I was speaking with someone the other day about the general state of things (not just the industry or the economy but everything, really) when I remembered and used a phrase that was uttered to me some time ago – “change is permanent”. I didn’t mean it in a way that when something changes it is changed permanently, but rather that change in itself is permanent; change is continually happening. While I can’t remember who initially gave that phrase to me, I’m glad he or she did because I use it often and like to come back to it on occasion to step back and make sure that I am changing to adjust to the change happening around me.
It is an undeniably true statement – the state of anything is rarely constant, and even if it is there are things changing around it that will ultimately change it objectively and / or subjectively. Before we get too philosophical on the topic let me ask a simple question: when was the last time you took a minute to assess how change is happening around your organization? For example, how is your industry or sector changing? How are your customers changing? How are you ensuring a competitive strategic positioning in the future when you account for that change? While these are undeniably important questions, they are questions that we very often either neglect to address or do not address seriously. It’s very easy to get caught up in your own company’s day-to-day operations or in your own tasks and not address the future because it’s not a pressing need at this exact moment, but if you do you’ll get left behind by change; you won’t evolve.
Change is even more of a constant in such a rapidly evolving field as the life sciences. How are you directing your own evolution to prepare for future change? How are you managing change and ensuring that detecting and responding to change is built into your organization? If you haven’t recently, step back and think about the questions that I have raised. Try to do so when you’re away from your desk and have a clear head and can mentally zoom out from your insider perspective a bit. If you have a hard time coming up with answers or you know the answers and they aren’t good, then it may be time to figure out how to empower the evolution of your organization to address the future while you still have time.