tumultuous times leadership

Leading Through Tumultuous Times

Whether changes are occurring inside the organization, or outside forces are creating conflict, the key is to accept and encourage change, rather than deflect it.

Change is hard, whether in personal or work lives. There’s no other way to phrase that. It’s just hard. Change management is a discipline, in and of itself, within the realm of human resources because the impact to morale, to say nothing of the bottom line, can be intense when changes aren’t introduced properly.

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change. ~ Charles Darwin

People want to guard what they know, their little piece of the business pie, for fear that they will become expendable if they share it with others. Any changes in an organization often lead to people hoarding their pie slices even more closely than in normal times.

There is one key to effective change management within an organization and that’s the attitude of the leaders. If they don’t buy into the changes, or they’re discomfited by conflict, allowing their agitation to show to the rest of the team, they won’t be able to lead their team through whatever upheaval they need to manage.

All leaders deal with turbulence or conflict, within the organization but they must also deal with influences from without. In fact, a good leader will have a nose for what’s coming and be ahead of the game, where they can.

Strategic, long-term thinking, which is a major focus for most leaders, has to be done in the context of the real world: the current economic climate, the international market, the political realities of the day and so on.

So how can you lead through tumultuous times?

Lead by example

This one should be obvious to most any leader worth their salt but, perhaps in these days more than ever, it’s worth repeating. If you expect your team to work through change or conflict, you have to show them how.

That’s what leadership is, at its most distilled level. Your team is looking to you to show them the way and will be scrutinizing every move you make. Don’t make them guess at what to do next: communicate your vision and goals at every step!

Adapt with positivity

Look at change as an opportunity. The evolution of digital is a great example of how massive and very fast changes can be upsetting but if you alter your frame of mind and see them as opportunities for growth or to capture new business, you can ride the wave with more confidence and success. Example? Banks could have balked at changes in the digital sphere.

After all, there is far less call for tellers when everything can be done via a smartphone. Rather than lose their collective minds, they adapted and built apps and online resources. It’s what customers were asking for, so they embraced it.

Embrace differences of opinion

It’s important not only to acknowledge conflict or change but in fact to embrace it. Through conflict, new ideas are often born.

You’ll never find a better sparring partner than adversity. ~ Golda Meir

It doesn’t need to become toxic or overwhelming to be effective, but a little adversity can create a new vision. This goes back to the previous point about adapting: it’s often from places of difference that these new and interesting opportunities develop.

It’s a question of having an open mind, in order to be able to see the possibilities. Within a team, within an organization or even within an industry, or a country, adversity can lead to interesting changes so long as the leaders acknowledge it in the spirit of growth, as opposed to destruction.

Doing things the way they’ve always been done isn’t an open door to growth, but endless conflict isn’t either. A good leader will weave a path between these two extremes and inspire their team towards change. It’s not always an easy sell but worthwhile for the company, and leader, that can get it right.

It’s not always an easy sell but worthwhile for the company, and leader, that can get it right.

Can Change Management Help My Company by Shannon Cassidy

Can Change Management Help My Company?

You’ve heard the buzz word before. Change management. According to Prosci Solutions, change management is defined as “the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.”

For the past few decades, individuals have researched this relatively new skill set. Associations have formed to provide support and training.

The first State of the Change Management Industry report was published in the Consultants News in February 1995.

In 2013, The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) also included Change Management as a core competence in their Standards..

The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) was created in 2011 and announced that in 2016 that, to enhance the profession, a new certification will be introduced: Certified Change Management Professional.

So how can change management help your company or career?

According to Prosci Solutions:

“Realizing the benefits of your strategy depends on people changing how they do their work. Change management is a structured approach to drive these individual transitions.”

If a company adapts change management, it will:

  1. Increase the likelihood projects will succeed. Projects where changing practices, techniques or attitudes are important need extra attention. Left to just “adapt” to new requirements, employees often become frustrated or discouraged. Change management gives these individuals the leadership and training they need to feel confident.
  2. Manage employee resistance to change. We are all resistant to change. Humans get comfortable in their set patterns. To upset that comfort is to experience pain. Peter Benge, an American systems scientist said, “People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.” Change management gives an employee a safe way to experience change without feeling they are “being” changed.
  3. Build change competency in the organization. In using change management, a company acquires experience in helping individuals and groups change. By first identifying those who will need to change and defining what ways they will need to change, the process is broken down into manageable tasks that build competency in change management. After using this process the first time, the “change” techniques become easier and easier.

