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Change v Changing - what's the difference?

You might notice in much of our writing and speaking at Timbs and Co, we refer to 'changing' rather than 'change' or 'change management'.

There' a few reasons for that, and our clients and partners are often curious to find out why.

What better reason could there be for an article!

So what is the difference and why do we draw a distinction between change and changing?

Firstly, to talk about 'change' as if it's a finite thing with a clear beginning and end, we feel, is failing to understand that people, organisations and our world are shifting and changing always. And should and must continue changing. The idea of 'freezing' or 'pausing', or reaching an end point of change is frankly naïve in todays world.

No matter what you are working on, or who you are working with, you come to those people and that place as they are changing. Perhaps you are asking for more changing to take place, but -make no mistake - there is always changing already underway.

Secondly, one of the key areas we work is is learning to support changing. Notice that when we talk about learning it is the verb not the noun that we use (well technically a present participle as part of the continuous form of the verb but let's not get too grammatically focused!). If I said to you "I'm here to manage the learn" it would be ridiculous, and yet that's exactly how we express our apparent management of 'change'.

We treat learning as it should be treated - a continuous and evolving human effort, not a one off event. A verb that we do, not a noun that is. Yet change doesn't get that same treatment despite being a deeply human endeavour.

And I am not here to throw stones. I've spent years calling myself a 'Changie" and still do from time to time! It's a tough habit to break after years of talking about my practice in a certain way.

But after really thinking about what it means and how it represents what I do, I do believe, and we at Timbs and Co are committed to, showing up in a different way and going beyond traditional Change Management.

Which means challenging these notions of finite 'Change' and our language about what we do everyday.

What do you think about the notion of Changing v Change? Should we adjust our services even further an call it Changing Design or are we getting into the realm of pedant?

Leave your comments below and share your view!

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