"The only constant in life is change."

by Leize Marie Davis. | @leizemarie

“The only constant in life is change.”

Most of the time, this is an annoyingly true and sometimes patronizing statement. When we are overwhelmed with the speed and change of life, jobs, or family, the last thing we want to hear is some age-old adage. We forget there is any validity to the statement.

Personally, I am TERRIBLE with change. I remember childhood moments crying on my mom’s lap simply because spring break was over and that meant my schedule had to change. I loved school. I loved learning. But the transition from vacation back into a rigid schedule was overwhelming for me.

Over the past year, I have had the privilege of working for an amazing organization in the midst of transformational change. Even though in my personal life I work extremely hard to maintain consistency and order, work has become a place where each day is increasingly unpredictable. Hours of work have been placed in folders on shelves to maybe be used in the future. Even more projects have been thrown in the trash.

Transitions and changes within your team or organization do not have to be the end of the world. It is how you choose to deal with these transitions that could make or break a project.

Recent transitions have led me to a few conclusions on how to adapt and deal with change:

1. Your idea is never the best- As soon as we believe that we are able to do things completely on our own, we lose the tremendous value our teams and community can add to our projects and innovations.

2. There is no “best” idea- There will always be something new and shiny and better on the horizon. Technologies change every day, processes can continually become more efficient. Innovation requires pursuing the BEST thing, and in turn creating constant change: editing, tweaking, starting over.

3. There is value in the process- Even if we work incredibly hard for a product that never is seen, there is value in knowing what won’t work. We then have a starting point for improvement.

4. Let it go and move on- The worst thing we can do in an ever-changing environment is keep a tight grip on our work. Whether the project goes on a shelf for later or in the trashcan, we must use the experience to learn and improve our work.

5. Most importantly, DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY- We are not our work and our projects do not define us. As we strive to solve problems, we must keep the end in mind and move forward.

MAKE IT CONCRETE:

Change is constant. In the midst of the transition you’re currently working through, what conclusions do you need to draw to best help you move forward?