The Only Thing Constant is Change

Strategies for Change is Moving

Everything changes! After 13 years in NYC, Strategies for Change (and her owner!) are moving to Sea Cliff, Long Island, 25 miles east of NYC. Although it was tough to give up my 212 number, I am blessed to have ended up with the best of both worlds—access to NYC and my current clients, and an office on a cliff overlooking Long Island sound.

Long-Island-SoundWorking with a view of trees, water and sky has been a vision of mine for many years. The move has caused me to pause to reflect on the courage it takes to declare and evolve a vision of change for my clients, my business and myself. Most change involves risk, imagination, faith and most importantly action. In the words of Audre Lorde: “When I dare to be powerful—to use my strength in the service of my vision—then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”

About 14 years ago I sat at lunch with a colleague and described my vision for Strategies for Change. What I hoped to come of the meeting was coaching and advice. What I got instead was a very discouraging conversation about the difficulty if not impossibility of what I wanted to do. I could see that my exit from this job and my vision of what was next had to be clear and strong. If I believed that external circumstances dictated my world and I let fear determine my course, I would end up where she was—discouraging the next person. Fortunately I went ahead and took the leap. I created Strategies for Change and evolved it over the years in much the same way I ask my clients to do with their own organizations.

It is with great excitement and big visions that Strategies for Change goes into its 13th year! Peter Senge asserts that when there is a gap between our vision and current reality, this creates a natural tension which can be resolved in one of two ways: “By raising current reality toward the vision, or by lowering the vision toward current reality.” Strategies for Change is all about raising our current reality. Even if current circumstances are difficult, now is not the time to let go of lofty visions, but rather to pursue them with all the vigor we can muster and all the knowledge we have. In many cases we can no longer just patch things up, but have to build anew. I am grateful to work with proactive clients on such endeavors.

Brooklyn HospitalLocally, I find it inspiring to work, for example, with Brooklyn Hospital, one of the few community hospitals left in New York City. They have launched a vigorous initiative for change at every level of the organization. What some said was impossible they have chosen to take on. They have enlisted the support of unions and management to support and direct the effort. They have involved workers and managers to identify and implement specific changes. They have set a series of small, incremental goals and will reward and recognize real change. They have established systems of two-way communication, and have devised new ways of working and relating to each other.

Internationally, I accepted an invitation to join the board of Normise, whose mission is to empower Haitian people to develop sustainable and intentional local industries. The founder, Rosedanie Cadet, had the courage to create an organization with a vision and a strategy for Limbe Aqua culturechange that will help to rebuild Haiti and empower others in the process. The organizational mission is to create a micro-development model that can be used in multiple communities and towns in order to build interdependent and sustainable local industries increasing overall food production and creating jobs. Its programs provide education and resources that encourage the effective use of local labor and goods so that each town will be better able to meet its own needs and contribute to the economy of the region. Brilliant, challenging and Possible! see www.Noramise.org

These are just a few of my current endeavors that reflect solid strategies for change!  I am thrilled to continue this work locally and abroad and am interested to hear how you handle the challenge of aligning your organizational or personal vision and your current reality. What is the work you are doing that brings you closer to your vision?  In honor of Strategy for Change’s new location and ‘view for change’ I want to end with a quote near and dear to my heart:

“To build a ship, don’t herd the people together to gather wood, but teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

—Antoine De Sainte Exupery


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16 Responses to “The Only Thing Constant is Change”

  1. Mimi Fierle says:

    Yeah Linda!!! Know you’ve been wanting to breathe the country air for some time now…congratulations on finding the perfect setting for continued personal and professional growth!
    Blessings on this new “unfolding”; may it bear great fruit!

  2. Shelley Kohen says:

    Congratulations Linda !! So many years and so much success!! You have so much courage you are an inspiration to me ! Looking forward to hearing about what you will be creating next….

  3. Jeri R. White says:

    Linda this is so exciting! I’m thrilled for you! I wish you all of the best.

  4. So glad for you, Linda – Congratulations. I have enjoyed keeping up with you via your emails. I am now at VNS with the hospice program that they purchased from St Vincent’s after the bankruptcy. A new unit will open at Bellevue in a few months. We’re excited.
    Look frwrd to crossing paths again.
    Ad Multos Annos
    John

  5. Richard Provenza says:

    Linda, you continue to amaze me with the diversity and breadth of your activities.–DAD

  6. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    John that is great to hear! They are lucky to have you. I have also heard good things about VNS. Is this the first hospice unit at Bellevue? Really interested to hear more, and yes will love crossing paths once again!

  7. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    Thanks Dad! I have you to thank for that!

  8. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    thanks Jeri! I appreciate that!

  9. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    Shelley – thank you! I am happy to keep you posted and please do the same!

  10. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    Mimi great to hear from you! Thank you for your good wishes! It took a while but finally got here. How bout you? Would love to catch up.

  11. Cara Sadownick says:

    Hi Linda,

    This is wonderful and inspiring!! How Great for you and for us to know you and be part of your circle to share in your vision!
    Bless you and all you do!
    Cara

  12. Marie says:

    Linda….you are such a gift and wonderful teacher for me and so many others! I admire and respect the work you do!
    And I am proud to say that you’ve shared that view with me and it’s Amazing. Dreams do come true!

  13. Sherry says:

    OH CONGRATS!!!! What a luscious view! Yes, i gratefully choose to raise my consciousness to meet my vision! Thank you for the reminder and encouragement and cheers to you for the most fun, awesome, and gloriously abundant expansion beyond your wildest dreams!

    Blessings, light, action and laughs,

    Sherry

  14. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    Cara, Marie and Sherry thank you so much! Thanks for taking the time to write, could never do this work without the care and support of good friends doing the same!

  15. David Sundstrom says:

    Linda . . . congratulations on your move! I will probably always live in Southern California but have fond memories of my summers on Long Island, with those beautiful beaches and the warm water from the Gulf Stream. I was intrigued to learn of your endeavors, especially since the three nonprofit environmental organizations I serve could strongly benefit from strategic planning, rather than pouring so much energy reacting to the crises du jour. Keep up your fine work!

  16. LINDA PROVENZA says:

    David, thanks so much! I can understand staying put in CA. Often when I visit I ask myself ‘and why did I move away?’ Would love to speak with you more about the orgs you work with – sounds like you have some stories to tell! Where are you in So CA?

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