With current research suggesting that managing change is one of the biggest challenges for leaders today, it’s probably time to change our mindset about change and learn how to become a master at it.
Like most things, there is a polarity that exists with change.
Some leaders hate it and some don’t.
Some find it scary and others liberating.
While some deny and run from it, others lean in to embrace, explore and commit to it, whatever it takes.
So how do we help leaders to embrace change rather than push it away?
Especially with the market turning and more change on the horizon, you will need to be fluid and adaptive to succeed.
The key is understanding that our relationship with change determines our experience of it.
The way we interact with change defines the outcomes we achieve.
So what relationship do you need to cultivate with change to manage it effectively for success in the new market?
There are three things you need to learn to do with change:
Connect with change
Most people already fear change, and this sets change up as an enemy rather than the friend it is.
When you treat change as a good friend, you connect to it and three things happen.
Just like you do with your real-life friendships, when you connect with change, you build trust.
You need to trust it is ok, that change has your back and will do the right thing by you.
A good friend is also supportive.
When you see change as supportive, it becomes a resource, not a restraint, and you can use its energy for success.
Finally, all good friends give you feedback, don’t they? Change is the same.
Its job is to give you feedback on what’s happening right now and what’s on the horizon.
Treating change as a friend allows you to get the best from it.
Learn to play with change
Think back to when you were a child, when play was your world.
You were curious, imaginary, and inquisitive about everything.
Then you became an adult and lost this beautiful gift.
When you learn how to play with change, it becomes a creative energy, not a destructive one.
When you play with change, you are in what psychologists call “a state of flow”.
When you are in a state of flow, you don’t resist change.
Finally, when you are in play mode, you have fun.
Richard Branson says, “Fun is at the core of the way I like to do business, and it has been key to everything I’ve done from the outset”.
Have fun with change; enjoy it.
Learning to play with change opens the doors of opportunity instead of opposition.
Learn to dance with change
The famous philosopher Alan Watts says, “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance”.
What he was saying was to grab change and become a part of it.
I remember going to salsa lessons once with my partner.
Initially, I felt uncomfortable, awkward, self-conscious, and critical of myself.
Finally, after a few more lessons, I relaxed and started to pull off some basic moves.
I moved from anxious and out of control to confident and in control.
The same thing happens with change when we learn to dance with it.
Dancing with change allows us to engage with it and move with it to enable us to be comfortable with it.