New beginnings can be exciting but also scary.
Many of us don’t like having to adapt to change. It can be daunting, difficult, overwhelming and can cause a high degree of stress and anxiety, especially when the pace of change is extreme.
I’m not going to claim to be an expert on this issue but in the last 17 months I have: had a baby, separated from my husband, bought a new house on my own, moved and changed my job. That’s quite a lot of change in a short space of time and it wasn’t easy.
But as a dear friend told me, ‘there is a blessing in everything, it is just how you look at it’ and I believe that. And in re-reviewing a lot of articles about change and transition it is apparent that having a positive mindset and seeing the opportunities that lie before us are key to successfully navigating a new situation.
But how does this relate to business? We all know that the business world has and continues to evolve. It is a far more complex business environment now than it was 10 or even 5 years ago and the pace of change is getting faster. Businesses have to adapt.
Working with some of our long-term clients we know that this is difficult for employees and that change and transition management is key. There is a need to help and guide teams through transition, a need to better understand how employees feel about issues, a need to help employees see, acknowledge and internalize both what they have lost in the change, but importantly, what they have also gained.
Helping employees feel empowered to cope with the problems and identify potential solutions is critical, for example, by getting them to vision worst case scenarios and work back to identify all the challenges and potential solutions along the way. It is also key to help them deal with unresolved issues created by the change, positive or negative, as they can influence a person’s ability to accept and embrace the new world.
It is possible to change how someone might think or even what they believe about a situation, especially with information and education, although it is certainly a lot harder to change how they feel about something and that can take time!
Change, however, can be good whether we initially like it or not. There are a myriad of companies that have successfully gone through some dramatic changes. YouTube, Google, Apple, PayPal are just a few who have changed their strategies over the years to adapt to the evolving market and look at how successful they are now. They have, each in their own right, become woven into the social fabric of every day life.
The strategic changes that each company made were not incidental; they changed the way they did business, which helped lead them to growth that might not have otherwise materialized.
Their willingness to accept that things were not right, their flexibility to evolve and determination as well as discipline to change things resulted in a positive outcome. But I am sure that it wasn’t easy and no doubt there was also a need for a sprinkling of faith!
The following Ted Talk further highlights the need to embrace change within business.
So change can usually be good. From a personal perspective, it can help us focus on the moment and what’s important. It can help us become more resilient to whatever life throws our way.
What is often really difficult is ‘seeing’ the good, at least initially and so we all might need a little help sometimes – hence why change and transition management should not be sidelined, but embraced instead.