Do you have the Skills to Manage Change in your Organization?
By now, we all know that change happens outside of your comfort zone. When you stretch yourself and commit to adapting to change, you can have some phenomenal results. Similarly, when we are resistant to change and stagnate, is when we lose our edge. Knowing this, of course, doesn't make it any easier in real life. Change is bound to happen, and any business that isn't changing and growing is in danger of becoming obsolete. So how do you weather change and make it to the other side?
Know the Why
Whether you are the force driving the change, or you are just steering the ship, you must know the "why." This piece is critical as it not only speaks to your company's values, but it can and will influence your entire team. The 'why' also grounds you in reason and purpose. You're not making changes "just because" you have thought about the business, and you see the need for course correction or innovation.
A clear picture of “why” can also drive much of the process. The 'why' often dictates the 'how' when navigating complex change. Also, your clear communication around reasoning, strategy, and purpose will give your team a chance to see your vision and buy-in early on.
Dealing with Change While it is Happening
The very first step in a new process is often the hardest. We get comfortable with our surroundings and our operations, and it isn't effortless to give that up. But, if we can remind ourselves of all the good things change brings, we might have an easier time. If change is inevitable, we should start with an open mind and plan on learning in the process.
When your organization is going through change, be open and honest with your team – as much as you can. Focus your team on the benefits, not the downsides. In can be very easy only to see the downside sometimes, but gossip, disparaging comments, and hard feelings will bring your organization down fast if you're not careful. Stay open and positive, and your team – and your organization – will appreciate your guidance.
Learning to Flex
Any good leader can tell you that one of their most essential skills is the ability to be flexible and to adapt quickly. And this is never truer than in a time of change. If your company is changing processes, procedures, or seeking to make a significant change in culture, your ability to flex will take you a long way.
During a change, it is essential to stay positive and keep an open mind. While you might not always agree with decisions, the big picture will come into focus as you move ahead. You don't have to shift into a "pushover," but your team will appreciate your positive guidance during this fluctuation.
Successfully leading your team through change is never simple. But it is worth it in the end. And, as change is inevitable, you should have the right tools ready. Your skills as a leader may be tested, but if you can stay open-minded, positive, and flexible positive through every step, you'll have made it that much easier on your team.
And don't forget...