5 Ways to Help Your Team to Thrive Through Change
“The only thing constant is change.” – Heraclitus, 6th centure BCE
The last year has shown us that while change is a constant, our ability to manage change moves at a much slower rate. Why is this and what can we do about it? Can we learn to manage change more easily?
To answer these questions, we reached out to some of our best speakers on Change to understand how we can not only change, but thrive through change.
Change expert and author of Perpetual Pivot: How the Best Leaders Adapt to Exponential Change, Dr. Mark DeVolder has helped hundreds of organizations navigate periods of transition. He agrees that learning to adapt to change is neither quick nor easy.
The most important element of this process is to help teams understand the WIIFM: the “What’s In It For Me” factor. By helping individuals understand the impact of change on them, their teams and their immediate environments, as well as at an organizational level, leaders can help build momentum towards change, enabling those individuals to not only accept but embrace change.
Carol Kinsey Goman, an expert on leadership & communication, expands on this. When change is not our idea, it can be very difficult to accept. When leaders can understand, address and facilitate the emotional stages we go through when change occurs, they can better support their teams.
Michelle Ray, our speaker on Leadership & personal accountability, agrees. Change begins at the point where an individual decides to shift their mindset, allowing them to move out of the status quo, and present a willingness to let go of what no longer works.
She also notes that the key to successful change comes from the top down. Leaders must set an example by buying into change. This one factor can profoundly influence whether change is embraced or rejected within an organization.
Clinical Psychologist and Organizational Culture speaker Dr. Nicole Lipkin takes it one step further. In her own words, “it’s not organizations that change…it’s people.”
According to Dr. Lipkin “humans are naturally resistant to change.” In order to facilitate change , we must understand our triggers for resistance, including our assumptions about change, in order to help people move from fear to openness. This can be a daunting task for leaders managing grand changes in a shifting environment.
This begs the question: what does this uncertainty bring, other than fear and resistance?
A shifting environment can be the catalyst for creativity and innovation, offering a new or alternate perspective on old problems, asserts Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, our Speaker on Governance of Information and Cyber Security.
The rise of technology and AI over the last year has shown that change can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes and across a broad range of industries. While those changes have been daunting to some, their growth has been exponential since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, both as a necessity for survival and a vehicle for growth.
Examples of this are everywhere over the last year as car manufacturers shifted to ventilator production and cosmetics companies started producing sanitizer instead of lipstick, and as office workers cleared off their dining room tables to work from home.
Heraclitus’ wisdom stands today. If change is constant, how we choose to manage it, move through it and ultimately resist or embrace it, is up to us.
If you are finding it hard to manage change within your organization, or want to plan for an upcoming change, then we can help.
Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency www.thesweeneyagency.com. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]