This past weekend, we had our 2nd Annual Fall Festival, and boy was it a great event. We had 2 gyms and a parking lot full of fun and games all in an effort to bring our community together. It was awesome seeing our school and community united in partnership as a result of several people coming together and sacrificing of themselves to offer a truly meaningful event for the entire community.
One of the events we had was a 3 on 3 basketball tournament, and just like a mid-40's man that still thinks that he's still in his 30's, I joined the tournament. Now I haven't played competitive sports in 10 years, and on Sunday morning, my aching back and legs reminded me of that. While I had a great time participating, my body still reaped the consequences of that change. All choices have consequences, and physical choices have even more painful consequences.
So What Does this Have to Do with Change?
Both of these events have one thing in common. They both require work, which requires sacrifice, discomfort, and in some cases pain. Without work, nothing changes, and therefore the status quo remains. Change can't occur without some level of pain.
The Painful Secret about Meaningful Change
If we aspire to bring about meaningful change to our organizations then we must realize that it requires shaking things up a bit. You'll have to do things in ways that haven't been done before. It'll push resisters to whine a little more, and it may cause headaches that you had no idea you would create.
But isn't that what meaningful change does? It elicits discomfort, albeit temporary, and many times the discomfort exists to ask you just how much the change really means to you. If it means a lot, you'll push against the pushback, and you'll weather the whining. If it doesn't mean a lot, then the safety of the status quo will temper your resolve, and soften your commitment.
The painful truth about meaningful change is that it causes pain, no doubt about it, but if you are committed to improving the organization as a whole, then you've already calculated the pain that it'll cause, and you've already set your course for change. There may be frustration on the front end and blowback on the back end, but the secret to successful change is being steady and strong, for that is what'll ensure the change you bring about means the most to those who, in the end, matter the most.