A number of years ago, one of my former managers who had been charged with reversing a extended slide in advertising sales at our publishing company addressed a room full of editors and sales staff on what to expect in the coming months.
Most of us were fearful of wholesale layoffs and divisional restructuring and many in secret, including yours truly, were scouring the want ads (remember those?) in case we were summoned into the office and summarily handed the dreaded pink slip.
Instead, he held up a piece of construction paper with a picture of a clock – both hands on 12. He then took a Sharpie and drew one hand so it was five minutes past the hour.
“Change doesn’t have to be 24 hours,” he said. “This is change.” We all breathed a sigh of relief that we would at least be employed for the short term and, in a storybook ending, within three years our division turned in the best performance in the company’s 50-year history.
Not to sugar coat it, “change” is often a scary word. For most, change is often perceived as a negative although it often can be quite the opposite.