Planning for Change

Planning for Change

Change. It’s – well – part of life!

So, what do you do when you had an expectation that things would go one way, and in reality, they have taken a gnarly turn?

We’ve got Coach Melissa Creede, an amazing business Coach who has been with Coaching Right Now for 2 years, here to share some of her knowledge with us!

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“Picture this – a company hired a dynamic, new leader who had a bold vision for the organization. We’ll call her Sarah. She joined the organization full of possibility and enthusiasm to take them from the effective organization that they already were, to one that she saw as having truly exceptional and influential potential in its industry.

The leadership couldn’t wait to see results.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it all played out. In fact, the first six months were nothing short of a disaster.

9 months into the process, Sarah and her most senior counterpart were both on the verge of leaving the company, and the best staff were frustrated and actively looking for other jobs. They were further behind than when they started.

And sadly, this is an all-too-common experience.

What went wrong?

What could the they have done differently to ensure a successful change endeavour?

  1. Create a vivid, exciting, and aspirational vision of what’s possible in the future TOGETHER

Sarah’s approach was to identify the problems the Senior Leadership wanted to ‘fix’ and then try to ‘sell’ their plan to the employees. When it didn’t work, they blamed the employees for being resistant to change and for ‘sabotaging’ the process.

Ideas to try:

  • Start asking curious questions without judgment or attachment.
    • If we were at our best, what would we want to be known for?
    • What impact would we be having?
  • Let the bold vision emerge rather than being dictated solely by your personal vision.
  1. Build from strengths

A mistake Sarah made when she first arrived in the organization was to plow head first ‘selling’ the vision she had for the organization. She was quick to point out what they weren’t doing and came across as condescending and critical.

Ideas to try:

  • Change your mindset – there are always strengths in an existing system or workplace.
  • Name those strengths! Appreciate them and how they have created the space and place you are in now.
  • Build from them – take them and bring them to the next level.

Try out these tips this week and come back next week for three other ideas on what they could have done differently and some practical ideas to try!

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Change

Change
Make it up
As you go
Future’s wide open
Nothing’s written in stone
I can’t tell you what’s best
I don’t know what comes next
All I know is that I don’t know anything
All I got is today, and I prefer it that way
Make a plan, but I know it’s gonna change
And that’s okay
-Lyrics by the Plain White T’s

The only thing that’s certain is change.  Change is a thing that managers today need to know how to lead through.  Why?  Because as the song says, ‘nothing is written in stone’.

There are lots of models of change management.  Just Google ‘Change Management’ and you’ll see tons of examples – some simple, others complex beyond understanding.

Here’s another certain thing that models don’t often reflect, as the song says, ‘Make a plan, but I know it’s gonna change.  And that’s okay.’

The managers and teams that do the best work not only change, but do it with flexibility, positivity, and resilience.  Sometimes these things come from help on the outside with positive influencers like teachers, friends, coaches, and mentors.

Change happens –  and that’s okay.

Communities of Purpose

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Above is a Masai Tribe – they’re one of the most widely known and conflict-free tribal groups in Africa, in part because of their relatively smooth assimilation with modern African society and culture despite being semi-nomadic.

What can we learn from them? Effective managers build ‘communities of purpose’. They find ‘tribes’ of like-minded folks. They nurture and build a culture to drive to their desired goal. And they figure out how their unique community’s goals and purpose fit into the bigger corporate picture.

Here are 5 Tips for Growing Changemaking Communities in your Company.