!

The ever chaining London! a view from my plane this week!
 This week I was reminded of the importance of being able to adapt and change in order to survive in this fast evolving world. And although most of us like to have a plan, plans are made to then change and work on a new strategy! This change or adaptability is by all means not easy and requires a great deal of work and effort, as generally you have to change everything related to this change, and as with most plans, everything is connected so if you have to change something it beings a chain reaction of things that need to be looked at and move, cancelled or re-schedule! Most of all we don’t like changes to our plans because they cause stress and bring the “un-known” hence why most people would rather stick to what they know.

But I guess that if you want to stay ahead of the game and live your life a little easier, you have to accept that change is inevitable and you have to adapt or risk loosing control. And what prompted me to write this week’s blog on this subject were the simulations changes that were happening in my life within the space of a few hours.

This is how it all began; my workweek was all planned and I was to be in two different countries having to travel back and forth through Heathrow on Wednesday. During my first visit suddenly I found out I had to stay longer and need to change my plans. At first this seemed easy enough, and I went ahead and started the “chain reaction” to this change! By having to stay longer in my first destination I needed to find someone to replace me at the next place I was visiting, and before I could change my flights I need to confirm this (there was also the possibility I may need to somehow squeeze it all in!). Unfortunately time was of the essence and I was relaying on getting someone to substitute me in order to change the flights. I think you can see where I’m going with this. Then there was also the matter of the second flight, to cancel it would mean to loose the money so it would be best to re-schedule the flight for a later visit, this meant to get agreement from the people at the destination I was going as well as looking at who was to replace me and at the same time having to change the current flights (two different airlines) before the re-booking window was over! Now if reading this has not stressed you out yet, I’m not sure what else would! At the same time, back at home, we have a room we rent and my wife had call me saying that the agency was sending a student on that day! She was at work, I was away and he was arriving at 5pm! We needed to print some documents for the lodger, which I had in my computer, and I had to find them, send to her so she could print them. When I finally located them, I sent and guess what? She could not print them! So now I’m trying to do a “Remote Desk Help Support” role to print these documents, change my flights, find a substitute and get agreement for a future visit dates! Not forgetting that I am still working and trying to remember if I forgot anything with this change! Actually I did forget, I had a conference call, which I was meant to take in my new destination and I almost forgot to attend! It’s amazing how a really well planned week all of the sudden is up side down and looks nothing like what you thought it would be! But like everything in life, and referring back to week six where we talked about laughing, that’s what you have to do, laugh at the face of change and adapt, deal with it and move on!

When you reflect on this, although not overly complicated, the events of this week were a reminder of how difficult any type of change is. Of course change is going to happen, it’s like the morning sun, you know it will come (even if it is behind think clouds like in England! It’s there) the challenge we face is that we don’t know when it will hit us and we need to be ready for it.

If any of you have attended any seminars or classes on change management would be familiar with this subject, what its important to remember is that no matter how much we know about change, its never easy. What helps us is not to sit comfortably and think that change won’t happen, especially for those who don’t like change. If you don’t prepare and accept it, you will end up like the analogy of the boiled frog; If you put a frog in water and gradually heat it up, the frog is so comfortable that it does not realise that the temperature is changing, and will not react, it will not jump out and when it knows the heat is too uncomfortable, it’s too late to get out and eventually it will get cooked! The frog knew something was up but it did not react to it. This is gradual change and as things happened the frog did not deal with it and that was it! Nice frog legs for dinner. (I want to assure you that no animal was hurt sharing this analogy J)

This week’s experience was perhaps like being dropped in boiling water rather than heating it up; I had to react to it. But there are many changes happening in our lives every day, which we must identify and adapt quickly. A good example of this is technology, this is of course the biggest constant change in our lives and those who don’t like it tend to avoid it and sit like the frog, thinking it will not get to boiling point and cook us! But believe me when I tell you that it will. There are many other examples, all of which tells us that adaptability is the name of the game, it is what will keep us afloat and see us through life, making sure we don’t get cooked!

Think of some of the changes you have gone through? Think of situations you where dropped into the boiling water, how did you react? Are you one of those people who likes to have it all planed and changes bother you? Or are you, like me, a person who thrives with change, even though it can be stressful but enjoy the challenge of having to adapt to what life has thrown my way.

Either way, you have to deal with it! Remember change is inevitable and it will come, it will be facing you every day, from having to change your plans because someone let you down to adapting to new ways of living in this constant and ever chaining world.

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