Building our resources for change
A bit like Christmas we tend to know change is coming in organisations, yet unlike Christmas it always seems to catch us by surprise, at least judging by our reactions.
Some people are comfortable with the surprise, with adapting on the fly and working with what comes. Many others are challenged by uncertainty, by the seeming randomness of life, and the lack of control they have over the situation.
This doesn’t mean we need more structure, more planning, more control. That’s simply not possible given that change is all around us, all the time if we care to pay attention and become conscious of it. As leaders maybe the real task is to resource ourselves and our people to work with change and, hopefully, eventually, to thrive with it.
This doesn’t mean denying the emotional reactions and phases we go through in change. Rather it’s about ensuring we’re more aware of them and what’s normal for us in our feelings and reactions, and that these will be different for each individual.
It means creating a culture in which open and honest conversations is fostered, in which feelings can be shared and resistances explored without judgement. It means encouraging thoughtful risk taking and experimenting so that people are more confident to get involved and try things out to increase their ‘adaptability muscles’.
Perhaps most important though is becoming conscious of change as a constant and improving our ability to observe how we deal with it in our day to day…the micro-movements we make unconsciously to maintain our balance and keep moving forward.
Whether we’re talking big C or small c change, planned or emerging, getting adept at working with it is surely a capability worth developing.