Asking if you are change ready may seem outrageous given the pandemic and its impact on every aspect of our lives this past year. Constant disruption plagued our daily lives and how we worked. Teams have adapted to the widespread use of collaborative platforms and work processes have evolved to accommodate different types of projects and new challenges resulting from a drastically disrupted marketplace. Organizations are changing by rethinking strategic direction, priorities, and values as they respond to today and anticipate what is coming next.
In short, we are all change experienced, since recently, change has been continuous and happened with or without prior acceptance. However, asking if you are change ready speaks to a mindset where you individually accept and adapt to the pace of change and its potential impact on you, your work, your organization, and even more broadly, society.
Beyond mindset, what can you do to ensure you have the right skillset to help yourself and others more effectively deal with change and thrive for more impactful results? A guiding principle for all of WLH’s change execution and learning programs is that change impacts the individual, team, and organization differently. Purposeful change execution requires change ready leaders at all levels. Here are some helpful tips to develop a change ready mindset, skillset, and will set:
- Accurately assess your change readiness. Be honest with yourself about your reaction to organizational changes and willingness to commit to strategic change goals
- Clarify with your manager how the changes impact your role and responsibilities
- Determine what new information you need to learn to keep your knowledge base and skills up to date
- Look for opportunities to build change agility capabilities which includes balance, speed, and flexibility
Whether an individual contributor on a team or the manager, it is important that everyone:
- Accept that others on the team may adapt to change and adopt new ways of working differently
- Recognize how change impacts the work of the team and adjust where needed
- Explore how the team can work together to achieve strategic goals
- Revisit roles, responsibilities, and general expectations of each other
- Align on basic team practices that ensure effective information sharing and stronger alignment
- Volunteer to support others in overcoming barriers
- Celebrate the small wins along the way together as a team
At the organizational level, being change ready requires a leadership team to:
- Establish the business case for change
- Link change messages to the strategic purpose, vision, and direction
- Respond quickly when in crisis by being true to organizational values and respecting the needs of employees and stakeholders
- Focus on creating a learning organization so individuals continuously enhance personal capabilities or have the capacity to learn new skills
- Reward and recognize employees who step up, adapt, and serve as change champions
- Leverage various communication platforms to reinforce key messages
- Establish success metrics and tracking mechanisms that allow for recalibration
Change readiness requires an honest assessment of your tolerance for disruption and resilience in overcoming fear, anxiety, and resistance. Most everyone tested their change readiness capacity this past year and taking some time to reflect on how you managed through the pandemic, both personally and professionally, is a valuable exercise for identifying additional development needs.
Can you identify mindset, skillset and/or will set gaps that require additional development?
WLH Consulting has deep expertise in consulting on large-scale change initiatives and developing custom solutions to address organization-specific needs and challenges. WLH Learning Solutions has numerous resources and programs to help individuals, teams and organizational leaders build capacity and sharpen readiness for change.
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