Change is an inevitable part of life. Whether it’s a new job or a new relationship or a new home, change happens to us all at some point. It’s also something that organizations have to deal with on a regular basis: employees leave, markets shift and technology evolves. While these changes can sometimes be challenging (and even scary), they don’t have to be if you approach them in an intentional way. Here are five tips for navigating change successfully:
Change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be.
Change is hard, but it doesn’t have to be.
Change is unfamiliar and uncertain. It requires you to let go of the past and embrace the future, which can feel like an enormous leap for people who are accustomed to doing things one way for years or even decades at a time. And change also requires vulnerability–a willingness to show up as your authentic self in front of others, regardless of what they think or say about you because they don’t know who that person really is yet (or maybe ever).
Set your organization up for success by creating a mindset of continuous improvement.
A mindset of continuous improvement is essential for creating a culture that supports change. In order to do this, you need to start with the right people and build trust in your organization.
There are many ways you can foster a culture of continuous improvement:
- Ensure that your employees have access to the tools they need for success (e.g., training or tools).
- Encourage them by providing positive reinforcement when they make improvements on their own or while working together as part of a team.
- Give everyone an equal opportunity at being successful by making sure there aren’t any obstacles preventing them from doing so (e.g., financial constraints).
Embrace digital transformation, but don’t let it become an excuse for doing nothing.
Digital transformation is not just about technology, it’s about how people work.
Digital transformation is a mindset, not just a change in tools.
It’s important to keep these two things in mind as you try to transform your organization and make change stick. If you focus too much on the technology and not enough on changing how people work together, then you’ll end up with an expensive mess that doesn’t actually improve anything–and who wants that?
Reevaluate the culture of your company to make sure it’s ready for change and open to new ideas.
It is important to reevaluate the culture of your company to make sure it’s ready for change and open to new ideas. Culture can be a powerful tool for change, but it can also be a barrier to change. If you want your organization to adopt new ways of doing things, you need all members of the team on board with those changes.
For example, if one person in an organization has strong beliefs about how things should be done–and those beliefs conflict with yours or others’–you may run into problems when trying to implement any kind of organizational change. In fact, this person might even try sabotaging your efforts! On top of all that stress from having someone actively trying against you (and possibly succeeding), there’s also the stress caused by worrying about what could happen if things don’t go well…
Make sure every decision you make aligns with your goals and values so that even small decisions can have a significant impact on the direction your organization takes in the future.
The first step is to make sure that every decision you make aligns with your goals and values so that even small decisions can have a significant impact on the direction your organization takes in the future.
- Make sure your decisions are in line with your goals: If someone wants to change something, they should first figure out why they want it changed. What is their motivation? Do they want more money? More customers? Better products and services? More time for themselves and their families? If there were no constraints on resources or time (and let’s face it–there are!), what would be possible if these things were achieved?
- Make sure your decisions are in line with our core beliefs: At some point along the way, we’ve all heard someone say “I’d rather fail doing something I believe in than succeed at doing something I don’t believe in.” This applies to organizations as well; if an organization wants its employees’ best efforts but doesn’t trust them enough by providing adequate training opportunities or compensation packages that keep up with inflation rates (or even just keep up with cost-of-living increases), then there will always be tension between management/leadership teams who hold onto outdated ideas about employee engagement versus newer generations who see how things could work differently from within today’s technology landscape.
You can successfully navigate change if you’re intentional about how you approach it.
If you’re going to be successful at leading change, it’s important to be patient. Change is not an overnight process and it will take time for people to adjust their thinking and behavior. You can’t expect them to get on board with your vision right away–and if you do, then your expectations are too high!
The best way to deal with this is by being patient and understanding that it takes time for people’s mindsets and behaviors to shift in response to new circumstances or information they’ve received. So don’t rush things; instead focus on small wins as part of an overall strategy for change management success over time (yesterday we talked about how important this kind of “small win” mentality can be).
Another key aspect of successfully navigating change within organizations is learning from mistakes made during previous efforts at organizational transformation – both yours and others’. This means looking back at past projects where things went wrong so that we can avoid repeating those same mistakes again (or at least minimize them).
Change is inevitable. And we’re not just talking about your organization’s products and services–you can’t stay stagnant if you want to stay competitive in today’s business climate. But the key is to embrace change, not fear it. If you’re willing to put in some work upfront and make sure that every decision aligns with your goals and values, then there will be no stopping your organization from making progress toward its future success!