In a book called TEACHING THE ELEPHANT, author James Belasco reminds us “change is a process and not a destination.” I interpret this to mean that change is constant and continuous, not something we end when the going gets tough.
Being the person who takes the risk to create change when change is needed can be a tough place to be. The key is creating change when it is needed, not necessarily when it is wanted or comfortable. Change is difficult, time consuming and there will be loss for some and why create change when there is nothing wrong. How many times have you heard “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”? That can be true in some instances but sometimes fixing it is the only way to make progress or create forward movement otherwise things can remain stagnant.
When exercising leadership, intuition can play a part in making progress on issues we care about. It is important to know when to create change and we may need to rely on our gut feelings to begin forming a plan for change. Do no create change just to create change. Be informed, collect the data and make an informed decision.
Some things to keep in mind when you create change or are part of creating change.
· Have the willingness and courage to take risks on those tough issues
· Diagnose the situation correctly and do not default into technical solutions to see quick results
· Understand there will be loss when those risks are taken
· Recognized our own triggers, vulnerabilities and capabilities while staying “in the moment”
· Don’t do what is comfortable, do what is needed
· Be willing and prepared to get to the deep issues of resistance – great work comes from chaos, but there is a responsibility to keep the work productive and not personal
· Be aware of the factions you are working with…those who are hands on learners want to see results quickly and they will try to force technical solutions while others need to read and reflect on the change
Our society is a constant state of change and it can be a lot easier not to change. Think about your role in your community…in your work…are you a change agent?
For more information contact Becky Wolfe, Executive Director, Leadership Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org