E-News - I Sure Didn’t See This Coming!

I Sure Didn’t See This Coming!

7-15 At nine thirty p.m., at the end of a long Thursday, I fell fast asleep. To my surprise, though, I was awakened abruptly at one thirty a.m., thanks to excruciating pain in my stomach – a nasty little wakeup call I did not need nor expect. I tried for several hours to relieve the pain in every way I could think of, until my wise wife finally talked me into rushing me to the emergency room. After a few tests, the doctors determined that a gallstone was the culprit. It had tried to pass but had managed to get lodged in a duct, causing acute and very painful pancreatitis. I hadn’t been in a hospital since I was a kid, when I had a tonsillectomy, so I really didn’t know what to expect. I just wanted was the pain to go away. They asked me to rate my pain from one to ten, but even for someone who has a high pain tolerance, I had no shame in blurting out, “TEN!” The next thing they asked was a very odd question: “Where would you like it to be?” I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to answer. Uh…nine? No. More like zero, Doc! I thought, and that was what I told them. They injected me with morphine, and while I felt some effects immediately, it wasn’t exactly the relief I hoped for. Instead of the pain in my middle going away, I was slapped with a major head rush and a pounding headache, and it did nothing for my abdomen. They tried another painkiller, a strong pharmaceutical cocktail called Dilaudid, and that did it, but it also brought about an out-of-body experience; that old song “Comfortably Numb” came to mind. Although the medicine helped to stifle the pain, I had no idea how long it would take me to purge it from my system later. Long story short, I ended up having emergency gallbladder surgery a few weeks later, and although it is a relatively minor medical procedure compared to what some people must go through, it slowed me down for a few weeks. Basically, I was forced to change how I operated, how long I stayed at the office, and what I ate. Some who know me thought it was good that my little world was slowed down by that pesky little stone, but that’s a whole other subject, ammo for another article later. According to my mentor, Dave Sullivan, there are four kinds of change: Forced Change
  • Driven by events outside our control
  • Most disruptive to business
  • Causes unintentional redesign of business
Impact of Forced Change: Requires a shift in how we operate Cosmetic Change
  • Superficial
  • No useful purpose
  • No real benefit to business over time
Impact of Cosmetic Change: Annoys everyone Incremental Change
  • Small improvements to current business
  • Usually adds rather than eliminates
  • Less likely to require significant capital
Impact of Incremental Change: Adds some business functionality Strategic Change
  • Anticipates future marketplace reality
  • Allows us to think and plan – before we act
  • Gradual vs. forced redesign of business
Impact of Strategic Change: Improves control in any environment For me, a change was definitely forced, completely outside my control, but when it comes to change, this is definitely not always the case. While forced change often jumps into our pathway unexpected when we are least ready for it, there are some changes we can avoid, like useless and superficial cosmetic change that do us little good. Change can be good, however, and we shouldn’t be afraid of it. It is often for the better, so it is a good idea to employ healthy change, such as incremental and strategic changes, when they will result in improvements. Embrace positive changes, avoid superficial and useless ones, and expect the unexpected! Carry On! Sincerely, gregmcafee-sig2 Greg McAfee HVAC Business Consultant