By Chris Klonoski
Change is Creation
In our inward portion of transitions we explored the practice of pausing and then examining. As we look outward, the process builds to include team work.
David Bowie wrote, “Turn and face the stranger” in his song Changes.
Knowing there is a transition is not the same as accepting the new reality.
Any normal business occurrences (a market shift, a team member leaving, a forced location change) can initiate the ripples of undesired adjustments.
Embracing the change and seeing the change as a stranger you and your team are getting to know can shift the perspective from loss to opportunity.
As an organization, be sure to make room for a collective pause. Let your team know how you will be setting aside time to consider the transition. Then, bring them together for some processing. What do your colleagues want to happen next? Who is panicking and who is avoiding? What do they need to be calm and confident? Comfort? Inspiration? A defined path forward?
The first step towards creating what’s next is to answer questions pertinent to your situation, while recognizing that answers may evolve.
Nicely done. As a team you’ve identified the change and maneuvered your way to acceptance. You’re calm, your team is engaged and everyone is excited for the next steps. Now there is room for opportunity.
Separate the transitional from the significant. Be curious. What is important for today and maybe tomorrow, but we will leave it behind next month? What remains from the before? What can be viewed with fresh eyes, and kept? What processes and perspectives need to be developed? In other words, what new scripts need to be written?
Mental scripting – planning and rehearsing self-talk (the inner voice) in order to more effectively deal with stressful or challenging situations is a way of creating a new reality, and replacing old habits and patterns. It can be as simple as thinking of yourself as the innovative problem-solver, replacing a pattern of complaining. Or, as a team, discussing a competitor as motivation to improve customer service, instead of as a threat.
Creating new scripts with your team encourages your processes and culture to evolve to reflect the new way of seeing, new way of thinking and new way of doing. Be patient. It will require balance and humility (more pausing!) to bridge between what was and what now is.
Kick the tires
You’ve done the planning, Now it’s time to refine.
Put it through the paces. Bounce it around. Feel it.
Carve out time off the grid with your team and trusted advisors and kick the tires on your new ways of thinking, your new plans.
How does it sound when spoken aloud? What are the pushbacks, the doubts? Where does the excitement, or that feeling of rightness, lie? How does it feel in your body?
Refine. Polish. Re-cast. It’s okay to tweak plans along the way. Rigidity is seldom helpful. Invite fluidity into your planning and executing processes so the team feels comfortable offering suggestions and feedback.
Whether it is a brand refresh or revising your offerings or some other major change – people love and respond to rebirth, renewal and renovation. Especially when they can feel your enthusiasm.
Transition is a universal human experience, and an opportunity for connection. Celebrating a transition invites people to participate in your joy. It acknowledges that something happened, and it is worth witnessing. Celebration announces that you survived something. That you created something. And it reassures us all that we too, can survive and create.
Chris has 30-years experience in persuasive writing: editorial, speech writing, analysis, B2B & B2C, thought leadership and human interest. After working in various political positions in the White House, United States Congress, Governor’s Office and as an EVP, Public Policy for a local Chamber of Commerce, she formed Proficio, LLC, a communications consulting company specializing in marketing, strategy, public relations, copy writing and community outreach.