Thriving in Change – You May Be Closer Than You Think…

Continuing our focus on ‘Staying ahead of the curve’, Cathy Summers looks at thriving in change, and asks how close are you?

We’re still grappling with the huge impact of Covid driven change, in a world where it’s universally acknowledged that humans generally don’t like change. So it’s no surprise that when some people talk about ‘thriving in change’ they actually mean just getting through change and out the other side or learning to live with change.

Not for everyone though.

There are plenty of folk who really do thrive in change. Natural change makers in all walks of life who see and experience change more positively. Think of all the commercial and social entrepreneurs and mini-preneurs you’ve seen popping up over the last 18 months. Not to mention the intrapreneurs (interestingly in all sectors and at all levels) who’ve been changing and creating services to meet the needs of their customers and clients during the pandemic.

If ever we need to find and grow this community of change makers, the time is now.

So, do you know who thrives on change in your organisation? Possibly some of them – if they’re passionate and confident change leaders, they will probably already be visible. But what about your hidden assets? The invisible and undiscovered, the emerging but tentative, the rough diamonds and the valiant ‘triers’ trying to flourish in environments hostile to change.

How to spot them? Just a few of the signs to look out for:

  • A vision for how things could be, hope and optimism,
  • Challenging the status quo, coming up with radical ideas
  • Enthusiasm and energy for change, a mindset for change
  • Resilience for change
  • Motivation to help people around them embrace change
  • And they tend know who their fellow change makers are – at least those immediately around them

There is increasing focus and activity on nurturing talent in organisations nowadays. Leadership is an obvious example and rightly so. But why are we not prioritising change capability as highly? We know that the ability to thrive in change and to create positive change (rather than just adapt to it) will define future success in a world of shifting sands and seismic change.

A good starting point for growing your ‘thriving in change’ capability:

  1. Find your change makers. Don’t leave it to chance that they will naturally emerge. Look for them at all levels of your organisation. Identify them early on in their careers / job roles and certainly before they’ve become so disillusioned from lack of encouragement or lack of opportunity to use their natural talents for change that they give up, fall silent or leave.
  2. Nurture and develop them. Equip them to make change happen wherever they are in your organisation, at any level. Coach and mentor them, get them together to support each other, build a community of learning and fellowship around change and being a change maker.
  3. Let them loose to make a positive impact – free them up! Champion and support them, incentivise, celebrate and reward them.

So go on, start to dig them out and unleash them. Remember, you may be closer than you thought!

“A year from now, you will wish you had started today”.    Karen Lamb

Cathy Summers

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