Optimists learn about change

It is undeniable that Covid-19 has prompted  a number of changes, both in everyone’s private lives and in the corporate world. That was the springboard for remarks St. Andrews Optimists heard from Troy Simpson, VP, Member Services for Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative.

Rather than describing the nuts and bolts of the operation of MCEC, Simpson spoke of more universal truths that are based on his corporate experience, which are universally applicable. While Covid has been the most current catalyst, change has been inevitable for as long as organizations have existed. So Simpson posed a few key questions about facing change, such as: (1) What if we don’t? (2) If we do embrace it, is it necessary to jettison some old practices, and if so, what practices would go by the wayside? (3) How do we accomplish change while keeping the peace within the organization? and finally (4) What are the bedrock principles that are non-negotiable and must continue?

Regarding keeping the peace, Simpson said that within organizations, there can be a tendency to sidestep uncomfortable truths. The current phrase is “kicking the can down the road,” rather than confronting change. So he described resisting change as pushing back against the inevitable. His hope is to blend what is newly-necessary with a heritage that must be valued. When systems and procedures have been in place for a long period of time, it can be  difficult to realize those realities themselves had once been the product of change.

In the group photo are Club President Alan Taylor, Simpson, and speaker host Kerry Powers, who presented the speaker with a copy of the Optimist Creed.