Change doesn’t just happen for those who are sitting around on their laurels watching the world go by. Change may happen TO those people when orchestrated by others around them. Change really only happens FOR those who are bold and courageous enough to make a stand for an even better way of doing things though. As George L. Graziadio once said, “If better is possible, then good isn’t good enough.”
I recently heard this call to action – “If not you, who? If not now, when?” – while attending the Association for Change Management Professionals conference in Orlando. (Click here to view a short video clip of Daryl Conner’s keynote address yourself.) Well, it’s stuck with me ever since, such that I even shared it with a group of managers and staff during an all-day workshop on “remarkable service” recently. Remarkable service doesn’t just happen on its own. It takes clear intention and a personal commitment from those delivering service to others. In this case, a number of folks chartered with supporting students with their admissions, registration, and financial processes at a private women’s college here in Los Angeles. It is a remarkable institution, and they are remarkable people. Helping them organize themselves more effectively and sharing leading practices for remarkable customer service is just a gift that affords me the opportunity to help them be even better at what they already do so naturally.
So why was I so present to the presence of change during this session? And why has Conner’s call to action stuck with me these past few months? To be honest, I’m not really sure. I can say that what got us – and by us, I don’t just mean Plus Delta’s team of talented consultants – here, is not going to get us where we want to be. There is so much that is “wrong” in our society. Now wrong is a value statement that suggests there is a “right” out there, so let’s just say things could be very different – and if they were, we’d be producing very different results. The State of California continues to be on the brink of bankruptcy, healthcare for those who need it most across our country borders on being downright unacceptable, and don’t even get me started on the inhumane living conditions or severe starvation that runs rampant not only in underdeveloped regions around the world – not that it would be any more acceptable there!
I’m not much of a macro-economist, and I don’t pay that much attention to world news and events. What I do know though is that it’s time for us – yes all of us! – to take a stand and be present to the need for change in our lives. Whether it’s an individual change like unplugging our home appliances when they’re not in use to reduce our wasteful use of precious – and expensive –energy or maybe something a bit more collective like promoting corporate responsibility programs with our organizational leaders to improve our local communities and the world around us, I’m confident all of us can do more to make a difference. It doesn’t take much other than that same clear intention and personal commitment remarkable service does… If you aren’t present to the need to change though, then you’re likely just going to continue your old patterns of doing things. So in your home, with your church, in your companies, with your communities, do something! If not you, who? If not now, when?