Change vs Difference. Is there a distinction?

difference between change differenceBeen thinking a lot recently about how organizations drive change, transform and move towards a digital first strategy rather than the old industrial models that still exist. Which made me think is there a distinction of change vs difference?

It’s coupled with the impact of talent and the competitive advantage people in and around an organization will bring.

We are scaring people too much. Putting huge egos aside, we get the words change and improvement mixed up too readily when attempting to move our organizations forward, or indeed ourselves. 

It’s interesting, you never say I’m going to change my memory, just I’m going to improve it.

Change is not always improvement. It can be both progressive and regressive, in the worst cases it can be both at the same time. Improvement, however, is always progressive.

Some leaders are frightening the living day lights out of people by mis understanding which to apply under certain circumstances. Change is imposed whilst improvement is self directed. 

That sentence in any business strategy transforms the approach. Change is rarer, it occurs when something radical needs to happen and old ways are defunct. Change is transformational, improvement incremental.


“Change is imposed whilst improvement is self directed. “

Change is a sudden movement, often in a left field direction, it’s a revolution. Improvement is a steady walk in a similar direction that you were taking, it’s an evolution. 

Essentially, if you’re re-working structure, processes, products then it’s change. If you’re transforming a process, then it’s likely to be improvement. Ones more of an aggressive strategy than the other, and of course, all too often required.

There is too much change going on, down to a lack of foresight. It has a tendency to create carnage not just on inner workings of business but in the minds of the people it affects especially if it’s applied in the wrong places.

 If you’re ahead of the game, you are leaning into the future and you are future proofing yourself and that’s embedded in your strategy, there is less need for risky change and more need for continuous improvement. A far calmer, enlightened approach.

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