Your company’s individuals will embrace change more quickly and effectively when they are equipped to handle change. You team will more easily embrace new strategic initiatives and they will adopt new technology quicker.

Change management is more than a buzz word. It is a tool that every company can adopt to help employees navigate the ever-changing business environment.

Sources:

http://www.prosci.com/change-management/what-is-change-management

http://www.acmpglobal.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Change_management

https://www.prosci.com/

Are You Ready for a Big Change in Your Life? Shannon Cassidy photo

Are You Ready for a Big Change in Your Life?

“Change is the end result of all true learning.”—Leo Buscaglia

Many of us made New Year’s resolutions a few weeks ago. So many of us have been tempted by now to throw in the towel and quit. Many of us have.

It’s easy to make resolutions when the calendar says we should think about doing that. But how do we know we are truly ready to make a significant change?

Are You Ready for a Big Change in Your Life? Answer These Questions to Find Out.

Are You Going Through a Life Upheaval?

If you are experiencing an upheaval in your life, be it professional or personal, it is an opportunity for you to learn more about yourself. You can capitalize on the upheaval in one of two ways: learn while doing more of the same or take a new path. If you are having inklings that your need to find a new way, it is good to trust those instincts. A major life upheaval is nothing more than an invitation for growth while setting new strategies into place to make life what you want it to be.

Are You Tired of Merely Surviving?

Going to work, paying the bills and living day-to-day can get extremely frustrating, especially if you think there is more waiting for you. If you think this is you, you are probably ready for a change in your life.

Are You Bored?

We all get bored from time to time. But if you are experiencing boredom on a regular basis, it might be your heart and your mind begging you for a change in your life.

Lynn A. Robinson, M.Ed., is one of America’s leading experts on the topic of intuition. She has said, “Boredom is one of those messages from your intuition that change is needed. It’s a signal that your energy is being drained and that something new needs to happen.”

Do You Have Specific Goals?

A sign that says you are probably ready to change your life is that you have clearly identified your goals. You’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and you know you have goals.

So what are they? Do you have a personal interest you’d like to pursue? Are you looking to start a new career? Are you hoping to gain more skills? Are you wanting to start a small business? If you know what you want to achieve, then half the battle is already won.

Get some advice, research online, or choose a short course to introduce yourself to a network of people who might be able to inspire you and help you. If you have already identified your goals, then this is a sure sign that you are ready for a big change in your life.

Sources:

http://liveboldandbloom.com/06/lifestyle/are-you-ready-to-change-your-life-10-ways-to-know-for-sure

http://www.stevenaitchison.co.uk/blog/6-signs-youre-ready-to-change-your-life-for-the-better/

http://blog.opencolleges.edu.au/2014/01/08/5-signs-you-are-ready-to-change-your-life/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lamisha-serfwalls/7-signs-youre-ready-for-a-major-life-change_b_7225108.html

Six Surprising Facts How Small Changes Lead to Big Results

You may be surprised at just how effective small changes can be in leading to big results.

Here are six reasons why you don’t have to start big to achieve big things.

 5 degree Shannon quote

  • Big steps can seem overwhelming: Beginning your journey with small steps makes it is easier to get started.  Since getting started on a big task usually seems to be the most difficult part, starting small will help you in the long run.
  • Small goals are more attainable: While small goals may seem insignificant, they are also easier to achieve.  Once you’ve started achieving small goals, you will be more motivated to continue.
  • It’s gratifying to achieve many small accomplishments: A sense of accomplishment helps you feel better about yourself.  This makes it easier to move on to the next step toward achieving all of your goals.
  • Small things add up over time: If you accomplish one small goal 3-4 times a week, over the course of a month you will have reached an average of 14 mini goals.  This is quite an accomplishment considering it all started with something that seemed insignificant at the time.
  • It’s easier to procrastinate when it comes to difficult tasks: It’s much easier to put off doing tasks that seem too big and complicated.  When something seems overwhelming, most of the time it just seems easier to not even try.
  • It’s harder to make excuses for not doing small tasks: Starting with small steps makes it harder to justify putting them off.  Knowing that you only have to put a few minutes towards reaching your goal gives you very little excuses for not doing it.

For help in getting started on your five degree shifts, contact us.  We look forward to hearing from you!