Change Quotes


    Be pro-choice: Choose to think and think to choose.

    Many people go through life doing the same things over and over but expecting different results.

    You are either green and growing or ripe and rotting.

    Real listening is a willingness to let the other person change you.- Alan Alda

    Managers cope with change. Leaders cause it and make the competition change. – John Kolter

    In times of change, learners shall inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists. – John Kelly

    The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order. – Alfred North Whitehead

    All things change: nothing perishes. – Ovid, 10 B.C.

    Change is inevitable … except, perhaps, from a vending machine.

    Any time there is change there is opportunity. So it is paramount that an organization get energized rather than paralyzed. – Jack Welch, CEO, General Electric

    Change is mandatory. Progress is optional.

    Unless you’re the lead dog, the view never changes. — Lewis Grizzard

    Things alter for the worse spontaneously, if they be not altered for the better designedly.- Francis Bacon

    Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.- Albert Einstein

    I put a dollar in one of those change machines. Nothing changed.- George Carlin

    Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.- Nelson Mandela

    Nothing endures but change. – Greek proverb

    Time is a dressmaker, specializing in alterations.

    We must adjust to changing times while still holding to unchanging principles. – Julia Coleman

    Change – even change meant to improve our lives – creates stress. We can get comfortable with our problems. – David Allen

    In such a chaotic and complex environment, where changes and crises occur so rapidly, how can any organization hope to create a specific set of rules governing employee behavior? Most innovative organizations are rapidly replacing rules with roles, creating a strong sense of purpose and clear understanding of goals and mission and leaving employees to their own devices, absent rigidity. – Richard W. Oliver, The Shape of Things to Come

    After you’ve done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over. – Alfred Edward Perlman

    What I can’t understand is why people are so afraid of new ideas. I’m afraid of old ones. – John Cage

    Fear, ambiguity, and loss of control during change is so powerful that it immobilizes many people and prevents their movement to even highly desired new circumstances. – Daryl Conner, Managing at the Speed of Change

    How the change is implemented is almost as important as what the change is. Implementation is an ongoing process of discovery – a mixture of science and art. – Todd D. Jick

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times … it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. – Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (opening phrases)

    Instead of constantly adapting to change, why not change to be adaptive? – Merrelyn Emery

    It should be borne in mind that there is nothing more difficult to arrange, more doubtful of success, and more dangerous to carry through than initiating changes. The innovator makes enemies of all those who prospered under the old order, and only lukewarm support is forthcoming from those who would prosper under the new. Their support is lukewarm … partly because men are generally incredulous, never really trusting new things unless they have tested them by experience. – Machiavelli

    Can a small group of people who see and respond differently to the world make a difference? Indeed, history shows it is the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

    We have to create a new organizational architecture flexible enough to adapt to change. We want an organization that can evolve, that can modify itself as technology, skills, competitors, and the entire business change. – Paul Allaire, CEO, Xerox Corporation

    When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders. – Rabindranath Tagore

    If you’re not riding the wave of change … you’ll find yourself beneath it.

    You cannot step into the same river twice. – Greek proverb

    I know that for every door that closes, another door opens. But man, those hallways can be a real challenge!

    Manage change and conflict or it will manage you.- Terry Paulson

    Being willing to change allows you to move from a point of view to a viewing point – a higher, more expansive place, from which you can see both sides. – Thomas Crum, “The Magic of Conflict”

    If you want to truly understand something, try to change it.- Kurt Lewis

    Unless we change our direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed. – Old Chinese Proverb

    Every exit is an entry somewhere else. – Tom Stoppard

    If you want things to stay as they are, things will have to change. – Giuseppe di Lamedosa

    The illiterate of the future are not those who cannot read or write. They are those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. – Alvin Toffler

    Everything is only for a day … the universe loves nothing so much as to change things. – Marcus Aurelius (2nd century Roman emperor)

    It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change.

