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The new dawn - Nevelle!

Updated: Dec 24, 2018


C.S. Lewis, who is maybe best known for his novels for children (Narnia), wrote the beautiful book "Perelandra", which is part of a Christian trilogy for adults. I read it when I was about 16 and was captivated by it.


More than a decade later, I was looking for a stage name for various reasons. My life had taken some crazy turns, and the "me" I had grown up with, which had been influenced by strict, maybe even rigid rules, had some trouble dealing with all the twists and turns that this life of mine was now requiring me to take. "Petra", my first name, means "stone" or "rock" in Greek, or so I am told, and rock-solid I had been until quite recently, but could no longer be. So I thought my stage name should embody something of the new personality that I would need to create, to be able to deal with all these changes. I'm not sure how much I knew about Inter Family Systems (and related therapies) and the theory of how much language influences behavior, but I was dimly aware on some level, that if I frequently reminded myself of what I wanted to be, that I may well develop there.


So, I remembered C.S. Lewis' book, and a scene that had deeply impressed me as a teenager. The inhabitant of the planet, where the protagonist had landed, was explaining her view of change to the protagonist, who, for good reasons under the circumstances, eagerly tried to impress on her that change was bad. The relevant dialogue went like this:


'I see,' said the Lady presently. 'The wave you plunge into may be very swift and great. You may need all your force to swim into it. You mean, He might send a good like that?'


'Yes - or like a wave so swift and great that ll your force was too little.'


'It often happens that way in swimming.' said the Lady. 'Is not that part of the delight?'


Now, I had been brought up with the belief that taking risks was bad, stupid even. The re-frame above opened up completely new possibilities. Suddenly, risk could be fun and lead to unexpected good, instead of away from it.


So, I wondered how I could put this little scene into a name for myself, to remind me that new waves, as scary as they looked, were things to be surfed, rather than thrown by. It was the perfect little re-frame of problems into "challenges" or even "opportunities", just by way of a handy little metaphor that I could easily relate to. I had always loved body surfing as a child, and the biggest waves were indeed the most fun. "New wave" sounded a bit lame, and the German translation "Neue Welle" was the name of a new music trend at the time (e.g. Nena with "99 red balloons" was part of it), so I thought I'd disguise it a bit, make it sound somewhat foreign (which I was, so casting directors would not expect a perfect British accent), but not recognizably German (so I would not end up playing only certain unflattering roles for the rest of my life). So, I took "new" and cut off the "w", and turned "Welle" or "wave" into "velle", which sounded somewhat Swedish to me, and stuck the two together, and "Nevelle" was born.


The name did the trick. The previously unmovable rock "Petra" became a rolling stone, accepting one change after the next, moving continents 4 times in 10 years, working in numerous industries and jobs and encountering all kinds of crazy adventures, until the pebble finally got stuck in investment banking, at Goldman Sachs in December 2007. That's where "Petra" became solid again and rooted to a spot, however, change continued to be a steady feature in my professional life - after all, pretty much the minute I joined investment banking, EVERYTHING changed, and has kept changing ever since.


So, "Nevelle" became not just my stage name, but my profession, long after I had ceased looking for acting roles using that name.


Turns out that my life was just a bit ahead of the times. For a European, all the changes in my life in the last 20 years are certainly unusual - but if the forecasts are correct, my life will not be out of the ordinary in future - everybody will need to adapt to change at a quicker and quicker pace in future, including companies, entrepreneurs, and employees.


Seeing some of the changes that will shortly take place on the horizon, our company has spent the last 2 years preparing for our next change, investing massively in training and exploring new opportunities, and finding back to what has always motivated us, even in the beginning of the company, and even in the beginning of my personal career. Working in Investment banking, as unlikely as it sounds, actually fit in with those goals, which may be surprising to some. Times have changed, however, and so have requirements, and if we want to contribute at the highest level and to the greatest extent, we need to go where our contributions can make a real difference.


We would not be very good at change if we were not willing to change ourselves! So this year, the company has made the decision to change direction, and end our focus on the financial sector. As proud as we are of some of the changes we were involved in, believing and hoping that it had a beneficial, stabilizing effect on society as a whole, and as profitable as it was and still could be for the company, we believe that the skills we accumulated on the journey are of most use in those areas that we most believe in. Therefore, we will put our main focus for corporate work on those corporations whose main focus is on beneficial environmental change (and as humans and animals are part of the environment, this includes corporation who have the benefit of humans or animals as their core mission, if it is not to the detriment of the other or the environment as a whole), as well as on charities, both environmental and animal charities, as well as human charities, which work in harmony with other species.


Alongside our corporate work, we are also planning to greatly expand our coaching and adult education/training programs, to prepare people in time for the changes coming.


The future can be exciting, and we plan to be a part of it! To celebrate our new direction, we thought we needed a change in the way we are recognized in the market. "Change Implementation Management Ltd" is still the official company name for now, but it has always been a bit of a handful, which is why our Web-site can nowadays be found under www.seekchange.co (following the generous advice of a previous BBC broadcaster), and our email has followed the same format (info@seekchange.co). The company really needs a sort of nickname, though, a name to be known by that is short but expresses what it is really about. And what better name could there be for a company dealing in all things change than -


Nevelle


So don't be surprised if you keep seeing this name going forward! We hope you'll like it as much as we do, but even more importantly, we hope that maybe, when you see a wave coming your way, and you see our name by accident, you are reminded of the Lady, and of her way of dealing with waves, and maybe it will make your life a little easier!


We all wish you a very happy holiday season, and a happy, joyful new year!

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