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Change The Only Constant

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Change – The only constant – A Corporate Governance Perspective

What is change?

As a verb; change means – to make or become different and/or take or use another instead of.

As a noun; change is describes as – ac act or process through which something becomes different and/or coins as opposed to bank notes.

Looking at the current political dispensation in Nigeria, two of the most common words today are – Change and Transformation.

So what is Transformation?

This is a marked change in form, nature and/or appearance.

According to mathematical logic, it is a process by which one figure, expression and/or function is converted into another one of similar value.

So whether it is change or transformation, it is all about moving forward and/or backwards.

The truth is, change has always been with us, however what is worrisome is the type of change we have experienced over the last fifty years plus.

When you consider our continent and some of the new generation economic giants in Asia, we all started the change or transformation agenda about the same time, after the end of colonization of the world by Europe and America.

Over the period, the world has witnessed massive social and technological changes which should have brought about a forward moving change or transformation, however what we have seen is a backward change which has bitten so hard into the fabrics of our society and as such rather than use the changes to develop, we have consistently retrogressed.

As a nation, it is important that we all look at the beliefs these changes have brought to us either as individuals or as a group. This is because these beliefs consciously or unconsciously influence all our behavioral decisions.

Behavior as we all know is a huge determinant in the way we think, act and feel. It is time we as a people bring these beliefs up to a level of conscious awareness in order to be able to decide whether they can help move us in the direction of the change we so desire.

This is because if we are to solve the myriad of issues and challenges facing our nation, we need to realize that the only person we have any real control over to make those desired changes is ourselves.

So rather than continue to blame everyone else for all our fortunes or misfortunes, how many of us have actually considered that the change we so desire actually starts with us. The president, the chief executive, the employee, the petrol attendant, the house keeper, the driver, the teacher – yes you and I .

Using the example of one of the greatest change events that occurred in my life time, the election of the first black or is it African-American president in the history of America, change came from a careful implementation of understanding the political climate of America, which had changed over time and which the opposition failed to notice. When looking at the analysis of the Obama election win, I clearly understand how we can put change to be and that is by a better understanding of the electorate – which is now popularly called the demographic campaign.

Another example would be the working of the British parliament, where despite the fact that they engage in major politicking, the opposition is based on running a shadow government with seasoned technocrats and politicians with the right crop of advisers who will criticize policies not just because the oppositions formulated them, but based on the fact that they are providing the electorate with proposed alternatives that have been well thought through.

Before today, we all believed that when we attained a certain level of education whether it is formal or otherwise, we had acquired the desired skills to help us manage change. However it is quite obvious that the things and ways that used to work for us no longer work and they are no longer effective in getting us our desired changes we so clearly require.

However we have continually hung on to our outdated ways of doing things and we have become consciously incompetent in doing those things and expect the change we ask for. This we have done through the following;

  • “consciously competent – unconsciously competent – unconsciously incompetent – consciously incompetent”

So in order to achieve the desired change we would have to reverse the above trend in the opposite direction till we get back to days of being consciously competent. To do this we must adopt the following;

  • Start the change from me – by setting the right examples to everyone around you
  • Continuously re-orientate those around you of what is right and what is wrong
  • Develop and enforce sanctions for wrong actions irrespective of which it is (child, siblings, friend etc.)

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