Learn to love change and embrace the chaos

Change ought to be the creative’s friend, but we can be just as resistant to it as any other sector. Leadership Coach Tanya Livesey has some advice on how to embrace the chaos and conquer the fear it brings

Change is hard. Instability, volatility, fear of losing our roles, our relevance, our identities, our sense of control, it’s bewildering and disorientating – like being on a rollercoaster that we didn’t ask to ride. We resist change, not just individually but collectively: consider how the creative industry is only just recovering from the decade that it stuck its fingers in its collective ears and pretended that the digital revolution wasn’t happening. And it’s not just major change that we avoid, you’ve only got to watch how people always choose the same seats in meetings to know that we’re fundamentally creatures of habit. ‘Better the devil you know…’ as the saying goes.

And yet change is happening constantly: new tech, processes and colleagues, restructures and resignations, winning and losing business, leadership upheaval, office moves – and that’s just the stuff that’s happening daily in our workplaces, let alone the stunning pace of change that’s happening in the industry and wider world right now. No wonder it can leave you feeling like Alice, with the unnerving sensation of having the rug pulled from under your feet.

And yet, creativity comes from divergent thinking and novel connections. It stands its best chance when we expose ourselves to new stimulus, ideas and thinking. Change, therefore, literally creates more opportunities in the great lottery of creativity. It’s fundamental to living a creative life and provides the raw materials for innovation and originality. So why do we often fear it so much?