Sometimes you can learn the most about change from a different field than yours.
While reports like the Tower Watsons Change and Communication ROI Survey might discourage us with data that only 25% of employees feel that gains from a company’s change were sustained over time, this does not mean there are no successful ways to adapt to new situations.
If you are having problems adapting to a changing environment, sometimes it’s useful to go outside of your field to find the answers. Here are six lessons from the Arts, Sports, Military, and Business to help you better introduce, implement, and manage change.
As the rate of change increases in the world, organizations must seek ways to tolerate greater ambiguity. According to Michael Gelb—renowned speaker on innovation and the author of the international bestseller How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day—one should embrace ambiguity, not fear it.
In his blog, “Let the Mona Lisa Help You Manage Change,” Gelb states that embracing uncertainty in the face of change is the characteristic of a creative mind. Creativity will help you find better solutions in a changing world.
In order to get people to accept why change is necessary and understand what those changes should be, you should communicate your vision clearly. Do not be afraid to over communicate, suggests former NFL quarterback Tom Flick in his blog “3 Key Elements to Lead Change in 2016.”
Flick played quarterback in the NFL for seven seasons and knows a thing or two about communicating in changing environments. He suggests that you communicate in the future tense to define clearly where you intend the organization to be going.
If you want to build buy-in for your changes, you first need to build relationships with your employees. According to Flick, all great teams and organizations are founded on strong relationships and solid trust. If you take the time to create and maintain trusting relationships before you make changes, your staff will be more likely to follow the new initiatives you propose.
When evaluating the outcomes of your changes, always focus on the process—not the people. You should assume that people want to do a good job and are not trying to fail.
According to US Naval Commander Mike Abrashoff, author of It’s Your Ship, you must examine the process by asking: have you clearly communicated your goals, gave the necessary resources, or provided the right training? If you constantly challenge the processes and not the people, you will see improvements.
Create a code of conduct
One way to create and maintain change in your organization is to write a code of conduct and hold yourself to it. In her blog “3 Tips for Creating Space for Change,” Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink and author of Kill the Company, suggests creating a code of conduct will help you instill better work habits for you and your team.
Bodell recommends posting the code where you can always see it, like on a space next to your computer. Your conduct code might include action items such as reducing redundancies, empowering your team to do the same, and communicating in jargon-free language.
Kill a stupid rule
Are the old rules holding your organization back and stopping you from innovating? Bodell suggests that to increase innovation you should ask your team what two rules they might eliminate. This is also a way to open a dialogue about change in your company and start including people in the process.