The company I currently work for recently had change in top level management by bringing in a new CEO to implement certain strategies from the Board of Directors. The process of change has not been smooth at any level within the team; this seems to be the mildest way of putting it. The last 4+ months since the new CEO has come in, I’ve gained a substantial insight into managing change within an organization. Being a staff, I’ve realised its so easy for us to simply point out the mistakes and shortcomings of the higher management; bring all the blame on them for all that’s going wrong within an organisation. This is true to an extremely large extent. As John Maxwell puts it “Everything rises and falls on leadership”. The ultimate responsibility of implementing change with a positive outcome lies on those of senior leadership.
But this blog is NOT about how my BoD’s or CEO should have done things, because I cannot control what and how they do things. But rather how as an employee or team member, we can go through seasons of uninvited change joyfully. The past few months taught me some valuable lessons on navigating through change that is imposed on you. Here are some of them:
1. Corporate Goal vs. Personal Gratification
Change is expensive, time-consuming and frustrating. So when management decide to bring in change, it’s because something had to change to help attain corporate goals. If things were running smooth and with maximum optimised outputs, management would not consider change.
But as employee’s we resist change because what we are more concerned about is not the corporate goal rather our own personal gratification. When we are ruffled out of our comfort zone which we’ve grown into, we resist change.
When change is imposed, why do we resist? Is it because the new corporate goals are absurd or it because it no longer satisfies our personal pleasures?
2. Ask to Clarify
Ah the good ole pantry talk; everyone loves this. A group of people who do not have decision making power gather around during every coffee/lunch/smoke break just to share frustrations and opinions on how to do things better based on their limited insight into what senior management is up to. People spend hours discussing the on-going situation and in most cases, the point of discussion is unsubstantiated or half-cooked information.
The sad part is that no one actually musters the nerve to speak directly to decisions makers to clarify. In some cases, staff do not want to clarify. They would rather live by the assumptions and mindsets created from so called “secret” office chatter a.k.a gossip. I guess humans are inherently inclined towards gossip rather than clarification.
“Let no corrupting talk come out
of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
No one wins when there is lack of clarity. So for your own win, muster the strength and nerve to CLARIFY.
3. Vision Alignment
If we are part of an organisation it should be because we see ourselves in part of fulfilling the corporate vision. Our beliefs, goals, strengths and vision needs to be in alignment with the corporate vision. It is so hard to operate in an organisation where you are walking in separate directions.
If the changes being made are to achieve the same vision, we should sacrifice personal gains for the gain of the common vision. If there is a change in vision and direction, then it would be very hard to walk together.
Can two people walk together w
ithout agreeing on the direction?” – Amos 3:3
The real secret to keeping you joy in the midst of uninvited change is to remember that our ultimate and real boss is God himself. So we really have no other way to doing things expect to honour Him even when it becomes difficult to do so.
“*Employee’s, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord.” – Colossians 3:22
We can’t control the direction of the wind of change. But we can adjust the sails for our thoughts, words and action to always reach our destination.
Be Propelled by Change.