    There is a time in the affairs of men, Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. – Shakespeare

    This, too, shall pass. – Wise man when asked by his king for a proverb that would fit any occasion

    When the sea was calm All ships alike Showed mastership in floating. – William Shakespeare

    Without the element of uncertainty, the bringing off of even the greatest business triumph would be a dull, routine, and eminently unsatisfying affair. – J. Paul Getty

    Eight Steps to Create Change:
    1. Establish a sense of urgency
    2. Create a guiding coalition
    3. Develop a vision and strategy
    4. Communicate the change vision
    5. Empower broad-based action
    6. Generate short-term wins
    7. Consolidate gains and produce more change
    8. Institutionalize new approaches in the culture
    – John P. Kotter, “Leading Change”

    We must either find a way or make one.- Hannibal

    No one ever hinted that the skills and tools that I so crafted in my youth, would become obsolete so early in my adulthood. – R. Rabideau

    A bend in the road, is not the end of the road … unless you fail to make the turn.

    Leadership is about change… The best way to get people to venture into unknown terrain is to make it desirable by taking them there in their imaginations. – Noel Tichy

    Civilization is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbor. – Toynbee

    Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed. – Southern California proverb

    We accept the verdict of the past until the need for change cries out loudly enough to force upon us a choice between the comforts of further inertia and the irksomeness of action.

    You can’t achieve anything without getting in someone’s way. You can’t be detached and effective.- Abba Eban

    After all is said and done, more is usually said than done.

    For every thousand swinging at the leaves of change, there is one hacking at the root.

    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. – Mohandas Gandhi

    One cannot manage change, one can only be ahead of it. – Peter Drucker

    The change agent needs the sensitivity of a social worker, the insights of a psychologist, the stamina of a marathon runner, the persistence of a bulldog, the self-reliance of a hermit, and the patience of a saint. And even with all those qualities, there is no guarantee of success.

    In the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, from the prison of past conditioning. Uncertainty is the fertile ground of creativity and freedom. – Deepak Chopra

    Culture is the “river of meaning” in which any change initiative must be able to swim. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.

    I am convinced that if the rate of change inside an organization is less than the rate of change outside, the end is in sight. – Jack Welch, CEO of GE

    The only completely consistent people are dead. – Aldous Huxley

    So you think that you are impervious to change?
    – 98% of all the atoms in your body are replaced every year
    – your skeleton undergoes replacement every 3 months
    – your skin, every 30 days
    – your stomach lining, every 4 days
    – stomach cells in contact with food, every 5 minutes

    To change a situation, we first have to change ourselves. To change ourselves effectively, we have to first change our perceptions.

    You can’t get to renewal through any corridor but Chaos.

    People in any organization will tend to treat new concepts and ideas as follows:
    5% will accept immediately
    25% will lean towards acceptance
    60% will wait and see; if seems okay, then will accept
    10% will never accept

    To meet the demands of the fast-changing competitive scene, we must simply learn to love change as much as we have hated it in the past.
    – Tom Peters

    I was in the drug store the other day trying to get a cold medication… Not easy. There’s an entire wall of products you need. You stand there going, “Well, this one is quick acting but this is long lasting… Which is more important, the present or the future?” – Jerry Seinfeld

    We make ourselves up as we go. – Kate Green

    We must change the way we change.

    Caterpillar to Butterfly: “How do you become a butterfly?”
    Butterfly: “You have to be willing to die.”
    Caterpillar: “Die?”
    Butterfly: “Well, it feels like you’re dying. But it really turns out to be a transformation to something better.”

    When one door closes, another opens: but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us. – Source unknown

    Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. – John F. Kennedy

    If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. – Ed Foreman

    Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof. – William Bridges

    It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions. – William Bridges

    If you have always done it that way, it’s probably wrong. – Charles Kettering

    It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear…It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to. – Marilyn Ferguson

    Change does not take time — it takes commitment. – Thomas Crum

    By the time you understand some new change, the only thing you can be sure of is — you’re wrong. – C.W. Metcalf

    You cannot act or be treated in ways that are different from those you are used to — even if those ways are better — without becoming increasingly uncomfortable. – Tom Rusk M.D.

