Opening Address, Ms Karen Brennan. Chairperson IAANMP
The theme of this year’s conference is Responding to the challenges of change, and in the words of Heraclitus….
There is nothing permanent except change
The concept of change, and change management is nothing new.
Heraclitus was one of the ancient Greek philosophers. He was infatuated with the state of change. Most of his work has been lost, ignored, or otherwise forgotten since his death in 475 B.C. Nonetheless, what remains of Heraclitus’ doctrines continue to resonate with us.
We’ve all made changes in our lives, both good and bad, expected and unexpected. Relationships, circumstances, and feelings change. Nobody is ever exactly the same in each moment.
But do you perceive change as friend or foe? Of course, the answer depends on the change. From a universal perspective, change is the only constant; it is manifesting 24/7 whether we like it or not. Whether welcome or unwelcome.
We can choose to see change as an ally or an enemy and it will respond accordingly.
The downside to resisting change is that it will have its way; it will eventually wear us out. It has been said that in a contest between a river and a rock the river always wins. Why? Because the river is willing to follow the natural call of gravity, going over, under, around or, eventually, through the rock, to its destiny which, as with all water, is to ultimately merge with the ocean. The rock is stuck where it is, relentlessly pushing against the river, resisting the natural flow of water until, over a long enough period of time, it’s worn down to a pebble.
We can harness the energy of change and use it to our advantage by shifting our perspective.
When change happens, you have to weigh up your options and decide whether you are going to be a victim or victor of change.
A victim of change believes that they do not have enough skills and that the demands of change are too much to cope with. They allow circumstances (and other people) to influence them and, therefore, feel they lack control in the change process.
A victor of change believes they have enough skills to cope with the demands of change. They attempt to impact on the change by using their sphere of influence and control, thereby feeling in control of the change process.
Today we are privileged to hear from some leading change agents in the nursing profession . I know you will enjoy their presentations.
For those of you struggling with The Challenge of Change: at the end of today you might consider, Are You the River or the Rock?
If you are a rock ….what are you clinging to???
“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.” Mary Engelbreit