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Change is Coming: Leaders, Get Ready.

It's up to you to pave the way

 

It is said that the best predictor of a person's behavior is his or her past behavior. Likewise, you might expect that the best predictors of an organization's performance and direction are its past performance, and direction.

Yet what's most predictable is that nothing remains the same for terribly long. Just when you think you've got some organizational predictability and flow, change comes along to shake things up.

Change is nothing new. You'd think we'd be used to it. We certainly ought to be. We should expect change. And we should be able to plan for it, respond to it, and navigate our way through it - calmly, effective, even masterfully. Leaders, I am talking to you.

Here are three key steps for dealing with change.

 

Anticipate.
Given the steady stream of change over the past several years, attentive leaders can't possibly be taken by surprise. Shifting market conditions, changes in the regulatory environment, flux in the workforce, new developments in technology... the list goes on and on. A leader with vision looks at the recent and not-so-recent past, takes stock of current conditions, and anticipates what is to come.

So ask yourself this: How can you best prepare yourself and your organization to meet the changes, challenges, and opportunities that abound in the new year?

 

Communicate.
Share your knowledge freely. Tell people what's happening now and what lies around the bend. Offer as much information as you can - to your team, peers, customers and business partners.

Remember this. Clear, open, authentic communication is the key to inspiring trust and dispelling the anxiety and misinformation that routinely accompany the uncertainty of change.

 

Respond.
Your team will have questions and they'll have concerns. Without a doubt, they will also have useful ideas and potential solutions. Listen closely to what they have to say. Make yourself available to answer questions, ask for other points of view, and be as responsive as possible.

Consistent, timely, and genuinely confident responsiveness is an essential leadership tool, and it will work wonders in allaying undue anxiety, correcting misconceptions, and providing appropriate direction and guidance across your organization.

Leaders, you play a vital role in helping your organization manage, and even thrive, in times of change. Don't let it take you by surprise and don't let it throw you off balance. By remaining the calm in the storm, you will provide an unwavering source of strength, inspiration, and leadership for the people who work with and for you.

All the best,  
Liz


liz
  

Liz Bywater, PhD 
President, Bywater Consulting Group 
 
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Copyright 2015. Liz Bywater, PhD. Bywater Consulting Group, LLC. All rights reserved.