Many managers, HR/Training/Safety and other support professionals, as well as team leaders are struggling with how to help people deal with constant change. More and more people are complaining of “change fatigue” as organizations deal with:
• Continuous changes in leadership, direction, processes, and organization structure;
• Relentless pressure to do more with less in meeting ever-increasing customer demands;
• Accelerating cycles of new technologies, methods, and approaches;
• A rapidly shifting workforce with a new generation of employees bringing different expectations;
• Unceasing pressure to continuously innovate and grow in response to global competition.
My December 3 Thriving in Turbulent Times webcast focused on the issue of constant change and provides a variety of ways to address it. If you missed the live webcast, see my last blog post for information on how to view or download the archived presentation.
Following are a few key points covered in the webcast on helping people in your team or organization deal with the accelerating pace of constant change. You can use these points as a checklist for a quick “check up from the neck up,” team assessment, or reflecting on your organization culture:
• We thrive on turbulence by growing for it. Whether sudden and unexpected changes are deadly threats or growth opportunities depends on how we respond.
• There’s no “getting through this crazy period” to some mythical place of predictable stability.
• We must change or be changed. If the rate of external change exceeds our rate of internal change, we are eventually going to be changed.
• When faced with tough changes, set backs, or crisis points our basic choices are to lead, follow, or wallow.
• Our attitude more than our aptitude determines our altitude.
• Leadership is action, not a position. We need dramatically increased and widely shared leadership throughout our entire organization at all levels and in all roles.
• In dealing with change, uncertainty, and turbulence we can increase leading behaviors among team members by reminding each other to “stay off the Bitter Bus and out of Pity City.”
• Visualization/Imagery, Values/Strengths, and Affirmations/Gratitude set up powerful magnetic fields that attract the positive or negative people, events, or circumstances toward us.
It’s easy to slip slowly off track and not realize it or suddenly have a rude awakening on how we’ve lost our way. In the webcast I quoted the famous American frontiersman, Daniel Boone; “I can’t say I was ever lost. But I was bewildered once for three days.” Of course, being a real he-man he likely didn’t ask for directions!