Insanity – Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
by Debbie Knick, Director of Finance and HR
How many of us find ourselves falling into the definition of insane? Oh, we can laugh, but if you sit and think about it we are all insane! We are so comfortable with our current situation that we don’t want to change it, yet we are at the same time miserable because we keep getting the same result, when we are looking for more. Something bigger, something better, something different.
Businesses fall into this rut also. I remember about, oh this makes me feel old, 25 years ago as a young manager of a convenience store being told that I resisted change. Well, guess what, my manager was correct. I liked to think of myself as easy to get along and receptive to new ideas, but I hated change. Reluctantly, I came to embrace it, but it was a hard process.
How did I come to embrace it? By realizing that change is inevitable and you just have to accept it and make the best of it. Sometimes it is really good, sometimes it is really hard, but in the end if it changes you for the better it is worth it all.
By realizing that change is inevitable and you just have to accept it and make the best of it.
Fast forward about fifteen years after that day when I was told that I resisted change, at a point in my life where I was still resisting change, but it was time for something in my life to give! In an 18-month time period I had the pleasure of having five different general managers. This was somewhat a difficult time because it’s hard to run a business with so much change. One good thing that came out of that time was learning to embrace change. It was happening too fast to resist it. No sooner than one GM was trained it was time for another one. When the last General Manager came in, there really was no fight at all. I was about 6 months pregnant and remember telling the president of the Board that I was not going to be around for about 6 weeks soon! Guess what? It worked out!
Fast forward another ten years or so and eventually instead of hiring a new general manager, a management team was brought in. See, like the rut I was in and resisting change, the company I worked for was in that same rut and no one wanted change. Oh, they wanted change on the bottom line, but no one was jumping up and saying let’s do the hard stuff to turn this around. New ideas were brought in and implemented very quickly. Change that made sense was happening. Don’t get me wrong, some of these changes were hard and not all were well received, but positive results were generated.
How does accepting change pay off?
How does accepting change pay off? Well because I understood what was happening and was 100% sold as I saw positive results, I was asked to join the team of the management company.
Today I am happy to be a part of that management team and am so thankful for the lessons in insanity that I have learned through the years. One of the things I learned during all this change is that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results was just that – insane. As the director of Finance/HR and still to this day seeing those positive results on the bottom line of a profit and loss statement is very encouraging. Seeing a positive attitude in my fellow employees is even more rewarding.
One of the things I learned during all this change is that doing the same thing over and over expecting different results was just that – insane. As the director of Finance/HR and still to this day seeing those positive results on the bottom line of a profit and loss statement is very encouraging.
Oh, don’t get me wrong as I reflect back on my goals and see my successes and my failures, I know for certain that I need to approach each day with new ideas and new goals, with change in order to obtain better results. Remembering that if I approach this year in the same manner that I approached previous years, I will be once again living a life of insanity. If I expect different results, I must embrace change.
While it is hard and not always comfortable, I want to continue to learn and grow. How about you?