Nothing Changed But Everything Is Different

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

“Isn’t it funny how day-by-day nothing changes, but when you look back everything is different?”

–     C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963), British (Irish-born) writer and lay theologian, as quoted by Mike Householder in Sunday’s Sermon at Lutheran Church of Hope

The Slow Fade

What’s not routine can seem absurd.  Pastor Mike started the sermon with clips from the Today Show™ as Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric referred to “Internet” with incredulous looks on their faces and tones in their voices.  Last week, Marc Benioff, the founder, and chairman of Salesforce, stated publicly that he no longer owns a computer and runs his $143 billion company solely from his smartphone.  Just 25 years after Bryant and Katie almost lost their minds over “violence@nbc.ge.com,” one of the most successful executives of our lifetime has leveraged “Internet” to not only dominate markets but to function in a way that is completely foreign to folks who genuinely believe that nothing changes day-by-day.

A 4-minute mile?  Ha!  Absurd.   The record for the mile run hadn’t changed for 12 years before 1954 when Roger Bannister cracked the 4:00-mark.  It was broken five times in the next ten years.  Once the barrier is passed, it might as well have never existed.

Internet and the 4-minute mile are public examples.  Privately, our habits and discipline may not seem to change until one day we wake up 20 pounds heavier or three shades grayer, look back and realize that everything is different.

It’s a “slow fade” that is faster and more contrasting than we perceive, in the moment.

Change Ain’t Necessarily Bad

It’s not that all change is bad.  Change is only bad when it’s going nowhere, or when it’s going somewhere detrimental. It can be pretty scary, however, when we remain unaware that it is taking place, regardless of where the destination might be.

Purposeful, planful change is where the magic happens.  What problem are we trying to solve?  What do we want “it” to look like on the other side of the change?  Are we facing a disruptive force in our market or complacency in our own strategy?

The fact remains that “change will only occur when the fear of change is overcome by the pain of remaining the same.”  If we’re not feeling the pain, we have to ask if we’re numb or if we’re dumb.  In either case, purposeful, planful change is our only way forward.  If we are aware of the pain, we can assess, prescribe and (here’s the crescendo!) either get ahead or stay ahead of the market.

The Ricky Bobby Theory

If you ain’t first, you’re last,” the fictional stock-car driver says in Talladega Nights; The Ballad of Ricky BobbyWhile true in the movie, and in any winner-take-all competition, it’s worth noting that it’s almost never true in business because when we retain 100% of the business we have, we’re ahead of the game from Day #1. When we keep what we have, and grow by a little, we’re growing.  We’re relevant.  We’re gonna be ok, at least for the foreseeable future.  Getting sucked into the first-or-last mindset, we can grow 20%, lose 30% and be toast by the end of the quarter, even if we’re not publicly traded. (That’s NOT a ding on Jim Collins… 

Momentum Is The Linchpin, Awareness The Constant

What Gumble and Couric failed to realize was that “Internet” had momentum.  What Salesforce’s competitors failed to realize was that Marc’s smartphone was better than their server farms, cloud or acquisition strategy.  What a large percentage of companies don’t realize is their day-to-day ceased being relevant quite some time ago, and soon, they’ll look back and realize that everything is different, and those moving vans out front are here to pick up their stuff and sell it on eBay.

If we have momentum, we’d better be aware of it, and figure out how to stand on the accelerator and shake-and-bake our way to the winner’s circle.

If we don’t have momentum, we’d better be aware and find a little shake-n-bake to grab some.

Nothing and Everything

Nothing may seem to change today, but something will.  And it will mean everything if we’re the driver of that change, the author of that strategy and “internet” to everyone else’s incredulity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.