Last year, I was in New York at the Conference Board’s Annual Change and Transformation Conference. Although it was almost a year ago, the core themes discussed have proved to be true in the workplace: Constant change is the new normal. We have many beliefs about change, and at the end of the day, we as humans don’t particularly like change. It’s uncomfortable.
The issue is that we don’t truly understand change and how we react. Warren Parry, Managing Director at Accenture Strategy, shared research that was completed over the last 15 years about 250 change initiatives in more than 150 organizations. What struck me was two particular myths that he debunked about change.
- The first myth is that too much change, too fast, is destructive. According to their research, the highest-performing organizations really excel in change. Typically, high-performing companies have more frequent change taking place.
- The second myth is that change causes organizations to go off track. Many people assume that change causes dysfunction. However, the Accenture research shows that 85% of teams with failed change initiatives already had issues. So change doesn’t cause dysfunction, it simply exposes what already exists.
When I step back with that knowledge, I realize that change enlightens and stretches us. It makes us better leaders and better teams. So rather than fear it, we really need to embrace change. Secondly, when something is not going well within our teams and organizations, change exacerbates it. Continue to have the conversations that are most important to the people around you, so that when change happens, you know the team is equipped and already dealing with any underlying issues that may affect the outcomes.
This week’s fierce tip is to use the power of change this week. If there is something you have been avoiding, do it now. Don’t fear the unknown. Embrace change with all its curliness.
Know that if something doesn’t go as planned, you can navigate it – one conversation at a time.