Me, my perm and Wang


Change is the ‘c’ word. Words like ‘refresh’, ‘evolve’, ‘reinvent’ and ‘transform’ sound so much better. We are encouraged to create, innovate and push beyond the status quo with new ideas, ways of working and design. Just don’t call it ‘change’.

But it is change.

So why do we freak out about change so much? Granted, a lot of ordinary things can happen when change calls in. Letting go of things we once held dear, our identity, our habits, our relationships. But if you revisit your own life, say, 10 or 20 years ago, and take a close look at the way things were. You may give change a big hug and a serious high-five!

I had a perm for a long time. I had my first perm at 15 and still had one about 5 years ago. It’s gone now. I had a thing for big hair. But now I’m not so sure that putting myself through hours and hours of hairdressing torture to look like Kylie Minogue circa 1987 was such a good idea. This is good change.

Wang. I think that was some sort of computer I used in my first job? That was before Fortune Word and WordPerfect 5.1. All DOS based and horrifically boring to look at and clunky to use. We also had a printer that was so loud it had to be encased in a big glass box so people could still hear one another across the office. This too is good change.

Diversity what? Empathy what? Sustainability what? Also good change.

And finally, in the 1990's, an IT consultant told me about this new thing called e-mail. I rest my case.

So while change often means having to let go of people, places, processes and personalities, it also means saying hello to new people, places, processes and personalities. Next time you freak out about the ‘c’ word – take yourself back 10-20 years (if you can!) and have a think about what life would be like without it. I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t get in that time machine and go back to Wang for all the tea in China.

Except maybe for the perm … I’ve heard that big hair is on its way back!

Image: Ajeet Mestry on Unsplash