Unpredictable, unexpected, rapid, and even unfair change is rocking governments, businesses, and people worldwide. And the history buff in me finds lots of evidence to show this really isn’t a new trend – and will never stop. There’s no “getting through this crazy period” to some mythical place of stability, or predictable sameness. Whether these changes are deadly threats or growth opportunities often depends upon how they are dealt with. When our rate of growth and learning is slow or stalled, any change can be sudden and overwhelming. It leaves us scrambling to catch up with its impact, learning, or skills we need to just cope – never mind thrive.

Building a flexible and adaptable team or organizational culture is more critical today then ever. In their book, Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational Effectiveness, Professor Edward Lawler III and research scientist Christopher Worley of the University of Southern California’s Center for Effective Organizations write, “Organizations that are built to change must view people as open and willing to learn and as eager to try new things. They must have structures that are constantly refocusing attention and resources on both current and future problems and opportunities. They must have reward systems that encourage learning and growth as well as current value-added activities. Finally, they must have financial processes and other systems that support innovation and the start-up of new products and services.”