Cool Chameleon

Sep 19, 2014 1 Min Read

Photo credit (above): Sebastian Bergmann | Flickr

Change. It’s that constant buzzword we hear all too often in different areas – especially when we talk about personal change, mindset change, climate change, social change and organisational change.

If we have entered into our comfort zone for a long time, then change can be a rather unsettling experience for most of us.

In today’s VUCA (vulnerable, uncertain, changing, ambiguous) business environment, it is imperative to embrace change to stay competitive and relevant.

Kodak, for example, failed to see the future of digital camera revolution transforming the photography market, leading to its decline and eventually its death.

So what can we do to prepare ourselves for such change?

Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from chameleons, which are one of the coolest and cutest (at least for me) creatures in the animal kingdom.

1. Adaptability

Chameleons are well known for their ability to change colour. It is their natural response to temperature, light and mood change. Besides serving as a defense mechanism, it is also a method of communication among chameleons.

In an organisation, we may not be able to change or stop the circumstances ahead of us such as the growing influence of technology and social media, but we can wisely choose to respond appropriately.

The key word is for us to be flexible enough to adapt to such changes. An adoption of new technology, for example, may seem disruptive to our “usual” way of doing things at the initial stages. However, the change may be good to increase productivity in the long run.

2. Perspective

Chameleons’ eyes are unique because they rotate and swivel independently, allowing them to view an almost complete 360-degree arc of vision. This enables them to see two different things simultaneously.

Likewise, rather than seeing change as something unfortunate, we can learn to see it from different perspectives.

For example, being made redundant due to organisational restructure sure can be a deeply traumatic experience. We not only lose our jobs, but we grieve the loss of routines, workplace “family” and shared memories.

In this case, challenging as it may be, we might need to slowly change our mindsets (with support from friends and families, of course) to think of the period of “involuntary vacation” as a time of self-exploration and opportunity.

In the process of going through changes in and around the organisation, who knows we might actually find our true calling in life after all?

Lay Hsuan is one of the editorial coordinators of You can contact her at

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