Individuals and organizations frequently suffer from inertia when it comes to change. Sometimes inertia is good, because not all change is beneficial. In our fast moving and driven culture, we are guilty periodically of assuming that we have to be implementing changes on a personal and/or corporate level constantly or we are not improving. The danger in that mentality is that we implement change for the sake of change instead of carefully considering the action, direction, and anticipated outcome before deciding whether change is required.
There are times when you intentionally select change, however there are also many times when change selects you. Maybe a partner receives a job offer in another city or country, and you are faced with a life change. Or maybe your organization is proactively watching the market landscape for opportunities to adapt a product line and lead the way. Either way you as an individual will most likely be affected by change to some degree. You also have the ability to be a catalyst for change by your willingness and desire to support the change, engaging in it actively and positively. The first step is to educate yourself; building your own awareness of the change and any risks associated with deciding not to change. Once you are fully informed, you will need to determine whether the change is something you can support. If you are able to ascertain that the benefits outweight the risks, then your next job is to fully engage in supporting the change.
Times of change do not allow gracioulsy for fence-sitters. Catalysts of change are much more useful and welcome, as they are the individuals who have thoughtfully considered the benefit-risk analysis and consciously chosen to contribute. Generally, when change is on the horizon, there are some individuals who become catalysts much more quickly than others. If you are engaged in an organizational change identify the catalysts as soon as possible; align them with the project, giving them the opportunity to influence others and facilitate the change. Seek out, engage and employ the enthusiasm, energy, and knowledge of catalysts throughout the organization to move change along effectively.