Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
When we institute change, any change, there is a ripple effect. We have impact on those absorbing the change. Making and executing a decision can be quite satisfying, but impact is a whole other thing. No matter how necessary, innovative or even brilliant we think the change is, the outcome and impact may be less than we had hoped. Part of the change must take into consideration those most affected by it…Input in anticipation of change is key to positive impact.
We don’t want to use a new invention until we understand it. That doesn’t mean we need to understand how it functions. However, we need to grasp what it can do and what it can give us. – Rachel Botsman
What happens when a new business process is introduced as a done deal? What happens when your job is to translate it to your team in such a way that there is buy-in, ownership and adoption? Hopefully, you are thrilled with the possibilities it presents. But…what if you’re not. What if you are moved t to wonder how it will alter your work team’s relationships and responsibilities…?
The “what if” questions lead middle managers or team leaders to “if only” assessments. If only our team could have spoken into this…a much better outcome and more positive impact could follow… without the disruption and chaos you know will come… unnecessarily.
We must be careful, as decision-makers to avoid the default of being task and development oriented to the point that we lose sight of the people impacted. It’s not just “get ‘er done”; it’s also “get ’em won”.
Leadership has its rewards in delivering on bottom line and fulfilling the expectations of shareholders. Where we struggle sometimes is moving too quickly in identifying a problem and developing a solution. Occasionally even publishing our solution cold to our department heads or work teams. They do not always meet our hard work and great solutions with enthusiasm…not because our teammates are ungrateful or clueless. No, in fact, they may have had their finger on the very pulse of those same problems, working out solutions together but not to the point of finished product. We, as leaders, can swoop in like the cavalry, communicating that we alone can “fix the problem”. No need for input here, right? Wrong…sadly wrong.
Before putting in motion a sweeping new initiative, we can hope for maximum impact. Maximum positive impact.
How? If we are willing to do the extra work of gleaning from teams, we can build trust and an openness to adopt change. It’s a win-win.
9 core behaviors of people who positively impact the world:
- They dedicate themselves to what gives their life meaning and purpose.
- They commit to continually bettering themselves.
- They engage with people in open, mutually-beneficial ways.
- They invest time and energy not in what is, but what can be.
- They embrace critique.
- They spread what they know. [No gatekeepers or bottlenecks here.]
- They uplift others as they ascend.
- They view the journey as the goal.
- They use their power and influence well. – Kathy Caprino
[Caprino goes into much more depth in her article. Don’t miss it.]
Just a word on disruption. It, of course, can be a good thing. The thing for us all to remember about disruption, especially in the workplace, is that it is never recreational, especially to those whose positions or purposes are being disrupted. As Rachel Botsman demonstrates in the image below…when change is initiated, we may see one of at least three reactions. When we build trust and demonstrate valuing of those most affected by the change, positive impact can be that sought-after outcome of our endeavors.Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It’s worth the work – and we are better leaders for doing it.