Change Fitness and Change Readiness: what’s the difference?

By: Adam G Fleming in Change, 3 years ago

Artificial Intelligence is on the horizon, and the job market as we know it is about to undergo the most radical change since the Industrial Revolution. Something will be different about how you do what you do.

I had a bleacher conversation last week with a veterinarian whose son plays basketball with my son. He talked about how everything is changing for vets, too. Farmers can look up all sorts of information for which they used to need to consult a vet. The industry’s practitioner’s value-add deliverable is changing fast. My doctor friend says of his practice that he “thinks we’ll be okay.” Frankly, he doesn’t sound super sure. I haven’t run any tests to judge whether they will or not (do they have change fitness? I don’t know) but my takeaway from the conversation is that no profession is exempt from the A.I. Revolution.

This should scare the living S#!& out of you, unless you’re change-fit. What is change fitness? How can you know if you have it or not?

The best way to think about change fitness is to think of the change process as a marathon. Imagine you’re a race organizer, making invitations to top marathoners to come run your race, hoping to make the finishing times competitive at an international level, so that more people will come run next year. You let some great marathoners know about it, but many decline because the Boston Marathon is the day before your race. They’re race “Fit” but they know they won’t be race “ready”. If they do show up, you can be sure they’ve got enough fitness to complete a marathon, but they may be so exhausted from the previous day that they might not even finish.

On the other hand, imagine someone quite different approaching the starting line. This person has a brand new pair of jogging shoes, the latest designer running shorts and shirt, sunglasses, etc. They look ready. But when you end up in a conversation and find that this person’s longest training run was only a mile. Today, they will run 26 miles. They’re still “ready” for the race, but you’d doubt their fitness. You might not turn them away, anyone deserves a shot, but…

This is a metaphor for Change Fitness. Change fitness is defined as a psychological ability to handle all the difficulties when you’ve decided to change something and not quit or give up.

As I’ve been training to become a certified Professional Change Fitness Practitioner, I’ve begun to understand what’s happening when coaches say “the guy wasn’t coach-able.” Often (perhaps not always) I suspect that their client didn’t have much change fitness. They sounded ready in their coaching appointment to tackle hard action steps, but they quickly fatigued, and they come back to the next meeting with little progress.

Change fitness training is a needed tool in today’s world. By definition, less than half the population is above the 50th percentile — it has proven that even among professional coaches, the change fitness average is just that — right at the 50th percentile. This is such a new idea, it’s unlikely you’d even know if you are change fit or not. Don’t assume that you have “change fitness”. But there’s hope. There is a test that can scientifically determine what your fitness level is, and we can work together with to improve it. Change fitness, a psychological resource, can be learned. You can be trained and you can grow.

Feel free to hit me up for a short, no-obligation chat if you’re curious to hear more. For ICF coaches, there’s now a 24 CEU course that’s ICF approved (21 hours are core competency), so you can work at this AND complete professional requirements at the same time.

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