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Mayes Wilson & Associates

Preparing for change

Sara Wilson, CPCC, ACC |

Executive directors have to keep their eyes focused in two directions: out over the horizon and on the everyday running of the organization. Those two vantage points give you the opportunity to see areas in need of change.

Your team is probably made up of individuals who dread change and others who welcome and are even excited by change. Knowing that you have this mix of comfort with change on your team, is there a way to make change a bit easier, maybe a little less scary?

Conditions for change

There are two conditions that, when present, make change more likely to happen*

  1. People need to understand the “Why” behind the change–Why are we making the change? What is the strategic value of change for the organization?
  2. People also need to understand “What’s in for me?”

In our fast-paced world with long to-do lists, we can forget that for change to have a greater chance of success, we need to think about the people who will be impacted. As a leader are you mindfully aware of your team members’ individual attitudes regarding change? Not everyone is at the same comfort level or even place understanding change. I realize you may not feel like you have the time, but addressing the two conditions above doesn’t have to be a long, drawn-out process.

I frequently start projects with saying “Begin with the end in mind.” I recommend you invest time at the beginning of implementing change to think about your individual team members and the impact on the organization as a whole. This upfront investment of time is likely to result in greater success for the team and for you in facilitating the change and garnering buy-in from everyone who will be impacted.

*  According to Douglas Choo, former Head of Strategy at Metlife Group and a consultant with McKinsey and Deloitte Institute of Coaching,

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