Can you remember a time when your organization went through a major change? Perhaps like those around you, you faced a whirlwind of emotions: personal loss, excitement, frustration, anxiety (to name a few) ...
Change can be disruptive, both professionally and personally. It can affect the nature of our work, from how we make decisions, to the way in which we communicate with one another. Change can impact how we see ourselves, our sense of belonging, and our relationships with coworkers, clients, and stakeholders. The reality is that in business, things rarely stay the same for long periods of time. How then, does one cope with the unpredictability that follows?
Jack be nimble
It is an interesting time for Antenna. With the introduction of a new CEO into our organization, the world of work as we know it has been challenged. Now, the company has been encouraged to reorganize itself, causing a sure amount of growing pains at every level. While these changes can feel somewhat uncomfortable, if there is one thing I can vouch for throughout my professional career, it is that change is what you make of it. On a personal front, working with a new leader has afforded me the opportunity to think in a different way. This, in turn motivates new ideas, which lead to new innovations and solutions. For a company at the forefront of technological innovation in the arts, the opportunity to reconsider how we approach problem-solving, is invaluable.
Focus on Results, Not the Process
Over the years, I have witnessed my fair share of those who don’t have the skills to manage the emotional reactions that manifests as a result of a major disruption to people’s routine. The awkward and sometimes frustrating period of learning that ensues when you must adapt is just part of the change process. As John Maxwell said; If we are growing, we are always going to be outside our comfort zone.
Whether your role is leading a team, or supporting others to manage change successfully, here are 3 tips that have helped me learn how to work with change rather than against it:
- Communicate and communicate often - about things that are working and things that are not working. Engaging employees in frank conversations about threats and opportunities can be highly useful.
- Identify the nature of employees’ emotional reactions to change - whether positive or negative. This will help determine the solution, making you more effective at managing the change. Remember: people do not resist change—they resist things they don’t understand.
- Avoid change fatigue. There is a reason why something is changing - your employees just need you to be transparent from the beginning. Helping employees understand what is happening and why will make it more likely that they’ll cooperate with the change. Let them know how it will impact them - for the better and worse - and provide them the tools to not only cope, but flourish during this time.
When we change, we have to admit that what we were previously doing no longer worked. Instead of fearing the inevitable, learn and master the challenges of the new situation. After all, change is the only constant, it is life. And the riskiest thing any businesses can do in this volatile world we live in, is not embrace it.
How are you making change work for you?
Maybe it goes without saying and maybe it doesn’t, but companies of all sizes and stripes need to change with the times or get left behind. In business, it’s easy to convince ourselves that what we’re chasing is stability and predictability, but the truth is a lot more exciting: Without disruptive changes, we can’t grow as people and our companies can’t realize their full potential.