The Day My Hard Drive Crashed and the 4 Lessons I Learnt About Dealing With Change
Ever heard of someone losing their lifetime’s computer data in a hard disk crash? Well, it happened to me (a change management expert) recently and I was surprised how this particularly dark episode reminded me of some key lessons about dealing with forced change.
I was initially (reasonably) relaxed about the expiry of my computer drive because I had two backups, or so I thought. Unfortunately, for reasons I still don’t fully understand, neither of them could be restored. For a split second I found myself at the brink of having a very unattractive, major meltdown…. but then I paused, drew breath, paused, breathed again, and then noticed something quite remarkable. The world hadn’t ended. The sun was still shining outside. The building hadn’t collapsed. I still appeared to be fit and healthy.
I finished work early that day and spent more time than usual with the family (very nice) and had a very good night’s sleep. The following morning, I went out and purchased a new computer from a different manufacturer containing a tried and tested backup solution, and started afresh. This new computer came with much better software, which has allowed me to quickly and easily do things that I had always wanted to but never thought easily possible. I should have upgraded years ago. And a couple of weeks later a very clever technician managed to extract all my lost data from the damaged drive but, wouldn’t you know it? I’ve barely needed it since!
So what lessons did this incident remind me of when it comes to dealing with change that is forced upon you?
1. Emotional reactions are just that.
No matter what the event is that has thrust this change upon you, know this; the world will not end. This simple reminder can help you shift your mindset from a state of extreme stress to one of control and calm. You control your emotions, not the other way around.
2. Adversity contains hidden opportunities.
If my computer drive hadn’t crashed and burned, I would still be slogging away with an outdated and sub-standard computer system. There is always something to learn from change and a lot of the time, it can be just the kick in the pants we need.
3. Behaviour in the moment is all that matters.
Look forward not back. Ask what next, not why.
4. Comfort might feel good, but has limited value beyond.
We all get stuck in ruts or habitual patterns of behaviour. I knew there were probably more efficient and effective solutions available but I didn’t act until I had to. The whole experience has been a timely reminder to examine other areas of my life that have become “comfortable” and challenge myself out of my comfort zone.
What are your experiences of living through change that has been forced upon you?
Senior Transformation Consultant
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