Change without courage is mute
The prolific abundance of moronic clichés, idiom or memes that warn of damnation if we don’t change belong in the same repository as the mindless “how to” lists that inundate social media today.
Change on its own means nothing. It is devoid of direction, bereft of cause and inconsequent of necessity. Change is but life that requires vision, manipulation, hard work and above all courage.
Our retail prophets of change advocate the “end is nigh” if we do not embrace the latest technology, trend or dubious fad. Many of whom pontificate the curtailment of human interaction to gain access to some glorified nirvana. Preaching an unsustainable doctrine from their disposable soapbox for egotistical advancement. Without people in our world, there can be no change be it for better, worse or indifferent.
By contrast, courage influences all our lives in direct proportion to how we manage it. This then drives the change we seek based on the past, present and desired future. Forever mindful never to forego the basics that makes us who we are and that which made the business successful.
Courage is the harnessing of fear from the uncertainty of change. A desire to incorporate what we cherish in the aspiration of making a difference and leaving a legacy. Leaders inspire a culture that promotes a tolerance of spaciousness for the proliferation of courage, whereas (micro)managers, fearful of meaningful change, thwart at every turn. Such ruinous attitude portrays in the form of “we’ve always done it that way,” or “everyone is doing it” or “there’s only one way” or “comply then complain.”
Courage is the driving force of accomplishment while change is a mere consequence of action and inaction alike. Be wary of those who prescribe change as a process for improvement or a means to a perceived conclusion, for they are the very same who either did not foresee today’s retail turmoil or contributed toward it.
Retail is not glitzy nor is it easy, but it is basic and only when we deviate from our core business do we encounter poor customer experience and dissatisfaction. Embrace the fear and resist the temptation to deviate – for the faster we change, the more we need it to remain the same.
Without a history there is no dream. Without a present-day there is no courage. Without a future there is nothing.
Dave Farrell is a retailer with three decades of experience on three continents. He can be reached at [email protected].