Leading and managing through rapid change is not for the faint of the heart. Leading through change requires that we remain nimble and prepare to pivot at a moment’s notice.
If we didn’t know this before, we certainly know this now…change is constant.
It was almost a year ago when life as we knew it changed overnight. It was the beginning of the pandemic.
I was in Florida, enjoying my time in the sun, when we received a call from our daughter at college in Philadelphia. “Mom, I need you to come pick me up. Our campus is closing.”
We left our Airbnb early and went to rescue our daughter. Little did we know that she would remain at home with us for six months.
At the same time, my clients were experiencing a rapid change in the way their businesses were operating. Overnight, everyone went remote.
Leaders were charged with helping their organizations successfully navigate through rapid change. Many struggled. They simply weren’t prepared to manage through change. Some people have adapted well. Others, not so much.
Whether or not we like change, one thing is clear.
Change is constant.
The sooner you get good at managing through change, the more successful you’ll be.
Here are 10 actionable steps you can take to manage through change.
Get comfortable with ambiguity. No one knows what the future will bring, and worrying about it, won’t do a darn thing to change what may lay ahead. Those who approach change with a positive mindset fare better than those who don’t.
Realign your individual priorities with the new company strategy. The sooner you do this, the better, as I can assure you that you won’t be going back to where you currently are. Be proactive in aligning your daily tasks with the change initiative you’re facing.
Become an early adopter and ally for change. Change is going to happen whether you’re onboard on not. Being enthusiastic about change creates a more positive working environment.
Look at change as an opportunity. One of my coaching clients told me he was worried about managing a remote workforce. He was the sort of guy who was a bit of a micromanager. It wasn’t until he was forced to let go of being in control that he saw the light. With some coaching, he embraced the change that was forced upon him and is enjoying management much more than before.
Demonstrate that you are a champion of change. Volunteer to lead the change initiative. Step up and be the face of change.
Help others to cope with change. The idea of change is a game stopper for many. Support those who are struggling with change. Actively listen and support people where they are. Acknowledge their feelings and help them come up with a plan to adapt to the change their facing.
Be human. It’s okay to admit that you’re finding the uncertainty a bit unsettling. Showing your employees that you’re not superman will help you to build a stronger relationship with them. You can work together to manage the change.
Look for new opportunities. Ask your boss one simple question. “How can I be of help?” Then be prepared to step up and do whatever is needed. Be creative and innovate where you can. Your efforts will not go unnoticed.
Bring your team along on this new journey. Involve your team in the planning process for implementing change. Develop and share your team’s change management roadmap so that everyone is headed in the same direction. Communicate more frequently than you think is necessary. Your people will appreciate being kept in the loop.
Focus on what you can control. There will be many things that will be out of your control, which is why it’s best to focus on what you can control. Figure out something you can do to make a difference and then go do it.
Constant change is the new constant. When the unforeseen occurs, adapt and improvise. What else can you do?
Need help preparing your managers to lead and manage through rapid change in your organization? Schedule a call with me.