Change and personalities

Bill Cosby tells this joke:

I said to a guy, “Tell me, what is it about cocaine that makes it so wonderful,” and he said, “Because it intensifies your personality.” I said, “Yes, but what if you’re an a**hole?”

Sometimes I wonder if the same can be said of change. This past week they announced changes where I work. Our group is being moved under another manager. This was news to us, and there wasn’t much information to be had on the subject. Later in the week our boss’ boss (now the boss of our boss’ new boss) called a meeting with us to explain what was happening. We went in hoping to gain some clarity on our future situation.

We didn’t get much. We found out the reasons behind the change and the high level objective we’re supposed to address through the change, but not much in the way of details. But we did get, I felt, was a strong vote of confidence from our bosses that our group is good at what we do, which is part of the reason for the change. They want to leverage us on another important effort.

Since the meeting it’s been interesting to see the differences in reaction from the members of our team. At least one of our team has gone into paranoid mode. To him this is a sure sign that we’re all going to be shuffled off to sundry parts of the company (if we’re lucky) and the system we’ve been developing will be shut down.

Most of us are taking everything we’ve been told at face value and are content to wait for more information. The change was fairly sudden, so it’s not likely our new boss even has a plan in place yet for what he wants to see happen. But even among this group there are subtle differences in reaction.

One of us is just pushing on, business as usual, and not terribly concerned. I and another of us are not concerned, but nevertheless want to know what the others are making of it all. In the end we’ve reached the same conclusion as everyone else, but we had to have our moment to talk it all over first (we’re analysts, so this shouldn’t be any big surprise).

I’ve been through this before numerous times. Actually, I’m not sure how anyone could work for any length of time and not experience this at least once. Change is a given in most situations, and everyone deals with it in their own way. I’ve been through it enough times that I’ve become rather casual about it–especially since I haven’t been with this particular company long enough to be all that emotionally invested in anything.

My main two questions are “Will I still have a job” (which appears to be a yes), and “Will my job be something I’ll be able to succeed in”. Everything else is negotiable. I’m curious as to the forthcoming details, but beyond that I’m not planning to devote many mental cycles to it. Worrying does very little good.