Change constantly presents us with new and exciting challenges. Many of these challenges require a high degree of people responsiveness, a push for product and service innovation and readiness for a rapid and effective shifting of resources with the aim of staying ahead of changing circumstances. The chapter begins by describing how change is often forced on an organization by a variety of external and internal forces affecting the organization itself. The nature of change is then explored, with an emphasis on change being understood as an ongoing ‘condition’, rather than an isolated event. The chapter also reviews the issues of the type and pace of change. These aspects of change are essential to planning and evaluating the change initiative to be pursued. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is reported to have said: ‘You cannot step into the same river twice.’ To which his student is reported to have responded: ‘Not even once, since there is no same river.’ In making his observation, the ancient (pre-Socratic) philosopher was emphasizing that change is an ongoing process, and his student’s response underlined this notion by emphasizing ‘changing’, rather than mere ‘change’.
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