In the mid-2000s (we really need a name for them … like the mid-aughts), my work computer was an early generation convertible tablet/laptop. You could write directly on the screen with a stylist & it could convert your handwriting to typed words … theoretically. In truth, you spent about half your time correcting what it came up with, until you realized it was just as easy to type everything or leave your handwritten notes handwritten. Still, when I did go to a meeting and take notes with it, I would hit save and let the file be named whatever it thought I had on the top line. There was one meeting, in particular, where this stood out for me.
We had a new VP of Quality who had a focus towards improvement. He wanted to make some radical changes to the structure of the organization, and look for new means to drive new directions. This meeting was where he set out what needed to be done, but moreso to motivate the team in the right direction. It was one of those meetings that when you listened to the manager, you were either going to buy into what he had say or you would never buy into anything he had to say. Well … at least in theory. Some of my colleagues, especially my management, didn’t buy in. I kinda didn’t … but the stuff that he had to stay stuck with me and focused me at times. On occasion, I would look at my notes, read some of the things I wrote that day, and re-centered my thinking. The main point he was making was to get us prepared for the changes that were coming — and kept saying ‘Change is in the Air’. The whole purpose was to alert us that things would start changing, and rapidly. We had a lot of work to do to make the change happen. We also had a lot of emotional and mental issues associated with that change to deal with. Not to mention that at that time, it wasn’t just change for change sake or change because a new manager was in place – some of it was going to be driven by things outside of our organization, things we can’t control, and things we just have to accept. Because things were going to be changing everywhere, Change Was In The Air.
But of course my tablet said I wrote:
Change Is In The Airlift
To this day, when I see a lot of things in the air coming at me on the horizon, I seem to keep saying: “Change is in the Airlift”. And guess what folks … Change is definitely in the airlift.
I have a busy busy fall coming. The previous mentioned band judging season has started, and sputtered a little bit. Work is driving a lot of activities over the next month and a half as well. I sat down and worked out my travel schedule — and I already have either booked or planned nine flight itineraries between now and the end of November (yeah, that means there should be more in December too). Yet that schedule is left to a lot of things that are outside of my immediate control, and one just has to roll with it.
For instance, I was scheduled to be in Louisiana this weekend to judge a contest near New Orleans. However, the massive amount of rain they are seeing caused the football stadiums to become unusable – so the show was cancelled a couple days ago. On pure coincidence, I caught word that a show in Mississippi near Memphis needed someone to fill for a family loss by another judge .. an airfare change later and I was booked in. Some of these plans are going to be like that, subject to forces outside of my control – and some will result in other changes, like if I arrive at a plant and find that more help will be needed.
But that misses the whole point of ‘Change is in the Airlift’.
The point is, be aware that change is coming, and do what you can to prepare how you can. Focus on what you can control and act on it. Know what you can do, and keep doing it. The worst mistake you can make is to let a change you know is coming surprise you at the last minute. So needless to say, I got a lot of work to do.
… And don’t ask me what an ‘airlift’ is … I honestly don’t know, and don’t know why my spell checker even accepts it.