Change is constant. Everyday, we experience change in some way. The river erodes the river-bed creating a shifting path over time. Road construction comes and goes along your route as you commute to work. Trees grow leaves in the spring and lose them in the fall. Children grow from newborns to adults. We have accepted changes in nature, why do we struggle to accept it in our day-to-day lives?
Let’s start by defining the organization in which change occurs. Nature is an organization and we are the observers of the change. In general, we have accepted that there are changes that we have no control over and do not resist the change. Another organization to consider is one’s personal life. For the most part, we make our own decisions. Sometimes, a partnered decision with a trusted friend or family member. In this scenario, we may be making the decision to change or decide how to respond to a change beyond our control.
Perhaps the change that causes us the most stress is that which occurs at work. Organizational goals and directives change often. Thinking back to the early responses to COVID, things changed every day. During organizational change, there are a few factors that will impact how successful a change may be. These are the people, the processes and the organizational values.
As a leader, or a follower, there must be trust. Trust can accelerate and build the capacity for an organization to tolerate change. Utilizing early adapters as trustworthy change agents increases the leader’s capacity to lead through change. However, without processes that are flexible and responsive to rapid decision making, change will be slow. Organizations with cumbersome decision making processes will frustrate and stress even the most engaged individuals and teams. Placing value on innovation and individual responsibility and accountability to organizational success must align with the overall value systems of everyone in the organization. Did I mention communication, communication, communication?
Here’s the bottom line. Change requires:
- trust at all levels
- aligned values
- flexible systems
- broad communication
Placing focus on all areas will allow the people involved in change to be productive and resilient while working from a place where they can control their response to change or lead change.
Change is constant. Celebrate and embrace it.
We understand that it is not always easy to navigate change on your own, especially where the intricacies of organizations are concerned. However, you are not alone, we will come alongside you to help solve your most difficult organizational and leadership challenges so you can move your people forward and reach your full potential. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consult to learn more.