Revolving Evolution…

Another week. Another exhilarating week. A tiring, busy, engaging, thrilling, disappointing, funny, frustrating and enjoyable week. All of the above at different times. But overall excitement and learning dwarfed any momentary negativity.

I am proud and pleased about what we achieved together this week. What we delivered and how we delivered. The ‘what’ is always important – we always tend to measure what we deliver. The ‘how’ is as important – together, supportive, stronger, better. We don’t tend to measure how we deliver…but we know…and we care.

I was in the UK all week. We had visitors – important visitors. We invested time and we received real value back. We were asked lots of questions and we asked lots of questions. Good questions and better answers. We are naturally inquisitive. We want to understand and we want to learn. The more we learn, the more we evolve and the better we get.

Any successful organisation continually changes. That’s not the question – the question is more appropriately whether our change is evolutionary or revolutionary!

People (and politicians) often talk about evolutionary and revolutionary change – they look and sound similar (the change rather than the politicians) but what is the difference? The answer is in the derivative verbs – “to revolt” vs. “to evolve”. To revolt is clearly a very different activity than to evolve. Revolt is dynamic, sudden and uncomfortable! Evolve is more passive, gentle and measured.

American Revolution? Dynamic, sudden, uncomfortable. Human Evolution? Passive, gentle and measured.

In reality then I think that most times we hear descriptions of revolutionary change, it will almost always be evolutionary change – change that takes us to the next logical step.

Evolutionary change is undoubtedly a very good thing – but where or when could we see real revolutionary change in an organisation? Change that re-writes the rules ….what would be our equivalent of digital photography….or driverless cars?

And these moments do happen. But we don’t tend to make them happen ourselves…they happen to us. I look at myself. My biggest learning opportunities have come about when significant change was impacted on me. Major company acquisitions or mergers…decisions to close down locations…new leaders being appointed.

New leaders are nearly always appointed because they have different experiences and different beliefs – and because they drive major change.

I assess major change as being good for me measured solely by what I have learned about myself, how I believe I have grown, and how much satisfaction and enjoyment I have experienced. Not that change has always been enjoyable – we can experience enjoyment without every moment being enjoyable.

Does this mean I cope well with change? I don’t know – I am not even sure that is my judgement to make. I think though, that it means I have experienced much more major change than I ever expected. And so when it happens again I am ready.

I ask lots and lots of questions. I think in advance of what I want to know and understand personally and about people, professionally and about business. I write my questions down when they come to me and I revise and review. And I ask. And I ask again. The same person or different people – the same question or different questions.

I focus on my routine and my balance. I never miss my morning work-out and I ensure I make space for my family and friends. This is seldom easy at any time – but it is most important at these times.

I work hard to stay positive. I always assume positive intent. I never worry about unintended consequences.

Change is coming – it always is. Change is good!




About Steve Street

I have worked in R&D within the Pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years. Up until April 2012 all of my career had been with one company, but that has now changed. I left that company and took up a new role on May 1, 2012 - still very much within the Pharmaceutical industry and again based in the UK. I have been blogging every week now for over 10 years but only on an external site since January 2012. Email updates of the blogs can be requested using the ‘follow’ option within Wordpress. The blogs are only ever my personal view of what I see, think and feel. I am delighted if you agree and find value; happy if you disagree with my views and overjoyed if you feel motivated to comment. Most of all I am simply grateful that you read. Cheers Steve
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