How to Manage Positive Change
Managing change is a fact of personal and professional life. Individuals and organizations must adapt quickly in today’s global economy. Through coaching, individuals and organizations strategize, designing unique blueprints to harness the power of change and position themselves accurately for future success.
Change is possibly the greatest challenge facing leaders and organizations in today’s workplace. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review states, “Today any company that isn’t rethinking its direction at least every few years” as well as making the necessary adjustments, “is placing itself at risk.”
Change is a Process?
Personal and professional lives and strategic plans are oftentimes disrupted in the aftermath of change. It impacts not just the physical reality of the individual and organization, but the emotional reality as well. Together, the physical and emotional components must be recognized and addressed to provide a positive conduit for change to occur. By creating this level of awareness, the undercurrents of change can be managed, encouraging stabilization and lessening any negative impact. Yet, how does an individual or organization position themselves to weather the elements? Primarily, change needs to be understood as a process, one in which, a negative or positive connotation is assigned. This assignment of power is wholly dependent on how it is viewed and talked about by the individuals and throughout the company culture. If it is seen and communicated as a negative entity, it is given the power to breed fear, uncertainty and resistance throughout the levels of the organization. The immediate outcome of this trajectory has the potential to alter the overall health, impacting resilience and the ability to recover quickly.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, if change is positioned in a positive light, the level of disruption will be greatly minimized. On a very basic level, two mechanisms are operating.
- Individual and cultural beliefs. What do individuals believe to be true regarding change? Has the organization fostered a proactive position in regards to change throughout its culture? Or, has it maintained a reactive response, allowing the waves of change to occur without direction, structure and containment?
- How is change communicated by individuals within the organizational structure? How is the message conveyed? Until recently, the idea of “how” wasn’t given much precedence, yet, recent research on the use of social and emotional intelligence in the workplace, discovered that it wasn’t so much about “what” the message was as it was about “how” it was being delivered.
A firm foundation can be built to effectively support the trans-formative power of change by allowing it to be channeled effectively, positioning the individual and the organization for future success.