Last week, I sat down and watched one of my all time classic flicks, Signs. This 2002 sci-fi thriller revolved around aliens invading Earth. Producer Frank Marshall explained, “It’s really about human emotions set in motion by a supernatural event.” For me, it was the perfect symbol of how people deal with unexpected change.
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the plot begins. Local priest Reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) grieves over the horrific death of his wife. After the death, Hess denounces his faith and vocation. He lives with his two children and his brother Merrill, a former minor league baseball player. Hess finds a crop circle in his corn fields.
In fact, the crop circles appear all over the world. As the story progresses, the family realizes the crop circles are part of other signs that extraterrestrials are here on Earth. The plot continues to introduce change at a rapid and unpredictable pace. As you would expect, Hess and his family are overwhelmed with so many changes. Today, organizations are no less perplexed by today’s changes in the market. Change is imminent but how we deal with the shift is an uncertainty. Renowned management guru Dr. Tom Peters argues, “Nothing is predictable…The fact is that no firm can take anything in its market for granted.” All the money in the world cannot stop the forces of change.
Oil giant BP attempts to correct a major accident that government officials are calling the largest oil spill in history involving over 19,000 barrels of crude oil. The political ramifications are large as President Obama tries not to let this incident become his Katrina. Yet, rapid change can make even Superpowers look foolish. Corporations are no exception. BP executives are probably worried about their reputation (which is really about the $$$$$). Will the company become another Exxon?
Furthermore, change exists in a fluid state from easy to impossible to solve for managers. It happens in a series of irregular waves. In fact, change is a wild variable that can totally disrupt the order of things in organizations. There are two major types of change for our discussion, incremental and discontinuous. Incremental change occurs in small increments over time where organizations can prepare for it. You can forecast the future with some confidence.
Dr. Daryl D. Green is the Vice President of Marketing at AGSM Consulting, LLC, where he provides strategic planning, marketing and product development to emerging and existing businesses. In 2016, Dr. Green retired from the Department of Energy, where he had been employed for over 27 years in the DOE’s Environmental Management Program. He is a much sought-after speaker and award-winning author of several textbooks and reference books, including Job Strategies for the 21st Century. Dr. Green has a national digital marketing certification and is also a respected researcher in his field of study, which focuses on culture, decision-making, leadership, management and marketing.
Dr. Green received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University, an M.A. in Organizational Management from Tusculum College, and a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University. He is currently a respected university professor at Oklahoma Baptist University, who has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine and the Associated Press.