In a few hours Barack Obama will be sworn in as our 44th President and with that comes promises of “change.” Unrelated to this, I am just about finished reading Charles Darwin’s seminal, classic “The Origin of Species,” which was published exactly 150 years ago. ‘Why,’ you ask? Well, this evangelist has been preaching for “change” from the ArchiOffice pulpit for nearly 6 years now and I thought I ought to really understand the mechanisms of change from one of it’s greatest students – Darwin.
Over the last 20 months I have visited just under 100 Architectural firms, spending between 1/2 day and 5 days in each. In fact, I was in 9 of these firms for over 60 hours – delving into every piece of their business. Yes, I’m nosy – and yes, I had permission. With this much experience under my belt – and with my new found insights courtesy of Darwin, I’ve come to accept that “change” doesn’t just happen. As with species – it is slow and complicated by many outside factors.
Contrary to my intuition, greater change occurs with greater diversity. I had always thought that moving a smaller office into ArchiOffice would be far simpler since there would be fewer people to bring “on-board” the change train. However, it’s precisely the absence of differing experiences, interests, insights and opinions that keeps change from happening. So I have found that the larger the firm – the greater is our impact on change – and the greater is their impact on changing ArchiOffice. It’s a wonderful symbiotic relationship where each party contributes to the evolution of the other. Unlike Darwin however, I haven’t had to wait millions or billions of years to witness the change. I’ve been able to see it in weeks and months.
With words of encouragement, I invite all of my readers to participate in change. Look around you and if you know things could be different or better, take action. Don’t wait for nature to take it’s slow course.