Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Perspective on Change

In my nearly 3 year career with the NWS, I have seen a lot of changes, and the writing on the wall says more changes are coming. Some of the changes have been great, in my opinion, and some I am hesitant to get completely on-board with. Others seem to have that 'what could possibly go well with that' factor. Some seem to have the right heart, but not the best implementation. Meanwhile, others are a breath of fresh air after being discussed for months or even years. I recently wrote about Changes in the Field of Meteorology.

But, I'm not here to argue the good, bad, or the ugly of any change. Change is inevitable. What I believe is important is how we respond to change. Some change is worth fighting, some isn't. Think through it, discuss with others, but decide which battles to pick. And, no, you probably shouldn't pick them all. If a change you disagree with doesn't seem worth fighting, then let it go. If it helps, sing "Let it Go" from the movie "Frozen". If it is worth fighting against, do it diplomatically and always with an open mind. Not all change is good. Old doesn't always equal bad anymore than new always equals better. Some proposed changes are actually bad. Everyone agreeing with a change doesn't make it good. Stand up for what you believe is important, but know when to back down.

Most importantly, though, I believe we have to keep a good attitude. Change, if not handled well, can lead to resentment, grumpiness, negativity, or downright anger and frustration. I have dealt with every single one of these and I know it is easier said than done at times. I have watched negativity eat away at people (their passions, creativity, and zeal) and it breaks my heart. My plea to myself and to anyone reading this, for the sake of the Meteorology community, the people we serve, and our general well-being, be wary of falling victim to a negative mindset.

This community is full of very talented, highly-motivated, and super-creative people. But, we are also full of varying ideology and methodology. Change is born from these varying viewpoints and we won't always agree. My hope is that we can work together to find the best solutions to the various challenges we face. But, since we're not perfect, bad ideas will sometimes slip through the cracks in the form of a less-than-ideal change.

As Meteorologists, we have unique opportunities to serve people in ways that others only dream of. If a change is good, embrace it. If it isn't, find ways to deal with it or help make it better. Just don't let it steal your joy and passion. Stay motivated, my friends...


  1. I like this part: "Old doesn't always equal bad anymore than new always equals better. Some proposed changes are actually bad. Everyone agreeing with a change doesn't make it good." It addresses far beyond the specific changes you're alluding to...I know often we try to judge the rightness of an idea by the number of people supporting it, and that can lead us so far off. Thanks for sharing your insight!

    1. Also, we have to be careful not to assume that an idea of ours is bad simply because it doesn't have a lot of support. Personally, I often struggle with the need for my ideas to be validated (through other's approval). Granted, I also have had some bad ideas and a lack of support can be a healthy nudge that an idea isn't great. But, it's important to remember that a lack of support doesn't always equal a bad idea.