Yesterday, we were changing everything about our lives due to a pandemic. Today, we’re dealing with the uncertainty of another global conflict. Tomorrow, we’re going to change again. It is inevitable. How we think about it can make or break us.
Change in leadership
Organizations are constantly shifting. Markets trend up and down and our customers and teams evolve. People move in and out of our circles of influence. When your surroundings become fluid and dynamic, you must constantly adapt to the delta. You will be altered by the things happening around you, but it’s up to you to determine if the result is positive or negative. Leadership transitions can be difficult for everyone, but there are things you can do today that will make your tomorrow the best it can be.
Changes in leadership are usually only the tip of the iceberg. A shift in senior leadership will always bring new direction, new ideas, and new people into the mix. Each of these will in turn bring about many other adjustments and opportunities that flow into the rest of the team. When someone gets a promotion or leaves the company, there is a hole left in the organization that needs to be filled. This is where we can build new influences and opportunities for personal and organizational growth.
Change in the organization
Managing change in an organization is something you should plan for, not something you should react to. There will always be things that you can’t anticipate, but most changes are predictable. Setting yourself up to see these as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience will put you in the driver’s seat. You are the expert at your job and oversee your own life.
Understanding where you want to go next and where you want to build your organization will put a focusing lens on change and allow you to take advantage of the opportunities it brings. You should be talking about these things now. Don’t wait until situations force you into these conversations.
Change in business relationships
A huge part of successfully navigating organizational change is in building and reinforcing the business and personal relationships that are necessary for us to succeed. When the people you work with change, you must rebuild the relationships and connections you have. Customers get nervous when their point of contact is replaced or the people who have been a part of their success are no longer available. Sometimes these are big shoes to fill. This is an opportunity for people, teams, and entire organizations to show what they can really do in new and exciting ways.
When a team dynamic shifts with a new manager, employees wonder how they fit into a changing plan and wonder what their future holds. It’s up to each of us to build those personal connections with our leaders, co-workers, and partners to come to a shared agreement on where we are all going. Having everyone running in the same direction makes us effective and if we are effective as an organization, we can make sure that we are fulfilled as people.
Change that leads to conflict
Sometimes things don’t work the way we want them to. Having a wide, diverse network means that you will occasionally have conflicts that cannot be resolved. What has worked very well in the past may not work today or tomorrow. The things you are currently doing may not be the things the organization is looking for next. What your job has done for you and your career may be great, but is it still your best future? These are questions we should always be asking ourselves so when these changes come, we are well-positioned to find the best ways to reinvent ourselves for the new reality.
Sometimes that may not match with that of your organization. That’s okay and perfectly normal. The key is to recognize this. As an individual, make the decisions that are best for you as a person. As an organizational leader, make the decisions that are best for your organization. If these two things remain in conflict, someone will not be happy. Making sure everyone is happy is key, even if that means choosing different directions.
Embrace and prepare for change
Things are going to be different tomorrow. Embracing change before it happens will put you in the best position to see it for the better, even in the face of adversity. Anticipating it will allow you to adapt quickly and enjoy the opportunities it brings. Aligning the results of change between individuals, opportunities, and the goals of your organization is critical to making the result positive for everyone involved. Plan to be different.