Thought Starters

QOTW 2013: Week 29: If change is constant, why do we suck at managing it?

If you try to tell me change doesn’t affect you, I’ll hold up my bulls**t card.


My wife and I moved our home recently.

At an outing a few weeks ago I mentioned the move to a colleague who pointed out that it can take up to 3 years to get fully acclimatized after a considerable change such as moving to a new home, unfamiliar city or country.

Three years seems excessive to me but I can certainly relate to change especially when it comes to moving to another country. I spent a few years in Zurich, Switzerland and the uncomfortable feeling over the first year was palpable. Certainly I am not unique in my experiences there.


We have been in our new home for 3 weeks.

We love it but it feels foreign to me.

I have a new gym, drycleaner, barber, grocery store, among other things. All the things that are part of most people’s normal lives which are not all that different but different enough to make it all new.

It’s exciting but the change takes you out of your routine or dare I say it; comfort zone.

Everything was humming along for 7 years (or maybe it was only 4 years considering the 3 year adjustment period) then blammo. It’s all different; some slight, some dramatic. It feels like I am starting something new. Even my commute to work has changed; more walking, less transit. The whole thing makes me feel good but there is that nagging unfamiliarity with the things I haven’t resolved.

Even the coffee tastes different.

Imagine what a company’s employees feel who have their spaces renovated or move offices?

As Interior Designers we work so hard envisioning their new experiences but in relation spend little time considering their experiences before, during and after their move.

Why not?

We all know how it feels…..

What can we do to better manage change?

Well, we can consider how the change affects the assets of a company by introducing a change management process into our design solutions. We didn’t do anything quite like this for our own personal move. Why would we? Moving your home is like a mini-adventure. Fun around every corner but when it comes to business process adventure is not always the best approach to keep productivity on the upswing.

A good change management plan is primarily about communication and we all know the benefits of good communication. If you consider a plan to keep employees informed and help them understand the company’s goals the benefit can improve productivity during and after the change.

We all have family, friends and colleagues. We may not all be change agents but we can certainly influence people around us by being supportive, understanding and open-minded. Think about these benefits a bit and see how they might apply to your next change be it personal or professional.

A good change management plan can……

  • Help increase employee engagement.
  • Reduce an individual’s resistance to change.
  • Help employees understand the impact on the entire organization not just on themselves.
  • Help the company contain costs.
  • Create opportunities for improved culture and development of best practices.
  • Reduce the time needed to get back to “business as usual”.


That brings us to today’s quote.

I came across Mr. Frankl’s famous book, Mans Search for Meaning (no affiliation), while reading another book called Flow. Flow has inspired me to find that place where I can be at my best. This exercise helps me get there.

Mr. Frankl certainly was inspired by his life and when considering change and the effect of change on a person, his story is certainly an inspirational one. I will leave you with the following quote and hopefully your adventures will lead you to a better understanding of the man and your personal search to manage the changes in your life; wherever they may take you.


If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.



Have a great Monday and an awesome week.

If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.






About this Author: Ralph Dopping (199 Posts)

A quirky sense-o-humour coupled with an indelible sense of stylish sarcasm makes it difficult to take the world too seriously doesn't it? My faves: fun, passion and hard work. I work here everyday:

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

Change comes bearing gifts. I love change; thrive on it, love an adventure as opposed to my kidlet who acts out every school year due to change and transition. I need the new; hmm, is that why I love what I do? Mazeltov on the new digs!


I'm following Mr. Frankl's advice: wrote a post about it yesterday. Enjoy your new digs and all that comes with change. Cheers! Kaarina


I liked today's entry a lot.  I think there is a huge tendency to downplay the effects of change-- which seriously impacts how I personally go to market with Brigholme and how we work with designers and clients.  I loved the quote...


Oh gawd Ralph, that comic. I laughed out loud and instantly felt guilty. 


This is a really nice reminder, and dare I say writing this maybe helped you accept / shape the recent changes for y'all?


I think a lot about good structure and how our lives are subject to information structures, social and at work. If you're not designing the structure, quite shortly it will be designing you (well, it's always a two-way street, but you get my point). To your point, being uncomfortable is a good thing, and investing in good change is well worth it. 

jessica ann
jessica ann

hi Ralph, great post! and I love the Viktor Frankl quote. change teaches us to become more flexible, open-minded, and curious. as much as I don't "enjoy moving" (who does?!) i'm grateful for the freedom to move. So many people tie themselves down to one place to live for years. And while I can see the benefit of being tied to one location, the sameness bores me. I like the challenge of picking up and letting go. I hope you're settling in, and enjoying the challenge of change :) 


Hi Ralph! Happy Monday!

"Change management system" - interesting! So much more to architecture today than I'm sure there used to be!

I also never knew it could take up to 3 years to get used to a new home but it does make sense. We're so in love with sameness ;-0

Lately I've found myself moving from one change/learning curve to another as if hopping from stepping stone to stepping stone while crossing a fast-moving stream. Yes, that's how it feels! 

Love the quote and cartoon!


rdopping moderator

Cheers  @Soulati | Hybrid PR having some constants is good for me otherwise have at 'er! Thanks, the new digs are fantastic. Finally!

rdopping moderator

Hey @daynabradley that makes my day. Simply being able to enlighten someone's thinking in a positive way brings me a ton of joy. There is a lot you can do from a resource perspective to better lead in change management. After all, the first and last thing an employee experiences in a day is their office environment especially the furniture. How do you turn a static into something that responds to the needs of an employee? I wonder.

rdopping moderator

Hi @JoeCardillo thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I loved that comic. So appropriate to the message, huh? It's indicative to what happens when change is ignored. Just in a funny way, sort of. Yes, writing this blog in general is very cathartic to me.Thinking through the daily issues our clients have is a great way to find content. Feeling a little uncomfortable is never a bad thing. I do wonder how your industry deals with change? Different perspectives sometimes open the doors to new perceptions.

rdopping moderator

Interesting perspective @itsjessicann I can imagine you as much younger in age than me. When I was in my youth I had the wonderlust which kept me on the move as well. Same sense of sameness also sent me travelling. Now I relish in the constants only because my focus has changed. Personally I feel much more productive mentally when I am assured that my home and environment are constants. I may not be alone in this notion but I am quite certain there are many more folks like you now than ever. I "blame" social media for a good way. Cheers and thanks for your comment.

rdopping moderator

Hey @Lori interesting analogy. I can see how that plays into the mystery of the unknown. You have no idea where that stream will carry you if you slip off one of those stones yet you plodded ahead. That's certainly brave at the least. I think architecture and interior design will continue to elevate with the continued growth of technology and access to information. We are all getting smarter because of it. Everyone has to elevate their game or be left behind. Hope you are well. I must drop by and see the changes afoot at Life, for Instance.