Select Page

engaging with Continuous Change?

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Continuous Change, engage, Journey

Change is exhausting. Continuous Change would then be constant exhaustion. So why would anyone actively choose to engage this as a stance for their life – work or personal? If we have learned something from the last 2 years it is that Change is in fact always happening, and either we get good at it, or we are constantly the victim of it. And it is likely to happen when we least expect, as with the group that I left in the middle of their arc last fall – when Carlos Santana decided to change his life and follow a more devout path. What happened to the others in the band – who had JUST completed their 3rd Platinum album in a row – a feat that wasn’t even accomplished by The Beatles?

As an active Change Agent, I have implemented Change throughout most of my life for systems and businesses as an engineer, IT leader, and then as an executive. I have also embraced personal changes in my life by embracing new educational opportunities regularly, most of my own choosing. And, I have had discontinuous changes forced on me, and understand how disturbing that can be – just when things appear to be going smoothly, something or someone come along and upsets that “reality”. It happened for me again 2 summers ago as I was sitting across the table from a leader – yelling at them. And… I had the presence to know that is not a helpful stance, particularly as a coach…

Interestingly the series about Santana last fall “ended” with Change as its theme for the week… so it fits perfectly with my idea of picking back up with a story I knew I left in the middle. It also fits into a series of stories about Continous Change. I am helping a series of leaders of all life stages and levels leverage material that I have found to be helpful … to me most of all. Developed just down the road from Fillmore West where Carlos got his start is Stanford – one of the most prestigious universities in the world… and one where even a majority of their graduates had no idea what to do with their degrees after graduation. Let that sink in – after getting into one of the hardest schools, finishing the hardest fields of studies, with large networks of mentors and advisors… they have no idea what to do…

… sorta like the band. This rag-tag group of players had assembled around Carlos, and rode that rocket to worldwide tours, including Woodstock. They came together and played lots of small venues to hone their craft, come to depend on each other, and really become a real “band”. Their fiery rock/latin/funk sets at classical venue Tanglewood were legendary, to say nothing of their work at the Fillmore… and now… done. Carlos leaves behind the core of that band to pursue fusion Jazz for a few years, and now facing each other, they are sitting together facing Change.. And probably like me, yelling at it and those who are “making them Change”…

Honestly, I thought I was done with Change – other than teaching others about it. Leveraging the work of William Bridges, I taught literally hundreds of MBA students and corporate executives about Endings, Neutral Zone, and New Beginnings. It was so instinctive that I missed my own signs that I was actually approaching an Ending… until it was there – across the table from me, looking stunned. As was I – an important learning for everyone – Change arrives as a surprise even when you are looking for it…

So how are you engaging the Continuous nature of Change? There are many approaches to it, and I have tried almost all of them at this point. What I propose is that we all have to engage with it not as a one-and-done transition… but a Continuous process that we simply have to recognize has no end… and get good at it as a part of our core. There are rhythms and melodies that can help each of us work through it both individually and together – if we are willing to actually recognize them. It can be something that appears hard to get over, around, or through… but as this early song will open our exploration, it is not really a Mystery Mountain… it is a Journey…

Share This