Change is the New Normal? I Disagree.


I was at a meeting recently and there was a lot of activity | energy around this comment
Change is the “new normal.”

My first and likely only thought was … “Really?

I have to admit, at that moment, I tuned out of the meeting for a few minutes.  Was change not the “old normal?” 


Change is Normal

 Image courtesy of mrpuen/

Am I alone in my thinking?

I’ve always worked on the outside looking in.  I’ve often been the go-to change agent.  I was once asked “How can you have worked at the same company for so long and still view it with fresh eyes?"  I, maybe rather childlike, view the opportunity to change the status quo of an organization with wonderment.  I try to “see” the company from the eye of the customer. 

As the landscape of “the workplace” has evolved, we are creating job titles never before used, employee tenure shortening, all health benefits are rapidly changing, and the advent of new technology advancements and solutions.  The list goes on and on.

Still stuck on the phrase and the excitement it has caused, I started down the path of possibly agreeing that change is the new normal (I continue not paying attention in the meeting). I reflect.

I remember:

  • When you called a Company and a person answered the phone
  • Typewriters before computers.  Desktops, not laptops (there were no Netbooks or iPads)
  • The addition of a new product took weeks, not hours
  • Handwritten inter-office memos
  • Order taking was between 8 - 5, M-F

My point is there has always been change.  The things my grandparents and parents have witnessed must be staggering in the comparison.  The New York Yankees team salary in 1929 was $365K.  It grew to $3.4M by 1977, growing again to $73M in 1997, and totaling more than $209M in 2014.  VHS was introduced in 1975.  It took more than 20 years for the DVD introduction in 1997, but the explosion of DVR was right on the heals in 1999.  What about in the recent past?  Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Empire Avenue, Klout, Google Plus, and all the other things I don't know, cannot spell or do not remember.  Some things are un-cool before most people even find out they exist.

Where I Ended Up

I decided that change is not the new normal, but the speed of change has definitely accelerated.  Rapid change is the new normal.  As someone who has thrived on change, I realize that I’m excited by this opportunity.  However, if others aren’t excited by change, is the - more, faster - a form of torture? 

How do you feel about this?

Question: What do you think? Is change the new normal, or is rapid change the new normal?

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