The reality of change in the IT world…(or how to learn to love change)…

There is a concept within organizational dynamics (OD) about managing change. One of the changes you have to prepare for is the transition from what you were doing to what you re going to be doing. It’s a change I’ve gone through recently (twice) and I find that it can be extremely stressful.

Preparing for change sounds like an easy task. You see the approaching change in front of you and you begin to prepare. Then it changes speed, the change, and slams into you when you aren’t ready for it.

So you prepare for the possibilities. that makes you start to guess and then second guess the things you are doing around the upcoming change. But with that second guessing you are more prepared for the change and accept it gracefully (ok it sounds good, it probably isn’t real).

The problem I think (IMHO) is that effectively change is too variable. Not like a consistent suddenly appearing problem but instead a may be this, may be that, may in the end never happen problem.

As an IT and technology professional I see change all the time. The variable nature of change is where I trip up now. Things I don’t expect tend to be the changes that in the end cause me to slip up. That comes from experience, when you think at some point that you know all the changes that can happen. Experience leads you to change blindness. Where you know what can happen therefore the other possible could happens are not going to happen. Until they actually happen and catch you by surprise.

You can, as I did when I was younger attempt to ignore the reality of change. Or you can as I do now believe you see all the possible impacts of the changes around you. Either way change gets you when you are not ready.

There is no magic answer for how to deal with change. I have sought that holy grail my entire IT career only to realize that you can’t in the end predict all the changes that will occur around you. There is always something that you missed.

In OD we talk about managing change. I suspect that in the end the Zen approach might be better. Letting the change wash over you. Become part of the change and see its many wonderful nuances. Change brings many things to the world around us. Without change there wouldn’t be white beaches with sand baked hot until the sun. Rivers wouldn’t over time make the Grand Canyon. Slow geologic change is always happening. Imperceptible we don’t see or feel that change but it is here. Each breath we take or each glass of water we drink is a change both to the environment we are in as well as the environment we are.

I am letting change wash over me. I am living with the change that presents itself to me. I see the changes around me as what they are, new expressions of beauty and wonder. I am accepting of the changes around me. I will not fight the changes.


Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.