“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
— James Baldwin
When we had a reduction in force at Charles Schwab, we all knew why. We all knew why because the leaders opened a dialog about the needed change. The talked to all of us, they listened to all of us, and they helped us all face the inevitable.
Well, not everyone was able to face the change – Larry struggled. But we all know a ‘Larry.’ But in defense of Larry, he chose to either opt-out once he had the rationale – and that is perfectly ok.
Anyhow, it’s 100% clear that James Baldwin wasn’t talking about Digital Transformation or Change Management. He wasn’t speaking about things that are so trivial. No, he was speaking about race in America and the change required for equality.
But Change on any level requires the same elements. As we confront change from our work lives to our personal lives – we must face the change that is needed. And we must know why we need to change if you don’t understand why you can’t face it. If you don’t know why, you can’t be the change. And you certainly can’t lead it.
We are facing the need to change inside and outside of work. To effectively change we need to start and accept the why. That step is critical to change. That step is James Baldwin’s “….nothing can be changed until it is faced” step.
Real change starts with facing the it.