From pharmaceuticals to medical devices, aerospace to consumer products, my clients are facing change. Internal and external, large and small, change is the continual drumbeat. Along with it, there is extraordinary opportunity. But there's also the possibility for unwanted disruption. So, how do the most effective leaders exploit the possibilities and avoid the pitfalls?
My most successful clients have learned how to strategically, bravely, and thoughtfully lead their organizations, guide their customers, and thrive amid changing circumstances.
Here are four ways to help your organization excel in times of change.
- Create Clarity. What are you and your business facing today, and what are the likely impacts? In the process of navigating new circumstances, what is each unit, department and team expected to contribute? What are the new rules of engagement?
- Provide Context. What are the reasons behind change, and why is it all happening now? What's the vision, what are the primary goals and anticipated outcomes?
- Be Compassionate. The fact is, change can be genuinely disturbing, particularly when unanticipated, rapid, or unsolicited. People fear for their jobs, their families, their futures. Be understanding and listen openly to their concerns. Be thoughtful, patient, and provide reasonable reassurances.
- Offer Control. Give your people an opportunity to influence what happens next. Remember, each time you provide an opportunity to impact the change process, you effectively increase support, lower resistance, mitigate the risk of employee flight, and unearth brilliant ideas you might otherwise have missed.