Every day something changes in our lives, be it personal or professional. As leaders, especially those that may not have a ton of leadership experience, or perhaps a ton of life experience at this point, we need to ask ourselves: “How well do I manage change: As an individual? As a leader? What is the secret to managing change?” The bottom line is that the most successful people manage change effectively by managing their mindset. You can control your mindset, you can’t control everything.
Without change, there is no innovation, no creativity, or incentive for improvement. Change is inevitable. There are four main categories to look at in the change puzzle: life changes, individual changes, leadership changes, and organizational changes.
The world keeps moving on. Improvement makes life better. However, sometimes life changes can throw you a curveball!
Always you’ve got to manage your mindset. Be willing to ask for help. Reframe your perspective. Focus on the future and look for positives. Life is ever changing. It’s better to accept it and positively approach the future.
Ask yourself “How well do I personally handle change?” Here are a few statistics regarding the general population’s feeling about change. Where are you on this scale?
Negative: 30% are resistant to change
Indifferent: 50% don’t have strong feeling either way
Positive: 20% embrace change
People have their reasons for feeling the way they do. Here are a few thoughts to consider when facing a person who is negative and resistant to change. They may be experiencing or thinking:
- Loss of control
- Excess uncertainty
- Unwelcome feelings of surprise
- Things seems different
- Loss of face
- Concerns about competence
- More work
- Ripple effects
- Past memories
Indifference can oftentimes be the biggest challenge to deal with because this group feels no action is required at all for a different set of reasons:
- Based on a belief that “this too shall pass” and it is just another attempt to change what will inevitably remain the same anyway.
- Individual doesn’t believe change requires anything on their part.
- May feel that it just does not apply to them
Positive attitudes about change can create a whole new perspective. Embracing change can be a beautiful thing! Time has proven out that the most successful embrace change with a positive, solution-oriented mindset that focuses on possibilities.
Ask “How do we best lead others through change?” There are some specific strategies you can take to ensure your team is moving together in the right direction to make a smoother transition. Have open, transparent communications, be available and have effective meetings.
First, you need clarity. Define where you are going by sharing the vision with everyone. Understand and communicate the “why” about the changes that are coming. Let everyone know how all stakeholders can win with these changes. Explain how the vision is different, better, more compelling now than before. Ask your team questions/have them ask you questions to make sure they understand the rationale.
Then be prepared to manage organizational resistance. Phrase your communications to be more on the human side because people matter more than plans and processes. Understand the organization’s culture and be prepared to overcome objections that will arise. Predict what the outcome will be from these changes to avert surprises and tackle uncertainty about the future. Speak to the individual when explaining expectations, measurements of success and what success really means.
Be an Influential leader, one who can instill hope for the future. Hope brings several major benefits to a culture. It renews faith, builds confidence, promotes empowerment with clarity, helps increase productivity and instills teamwork.
Ask “What’s your organizational culture?” Does it foster change and working as a High Performing Team? Let’s do a quick exam of a culture that fosters a High Performing Team by Incorporating changes into the DNA of an enterprise while driving operating results.
High performing teams are successful at incorporating changes. They do this through using three strong concepts within their leadership behaviors. Accountability is one essential element, where you do what you say you are going to do, by the deadline or before. Communication is the second essential element, whereby you have a plan and communicate it, over and over. Turn the unknowns into knowns for your team. Trust is the third essential element, where leadership consistently follows through on promises and commitments.
Organizations thrive when change is a part of their cultural DNA. Life is ever changing…it’s better to accept it. Always cast a clear vision with hope for the future. Be in the right camp, embrace change.
Remember. Get your head on straight. Manage your mind. Mindset matters!