Thursday, August 11, 2005

Travelling, houses and Change

In this weeks blog: business travel, selling and buying houses and insights into change. So on with the show...

No blog entry for a little while because I’ve been travelling - business travelling, not in business class you understand (although thank you British Airways for the upgrades to Economy+) but travelling for business. Now I don’t want to turn into one of those people who is always talking about frequent flyer miles, and comparing airports - heaven forbid I start to sound like Tyler Brule (FT columnist and Wallpaper editor) but I thought I would explain the absence of a blog.

Actually, one of the nice things about flying (or other travelling) is that you do get some time to catch up on reading and even writing - albeit at the expense of sleep. So, this is the first blog entry I’ve ever written while sitting in the back of an Airbus.

Unfortunately this travelling has all happened at a bad time. I’ve been saying for years that I would like to do a little bit more business travel but I expected the fun would ware off very quickly. Well, I’ve been proved right, this is my fourth flight in 8 days (including two across the Atlantic) and there are another three in the next two days. The fun has gone very quickly.

Its come at a bad time for another reason too. We’re in the process of trying to move house. Suddenly, the time I should be spending looking at houses and discussing financial options has gone. Which all adds to the stress of selling my flat and finding a house.

Selling my flat is a pretty sad emotional process. I’ve had it over 8 years now and my girlfriend has been living there with me for nearly 2 years. I don’t want to leave. I love the place, I’ve made it my own, made it my home. She’s pretty attached to the place too.

Knowing we needed somewhere bigger was part of the story. Knowing our future life together demanded somewhere else was part too. But trying to just give up something we both love was hard.

Then we started to look at other places. And as it happened we liked the first place we saw. I think we’ll buy it but don’t count your chickens yet. Now we’ve seen a few places, and we’ve talked about how we would make them our attitude has changed.

Selling my place is still sad, and its still a wrench, but now we have a future. We have something to look forward to. Something to pull us.

So here is the insight into change - whether it be personal or corporate...

Change mean giving things up. This is hard, if you like something, if you are familiar with something it is hard to imagine life without it, it is hard to imagine a new life. And of course, there is a whole load of uncertainty - what does the future hold? You know what is what before the change, what will it be like afterward? Is this as good as it gets? Is everything else inferior?

But, when you have a future to look forward to, when some of the uncertainty is removed, when you can start to imagine a better life, well, everything becomes easier.

Its not enough to ask people to give something up, you need to offer them a better future. That is my insight for the week.

How do you offer someone a better future? Well, you can start by telling stories. More on that next time.