What is the single biggest driver of change? This is a question we’ve been asked by many of our clients, and the answer we give is simple - you.
Whether your organisation is in the middle of a merger, launching a new strategy or transitioning into a new structure, people - peers, leaders, team-members - are looking to you to sponsor and support that change, so you need to lead by example.
Resistance to Change
Change is tough. When change happens at work, we're likely to feel uneasy - we relate to what’s familiar and comfortable, and change can take us wa-ay out of our comfort zone.
We’re all familiar with the change curve, and as it's taking place we have to remember that we will inevitably be going through one of the stages of the curve. Sometimes people get stuck - which is where you come in.
If we don't listen (to ourselves and each other) and seek to understand and overcome the challenges, performance, engagement and relationships will suffer. But each of us has the power to provide inspiration and support to help ourselves and others adapt to change.
Three steps towards being an agent of change
Firstly we need to be open to change ourselves, to build our muscle at handling uncertainty and to learn to seek support and advice whenever we need it. Change can be isolating so talking through your concerns with line managers and peers helps. Where are you stuck?
Secondly, people are looking to you so you need to model the behaviours and attitudes needed to deal with change - openness, comfort with uncertainty, a zest for overcoming challenges. By demonstrating those characteristics you will help to lead by example.
Finally, create a space for open conversations, listen to those around you and recognise their concerns. Share your own struggles with change, and what has helped you. Only by creating an open dialogue will people really open up to you about their issues, so you can help them to overcome them.