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Swatting Flies or Moving Trash Cans

I was recently asked what "overnight change" I would suggest for a potential client trying to navigate the future. Here is part of my answer:

There are two types of change - revolutionary and evolutionary. Your question refers to revolutionary change, which is typically a painful process. Rapid - "overnight" - change is often the result of a reaction to something in the environment. Revolutions always create collateral damage and often leave new problems in their wake. Consider, for example, the situation in Iraq following the overnight change in their leadership. Old problem gone, new problems in its place.

Evolutionary change, on the other hand, allows time to work through issues and mitigate damage to the environment. This approach to change is typically focused on the "root cause" of the situation you are looking to alter. Revolutionary change is focused on the "how" while evolutionary change deals with the "why."

If you are at a picnic and the table is plagued by pesky flies, you can spray poison which kills the flies but ruins the food, or you can look around for the trash can that is a breeding ground and remove it to another area of the park. Poison or Reposition. Both eliminate the flies. One allows you to continue enjoying your food.

Suggestion: Make certain the change you are getting ready "spray" on your situation doesn't ruin your picnic. Ask your management team: "Are we swatting flies or do we need to look deeper and remove the breeding ground?"

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