ADAPT Word with ManThere are many in our flocks that don’t have a calculus for a manifestation of change. It just seems to rub them the wrong way. The belief is that, among those who fight change, there are the people who have wired the world for their own success. I don’t think so. I believe that fear of change is something internal, and innate in the nature of some portion of our humanity. It is probably not a bad thing either. It makes change difficult, and perhaps more worthwhile.

After considering all of the testimony, documentary evidence and arguments of counsel presented during and after trial, the court finds that the challenged NCAA rules unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by NCAA Division I schools,” Wilken wrote in the 99-page ruling.

 I am always fascinated by the optics of change from the exterior. What does change look like when it does not really impact us? I guess that in some way, opening the door to allow amateur college athletes to profit from their own names, images, and likenesses may not seem like a big deal. But it is actually enormous in consequence. There are plenty of people who opine on the immediate and future outcomes of this change, but nobody really knows. It will simply happen – and everything will adjust. We will see how it goes, and the impact that it may have on the economic roots of our higher education systems.

Change happens all around us, all of the time. Normally, change evolves slowly, but sometimes change happens quickly. It can happen in a court ruling, as we see in the NCAA example. It can happen symbolically, as we see in the fall of the Berlin wall.  It can happen through revolution and war, as it does so often. It just happens.

From my perspective, the most curious thing about change is the failure to prepare for it. Somehow, in life and in business, there is a resignation along with the lines of Que Sera, Sera. We buy insurance to protect ourselves from hazard and happenstance. We store some reserves for a rainy day. But rarely to we develop action plans for change. For whatever reason, contingency planning evades us. We would rather talk about it over a glass of wine than in the boardroom.

Common wisdom is to “embrace change.” Have you ever met a person like this? They flip from one thing to another, never really digging into something that they believe in – something that they love – something that they aspire to hold on to.

I guess I prefer old things that flourish and blossom in the face of change. I have a deep respect for legacies that go through phases of renewal and continual growth by holding true to their centers of excellence in the presence of shiny objects. There is a stoic calmness about them, although they are raging with opportunity inside.

With change comes opportunity. I see people who plant their feet firmly on the ground with each stride forward, only glancing back to check their pace. They tuck their chin down as they move ahead, knowing that the moment that they cock their nose up, they will slow. They are not so focused on a destination as the journey. They rely on fortitude and fitness to stay the course over any hurdle that lies ahead.

Change is happening all around our industry – and the year ahead will be a test for many.

I am looking forward to the fall. Q3 and Q4 are the months when great organizations lay down strategic planning and budgeting for 2015. I will be attending the RIS Media CEO Exchange, The Realty Alliance Meetings, The CMLS Conference, The NAR Annual Conference, and a few other trips along the way. Lots of flights, lots of room nights, lots of reunions with lifelong friends. As much as things change, so many great things stay the same for those who trod the paths together. If you want to get together at any of these events – give me a call.