This post was first published on October 24th, 2011. It’s hard to consider just how much change we’ve been through since then and that is surely yet to come!

Does it feel like you are at the beach with yet another wave of change ready to hit you? You are not alone. Every one of my clients is facing more and more change. Some change is good and welcome, some not-so-good and unwelcome. Some change is shocking, other change invokes a shake of the head and an “it’s about time.”

Today, I wanted to share 5 lessons  for remarkable change from an actual client team collaboration.

  1. It’s quite different when we initiate the change versus when change is someone else’s idea. Logical, right? But, do we remember that when we engage in change? Whether personal or work-related, when we decide to make a change, it starts with “what we want,” and we often feel energized. When change is hoisted upon us, we experience (at best) a time of confusion until we can get grounded about what we can achieve as part of the change.
  2. Manuevering or implementing change is simply another type of result, and requires clarity. Building on my concept of creating remarkable results, we have an even bigger opportunity to get really clear about what our preferred future looks like against our current state.
  3. Getting clear about what change is Certain vs. Uncertain and High Impact vs. Low Impact creates focus for our actions. We developed a  two-by-two matrix for these two distinctions and really pressure-tested what the team needed to know and whether the team needed to do anything. Sometimes change can be overwhelming simply because there is so much we don’t know yet or we think we have to act on everything.
  4. The solution is through relationships with each other.  Rather than retreating into personal strategies alone, colleagues can turn to each other for ideas, information, or support. This concept came from a great article by Margaret Wheatley called When Change is Out of Your Control that the team read as pre-work. And, all too often, when we are going through difficult change we feel isolated or ignored by others conducting business-as-usual.
  5. Confidence and/or “faith” that the end result will be positive. The degree of this mindset probably varies by person and by experience. In this team, most people had weathered many waves of organizational change; and yet, one who had not been part of any significant change effort. And, some people seemed to naturally have a great connection with their internal sense that they will be “safe.”

What change are you facing and how do these lessons inform your path?