    People don’t resist change, they resist being changed. – Peter Scholtes

    Technology does not drive change — it enables change.

    Two Basic Rules of Life:
    1. Change is Inevitable
    2. Everyone Resists Change.

    Remember this: When you are through changing … You’re through.

    In today’s world there are two kinds of companies … the quick and the dead.

    An idea is worth nothing if it has no champion.

    Of all earthly creatures, humans alone have the power to choose.

    Writing crystalizes thought and thought produces action. – Paul Meyer

    You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em know when to walk away, know when to run. – Kenny Rogers (song lyrics)

    The fear of the unknown is greater than the misery of the known.

    You have to be fast on your feet and adaptive or else a strategy is useless. – Lou Gerstner, Jr.

    Commitment to behavioral change:
    Awareness > Understanding > Concern > Dissatisfaction > Change
    It is a “healthy dissatisfaction” that can lead to a commitment to behavioral change. (I CAN and WILL do something about it.)

    Chaos breeds life; Order creates habit. – Henry Adams

    The only people who like change are babies with dirty diapers.

    In an earthquake, the most dangerous place to be is in a tall building that is not flexible. Yet, one of the safest places is a tall building that has been stressed for earthquakes – – in other words, one that has a deep foundation and is flexible. So, too, over the coming years, large organizations that remain rigid will crumble and fall, while those that succeed in adding flexibility, teamwork and creavity to their cultures will thrive.

    Imagine airline travel back in the 1930s. The following instructions are from one of the first manuals for flight attendants:
    1. Keep the clock and altimeter wound up.
    2. Carry a railroad timetable in case the plane is grounded.
    3. Warn the passengers against throwing their cigars and cigarettes out the windows.
    4. Keep an eye on passengers when they go to the lavatory to be sure they don’t mistakenly go out
    the emergency exit.

    Unless the reformer can invent something which substitutes attractive virtues for attractive vices, he will fail. – Walter Lippman

    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. – William Jennings Bryan

    Change as crisis: The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this gap between the two a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.

    Imagine a baseball thrown thru the air. A high speed camera takes pictures of it showing very great detail – names, laces, etc. Someone shows you a picture – can you tell in what direction it is travelling? or even if it is moving? NO. You would have to know where it was thrown FROM to know what direction it is going. In times of high change, it’s good to know a little bit about the PAST to understand the present “freeze frame” of the NOW and project to some degree of accuracy where we are GOING (The Future).

    Change tends to be viewed as a threat to our control.

    In times of rapid change, experience could be your worst enemy. – J.P. Getty

    Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler. – Albert Einstein

    It is far more important that one’s life should be perceived than it should be transformed; for no sooner has it been perceived, than it transforms itself of its own accord.

    I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor. – Henry David Thoreau

    Illness strikes men when they are exposed to change. – Greek proverb

    People who wait for changes to occur on the outside before they commit to making changes on the inside will never make any changes at all.

    One’s philosophy is not best exressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. – Eleanor Roosevelt

    He that lacks the time to mourn, lacks time to mend.

    To be scared is sensible, to be comfortable is suicidal.

    Live your live with conscious choice rather than through unconscious programming. The observing consciousness is the vantage point from which we see our life from an objective point of view. Anytime you are experiencing a situation that doesn’t seem to be working for you, exercise the observing consciousness:

    Exercising the Observing Consciousness:
    1. Observe your emotions; what am I feeling?
    2. Observe your thoughts; what are the thoughts, judgements, attitudes or perspectives I have that are causing these emotions?
    3. Look at your only options:
    – change the situation
    – change your thinking about the situation
    – leave the situation
    – stay stuck

    To see your drama clearly is to be liberated from it. – Ken Keyes, Jr.

    The fish only knows that it lives in the water, after it is already on the river bank. Without our awareness of another world out there, it would never occur to us to change.

