’Tis the season!
For many of us, the holidays means making a list and checking it twice. As I sat down to create my gift list — the ones I want to give and the ones I’d love to receive— it made me think about the work I do and why I believe deeply in the power of change and the many gifts change can bring to an individual or organization.
As a change management consultant, I have the privilege of introducing enterprise leaders to the impact of business change on their employees. Often, executives experience feelings of denial, stress, and trepidation. Unwrapping these fears and understanding why the feelings exist is the first step toward positive change experiences. Change is a natural part of the human experience but the unknown can be unsettling. Rather than resist change, viewing it as a gift allows us to approach change with an open mind and willingness to learn in any situation.
Growth through Change
While migrating to costly cloud-based systems, transforming outdated processes, and re-designing employees' evolving job roles is challenging, my favorite gift during organizational change is to witness the personal and professional growth that comes with navigating change. As leaders become more familiar with the significance of change and the importance of managing it, they grow exponentially in their understanding of the power of change and how change can open the door to a world of possibilities. This gift of internal growth enhances overall leadership abilities, empowering individuals to drive their teams and organization forward.
Organizational change management tactics can also be incorporated into personal plans, especially during the hectic holiday season with individuals, small groups, and large teams.
- Plan ahead and don’t stretch yourself too thin. Develop a holiday strategy, budget, and timeline based on the people, places, and gift giving that are most important and don’t try to do everything. It will wear you out and doesn’t benefit anyone or your health.
- Approach everything with compassion. (Don’t be a Grinch!) There are days being a change management leader is difficult. Be optimistic, even if you dread seeing people (yes, even family), who aren’t your favorite people. You never know what people are going through and how your attitude affects others.
- Be present in the moment and communicate by actively listening. This will help enable loved ones, your colleagues, and others to get your time, authenticity, and energy to coach you into achieving greater personal and professional success.
- Appreciate the people and experiences that make you who you are. In a year of losing loved ones and witnessing cancer attack close family and friends, give people that matter to you their flowers and cards now and honor how they have helped you grow. Think of it as your continuous improvement.
- Journal and document your current and future state of change. What changes did you experience during 2023? Which gifts (expected or unexpected) resulted from those changes? What changes do you plan for 2024? What are your concerns? How could your change(s) in 2024 potentially be a gift?
My wish for you is to spend time understanding how you have changed, personally and professionally. If you are still uncertain about the power of change, I encourage you to shift your perspective and welcome it in the New Year. Change is a gift that offers the chance to evolve and become the best version of yourself, if not for you, then for others.