I recently participated in a webinar hosted by the MIT Management Executive Education with Hal Gregersen and Roger Lehman’s “Navigating the Human Side of Transitions in Times of Change,” on April 23.
The recording of this webinar is presented below:
The coronavirus has made all of us navigators of change. When I think of navigating, I have two distinct memories that come to mind. The first is from my childhood. My mother, who we nicknamed “Hot Rod Mary”, loved long road trips. She would put us all in the car, mention her destination, say which route she was going, throw the map in the backseat and ask to find us a different route to back home. It gave me lifelong confidence in reading maps, finding my direction form anywhere at any time, open to new ideas and directions, and the ability to do anything in motion.
The other story about navigation inspiring the title of this talk is from in the years I was in a sail racing team. We were in a channel with various depths with a vague map of the outlay, and since we were in Swan sailboat our engine was a backup. We had a problem so we had someone with a wrench manually adjusting our speeds, the sonar on so we could gauge depth, and was twilight so not so easy to judge onshore landmarks. Because of teamwork and unshakeable determination and a great captain, we made our destination.
Change in our lives can either be something we initiate or something we must do in response to the circumstances we find our selves in.
If you look over history mankind has devised many ways to elicit a change. I am most familiar with the science views, and some of the most incredible changes in our thinking came from theories like Darwin’s evolution, Newton’s physics discoveries, Edison with electricity, Madame Curie and radiation, and the well-known ones of Galileo and Copernicus and their mind-blowing discoveries. I read and was fascinated by The Knowledge Trilogy book series by Daniel J. Boorstin includes books The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself, The Creators: A History of Heroes of the Imagination, and The Seekers: The Story of Man’s Continuing Quest to Understand His World. If you need some reading material, I highly recommend them, you never know what new ideas you can create.
The element of change, or the mathematical symbol Delta, is something in my world which has been a constant. In fact, accepting and navigating change had become my way of life. Looking back at each experience, I see the lesson I needed to learn, and each change manifested the level of understanding necessary for the next level. In my life, I have had 12 hometowns, 32 addresses, 2 marriages, 5 businesses, and numerous positions of many types. To sum that all up in a single statement, I venture to say effort is everything, renew your determination to achieve your goals daily, and never ever give up.
This time the changes are brought about by a factor seen in the microscope who reaches worldwide disrupting health, families, business, and the way the world functions. It is something most of us never expected. What to do? How to think? How will I survive? What about my family? My business? In normal times each of these challenges may happen, this time it’s all them at the same time to everyone in the world. I read this interesting article, my take away is the thought of the title; ”The Coronavirus Pandemic Will Forever Alter the World Order”.