Embrace change with a positive attitude

  • Published
  • By Maj. Kevin Payne
  • 435th Communications Squadron
We’ve all heard the saying, “The only thing constant is change.”

Despite the fact that change is always occurring around us, some people don’t like change and often resist it as much as possible.

Resistance can easily evolve into negative behavior that affects performance. Even worse, negative behavior can become contagious and spread through a unit, affecting co-workers.

Adapting to change is essential for a unit to maintain high morale and to effectively accomplish the mission.

When I entered the Air Force in 1992 after the Cold War ended, a massive military manpower reduction was under way and large reorganizations were taking place. Thirteen years later, we easily can see that those changes to our force structure were necessary.

For example, integrating the Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command into the Air Combat Command was a smart move to better integrate combat operations. During that transition, however, there were many skeptics and a lot of uncertainty.

Unfortunately, it is hard to always embrace organizational change while it is occurring because most of us don’t want to modify our work environment.

But, change happens. The Air Force must change the way it organizes, trains and equips its Airmen in order to adapt to changing threats, political climate and technology. Unit reorganizations, force shaping and base closures may appear negative at first but, given time, the benefits shine through.

We must not only adapt quickly when a change occurs but also learn to see it coming. This is why companies that foresee the changing economic market and respond to it succeed, whereas companies that refuse to change ultimately fail.

The Air Force and major commands will continue to reorganize in order to better accomplish the mission. We need to look at the overall benefits that the change brings and do our part to ensure its implementation occurs as seamlessly as possible.

Embrace change with a positive attitude. Working together as a cohesive team will ensure our continued success as the world leader in air and space power.