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How to Manage Change

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Posted 24 February 2011 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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These can be tailored to your specific needs.
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You may find the following will help with your change management skills.

How to manage change - change management

Change management training is important for everyone.

Why is change management training so important?

Change management is important because everyone must manage the change that's occurring due to the on-going technological, social and political evolution. Everything is in a state of evolutionary change.

Everything keeps changing; yet in another sense everything stays the same.

The French say it like "Plus Ça change, plus c'est la mÊme chose".

"The more it changes, the more it is the same".

Everything around you seems to change:

  • The children
  • The weather
  • The political landscape
  • Your face
  • The Tax rates
  • Other people's moods

Everything is in flux. And that flux unsettles people. It unsettles people because people like to know what will happen; that's why they read horoscopes. They don't like uncertainty. Uncertainly creates worry and worry is a drain on your mind.

People prefer certainty.

People prefer certainty

  • Because with certainty you can plan.
  • With certainty you can prepare.
  • With certainty you can feel a little stronger.

i.e. To KNOW is better than not to know.

You hear people say "Put me out of my misery and just tell me!"

So the problem you face is this:

How can you gain a sense of certainty in an uncertain world?
How can you KNOW when the situation is forever in flux?

This problem of human existence has plagued thinkers from the beginning.
The ancient Greeks had many great thinkers and they all wrestled with the same problem.

How can you KNOW when the situation is forever in flux?

Three guys battled it out:

  1. Heraclitus
  2. Plato
  3. Aristotle

Heraclitus, for the sceptics, said "Give up now! You cannot know anything for certain."

Plato and Aristotle, for the rationalists, said "Yes you CAN know. Certainty IS possible! And were sure of it!"

Heraclitus argued it like this:

"Listen up Guys.

Sorry. But you cannot know anything for sure. The world is in a continual state of flux and ever changing. So certain knowledge is impossible: because as soon as you learn something, it goes out of date.

Today's newspaper is no good to you tomorrow
Yesterday's technology is no good today

We are lost in a ceaseless flowing river of change: and "you can never step into the same river twice, for fresh waters keep flowing"

(Have you heard that saying? it comes from Heraclitus)

"So give up all hope of gaining certainty because the best you can do is give up and just go with the flow." (You've heard that saying too?)

Plato disagreed

Plato said

"Herry! You're wrong. Because, human beings are not doomed to perpetual uncertainty, nor should you just go with the flow.
You are born with a rational faculty and as such, can discern unchanging "Universal Principles", or the "Forms" of things."

Plato said "True knowledge is of universals. A proper education is one that discusses knowledge of the "universal forms" that never change "

(This is where we get the phrase "A formal education").

What is formal certain knowledge:

  1. You can be certain of Mathematics (2 x 6 is always = 12).
  2. You can be certain of nature's laws: i.e. Energy always flows from the high density to low density, i.e. Left unattended in your office: your coffee will go cold".
  3. Left unattended, your sales prospect will go cold.
  4. You can be sure of axioms: All men are mortal.
  5. You can be sure of the law of cause and effect: That certain causes will lead to definite effects.
  6. What you sow, you will reap.
  7. You can be sure that the universe is an objective absolute that is governed by one set of universal unchanging laws.

And that your job is to discern the one set of universal unchanging laws:

The laws that:

  1. Never change
  2. Are the same for everyone
  3. At all times

Then: Aristotle (Plato's pupil) got excited about this idea and tried to work out the laws that will allow your mind to discern the one set of universal unchanging laws.

Aristotle discovered LOGIC and invented the deductive and inductive method of reasoning.

  1. Inductive reasoning to identify principles by abstracting from specific examples.
  2. Deductive reasoning which is applying the universal principle to a new particular example.

Plato and Aristotle disagreed on many things but they agreed on two points:

  1. That the sceptic, Heraclitus, was wrong: and
  2. That reason is your best means of gaining certainty

Aristotle went on to say: Study logic; because logic is the best method of reason

So let us go back to the original question:

How can you gain certainty in a world of change?

The answer is:

Learn all you can about the following:

  1. The scientific laws of nature
  2. The rational laws of logic
  3. The humanities (what universal principles unite us)

Now THAT is your homework for tonight!
And it won't ever change.

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