Change is a word that strikes fear into many leaders’ hearts and causes distress in many workplaces. Others welcome it and use it as an opportunity to move forward rather than declaring that the sky is falling. It’s up to you how you deal with change and you get to decide whether it’s an opportunity or a roadblock. I prefer an approach that welcomes change and uses it to improve the functioning of the organization.
Signs that you or your organization may not be quite ready for change:
- Leaders and employees emphasize how things have always been done.
- It takes a long time for any new idea to be considered.
- Leadership doesn’t listen to suggestions or a variety of perspectives.
- Decisions have always been made by the same individuals or group.
- Leaders view change as admitting failure or as a threat to their authority.
- Leadership is happy with the culture of the company but nobody else is.
- The prevailing leadership style is reactive and focused on the past.
- Change is only discussed as a negative or something to be avoided.
Signs that you’re ready for change:
- Leaders and employees are open to doing things differently.
- New ideas are entertained and considered promptly.
- Leadership is open to suggestions and varying perspectives.
- Independent decision-making is encouraged at every level.
- Leaders see change as an opportunity to grow and lead more effectively.
- People work together to build a culture that benefits everyone.
- The preferred leadership style is proactive and forward-looking.
- Change is openly talked about and used as a tool for progress.
Is your approach to change more like the first list or the second? You get to decide what kind of organization you design. When you resist change, you’ll likely find yourself dreading anything that’s different and scrambling to put out fires and stifling progress. If you invite change, you’ll enjoy dealing with the challenges that come your way and building a workplaces that’s flexible and agile. What will you do to welcome change into your organization?