    Any change or reform you make is going to have consequence you don’t like. – Mo Udall

    Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies. – Robert Kennedy

    In a world where the outrageous has become the norm, stable organizations make no sense.

    To make a change often takes a lot of initial energy and effort. This is not unlike a rocket that expends most of its energy in the first few miles even though its destination may be hundreds of thousands of miles away.

    l. BUILDING THE AGENDA: Leaders and followers decide to take on a significant issue after debating the pros and cons of attempting to do something about the issue.
    2. ASSESSING THE ISSUE: Leaders and followers gather and analyze information and reach conclusions about the direction they intend to take concerning the issue.
    3. PLANNING THE CHANGE: Leadership and followers develop an outline of the proposed change. The change reflects the mutual purposes of the leaders and followers.
    4. GAINING SUPPORT: Leaders and followers influence others in the organization to support the change. People in the organization influence each other on the specifics of the proposed change.
    5. MAKING THE CHANGE: Organizational policy makers decide on the proposed change. If the decision is positive, the staff members develop the strategies to institute the change in the organization. If the decision is negative, the leaders and followers go back to square one.
    – “Leadership for the Twenty-First Century” – Joseph Rost

    Some changes are hard to accept. In 1829 Martin Van Buren, then the governor of New York, wrote this to the President. “The canal system of this country is being threatened by the spread of a new form of transportation known as “railroads.” … As you may well know, railroad carriages are pulled at the enormous speed of 15 miles per hour by engines, which, in addition to endangering like and limb of passengers, roar and snort their way through the countryside. The Almighty certainly never intended that people should travel at such breakneck speed.”

    Every beginning is a consequence. Every beginning ends something.

    Some men look at things the way they are and ask why? I dream of things that are not and ask why not? – Robert Kennedy

    Every time we’ve moved ahead in IBM, it was because someone was willing to take a chance, put his head on the block, and try something new. – Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

    Constant change is here to stay.

    The rewards in life go to those who are willing to give up the past.

    You must give up the way it is…to have it the way you want it.

    America has run the world for at least the past 50 years, and when you’re at the top that long, you forget what it’s like in the valley. There are 5+ billion people out there now who are willing to study harder, work harder for less money and be more industrious than we are. And we’re linked to them by technology. With telecommunicating, you can have your bookkeeping done in Madra, India, for less than it costs here. Today technology can replace whole new industries, so you have to stay flexible. To survive today, you have to be able to walk on quicksand and dance with electrons.- Frank Ogden

    There may be nothing sadder than people who spend their lives talking about what might have been.

    There is no growth without discontent.

    When it becomes more difficult to suffer than change – THEN you will change.

    If you want to make an enemy, try to change someone.

    I never worry about action, but only about inaction. – Winston Churchill

    When you come to a fork in the road, take it. – Yogi Berra

    You miss 100% of the shots you never take. – Wayne Gretzky

    “Confusion” is a word we have invented for an order which is not yet understood. – Henry Miller

    Its always easier to ride the horse in the direction that it’s going.

    The more investment you have in your beliefs, the harder it is to change them.

    Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change others. – Jacob M. Braude

    Born often under another sky, placed in the middle of an always moving scene, himself driven by the irresistible torrent which draws all about him, the American has no time to tie himself to anything, he grows accustomed only to change, and ends by regarding it as the natural state of man. He feels the need of it, more he loves it; for the instability; instead of meaning disaster to him, seems to give birth only to miracles all about him. – Alexis de Tocqueville; “Democracy in America”, 1835

    In times of storm, the shallowness of the root structure is revealed.

    We ain’t what we want to be,
    And we ain’t what we gonna be,
    But we ain’t what we wuz.
    – Carolina mountain proverb

    The world hates change yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. – Charles Kettering

    PLANNING VS REACTING: How organized are you? Could your life be called a “ballet” or is it a “hockey game” (or a “pin-ball machine”)? However, even in a hockey game, good hockey players learn to skate to where the puck WILL BE.

    Changes start occuring when budgets are cut.

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