Keeper of memoriesI am, it has to be said, somewhat intolerant of those who take a ‘we’ve always done it that way’ approach to new ideas or changes. And, I admit, impatient when, ‘we tried that, and it didn’t work’ is used as a response.

That said, I am a firm believer that people are not as against change as many would have it. The excuse of ‘they don’t like change’, while it is true in certain circumstances, is used far too much as a reason for doing nothing.

Take the photo on this blog – a notice by a church PA system. Probably long ago, in the mists of time, someone set the volume controls for the microphones and word was passed down never to change them. However, one has to change the settings to adopt to different voices because not everyone’s voice is the same – and how important it is that all voices are heard.

In a meeting I was at a few weeks ago, someone said that they had become the ‘keeper of memories’. They acknowledged that such a role, being the person who could explain why ‘we’ve always done it that way’, was one that could be seen as being against change.

However, they were not. They were the one who had the knowledge of why particular things were done in a particular way – and what the reasoning was at the time around those decisions or why the practice was adopted. They could provide the context for them which, of course, like many situations would have been influenced by circumstances and the people involved at the time – and that context, will itself, change.

Organisational change, such as in a workplace, social club or church, is rarely handled well. Often seen to be ‘imposed’ and the reasons poorly communicated, it is common (and natural) for those on the receiving end to be anxious, sceptical and antagonistic. Negative opinion comes to the fore and some find themselves hurt or feeling that their voice has not been heard.

Personal change, such as ill health, bereavement and even positive things such as a new relationship, can also be difficult. They too will have an impact and bring back memories.

I’ve written at length about change in this blog – and even a whole book on the subject. Like you, I’ve experienced a lot of change – some good, some more difficult. I imagine you too have learnt from your own times of change – those you have had imposed on you, those you have instigated and the ones which were unexpected.

You are a keeper of memories of those times. There will be a context to them and they may have involved others or a particular set of circumstances. There may have been different voices trying to make themselves heard.

Keeping those memories may help with current times of change – but not all the settings have to be the same.



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