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The Myth of Change Management

Change is a constant.  It is a paradox we live with, but the notion that you can manage or control change is a fallacy.  This does not mean we are a slave to change, having to accept whatever outcome arrives.  Rather we dance with change, an exchange of actions and reactions, both internally and externally driven. Success and the beautify of this dance comes from being able to synchronize those movements.

We live in this sea change – constantly adjusting in order to attain our objectives.  The things we can control (our own actions) we do.  But so much of making any change is beyond our immediate control.  We can influence, we do not control.  Employees need to execute plans, and customers need to accept and embrace new directions.  Those are internal to your company, then there are the actions and reactions of your suppliers, the competition, government regulation and the effect of new technologies.  All these things (and more) can and do “conspire” to keep you from attaining your goals.

Navigating the vagaries of this dance requires a different skill set than the traditional – command and control management techniques we learned in school.

First and foremost, it requires knowing not only what you are doing, but why. It requires the clear vision that not only you, but your associates and clients can embrace. Being united in the vision and destination allows for the synchronicity and flexibility that is needed to make a transformational change.

Second is communications.  This is the most critical tool in the box.  All leaders keep the lines of communications open. Listening, hearing and acting on the blind spots that are exposed by others. It is listening and acting in a consistent with your transformational objectives that will keep your sphere of influence moving in the right direction.

Flexibility.  Hopefully good two-way communications can eliminate most surprises, but we know it won’t.  How will you react?  How flexible will you be when faced with missteps that will surely present themselves.

Those are simply the three skills required to effectively dance with change…

  • Clarity of Vision
  • Listening and acting consistent to the vision
  • Flexibility

Change is a dance… there is a rhythm and flow.  Embrace it – learn from the past efforts. Stay focused on where you are headed, but most important.  Stay in this moment, being aware of what is happening now, in order to influence the next change in beat.

Enjoy the journey.

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