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The Times They Are a-Changin’

I have had this tumultuous and famous Bob Dylan ballad playing in my head for weeks now, as change is perhaps more noticeable during this season than during any other time of year. Color, temperature, atmosphere — all is evidencing a transformation. Serious storms, raging fires, a planet in stress — I wonder if Dylan would have added more stanzas to his poem if he had written it today. Funny how much of what is written these days gets at the same thoughts Dylan penned about the 1960s.

There is a peculiar counter idea to the lyrics written by Dylan, however; it is summarized in this quote written in the mid-1880s by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr: “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Karr, a teacher by profession, was at that point the editor of the newspaper Le Figaro and a monthly journal called Les Guêpes. Without getting into the politics of this particular phrase or risking applying it to either side of the present political environment, I will say that I find the comparison of these two epigrams electric. Caught in the middle is the even older theory held by Heraclitus of Ephesus, “panta rhei,” which is Greek for “life is flux”— the idea that everything, or all things, change. That is, even change changes.

So, in my wonderings during this time (paired with my lack of wanderings), we set sail on the latest course and the newest of changes for your Association. I favor change. I’m inspired by it, motivated by the opportunity it creates, and eager to work on aspects of resolving the threads initiated by it. For if change does not exist, particularly in an organization such as this, complacency can set in; or worse, we can become irrelevant.  

One absolutely cannot describe the Concrete Foundations Association as irrelevant. We hosted the industry’s first virtual event, the #CFAAtTheEcho, and the experience was as much like a physical event as possible. Your staff has launched a new website solely aimed at interaction, a trusted place for you to participate in and bear witness to the CFA community. In this issue, we are excited to introduce new board members who are ready to answer the challenge of having a new executive committee turning up the heat on what we can be. Later this fall, the board will be entering a strategic planning session (which has not been undertaken since 2012) as we look for ways to advance the momentum established by such industry-leading efforts.

We know Dylan and Karr to be prophetic in every generation, and Heraclitus, in the end, to ring truest of all. Life is lived one moment of change after the other. It isn’t about resisting change or directing change, but about realizing that change is opportunity. Those who lead and follow through change will arrive at the end better because of it… just, perhaps, in very different places. I’m grateful for those of you in this Association who are participating in being part of the leading edge.

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Concrete FACTS, a publication of the Concrete Foundations Association, is THE voice for residential concrete industry news, market intelligence, business strategies, technical solutions, product information, and other resources for professionals in the cast-in-place concrete industry. Subscriptions to Concrete FACTS is available to anyone involved or interested in the residential concrete industry as a service to your industry. Please contact CFA Headquarters to find out more about your free subscription or Email Us