Some Things Change, Some Things Stay The Same

In the words of French journalist and novelist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr:

“plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

Which translates to “The more things change, the more they stay the same”.

We often avoid change because it can be unsettling, a journey to the unknown and into uncertainty. Sometimes we fear what change might bring, and feel safer in the “known” certainty of continuing in the same way we have been.
If we think about it, this thinking is based on the assumption that not changing anything will lead to a known and certain outcome.

In business, if we carry on in exactly the same way we did in the past, can we seriously expect exactly the same result in the future?

Economists have found the Latin expression “Ceteris Parabis” useful when trying to explore the effect of change. It means “all other things remaining the same.”

Essentially, if all other things stayed the same, and we carry on in our business in the same way, then perhaps we can expect the same result in our business in the future.

But this thinking is fundamentally flawed – because in the real world, ALL other things do NOT remain the same. (Perhaps that explains why economists sometimes get it wrong!)

If you compare your business this year with your business last year – not only has the business probably changed, but the external environment within which your business operates has also changed.

Think about it. Your team, your management, your equipment, processes, customers, pricing, costs (the lists goes on) – are they all the same?

Let alone the changes that have occurred in technology, the environment, in government and with your competitors (again, the list goes on) that will undoubtedly have an effect on your business.

Can change therefore be avoided? Is choosing not to change the most certain course of action?

By now I think you will agree with me that change is inevitable – perhaps change is indeed as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus stated “the only constant.”

So how do we change? The first step in the process of change is to assess and understand your situation.

When was the last time you stopped what you were doing to have a good look at your business and how it interacts with the world around it? Is this something you do on a regular basis?

If you haven’t done it in a while, stop now and make the time out to do it. There are plenty of resources and tools out there to help you.

Kristian Reiss
Small Fish Business Coaching Perth



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