Adapting to change means championing a better future. Amplify the positives by shifting your perspective to promote change as a journey, not a destination.
The truth is most businesses fail when adapting to change. Statistics reveal that an overwhelming 70% of change initiatives miss the mark as organizations fail to implement change successfully.
Change is inevitable, and organizations that hope to survive the challenges of change need to adopt the best practices and perspectives of positive change management. In this article, we’ll help you find the winning formula for adapting to change as we explore the following:
- The Positives of Change
- The Change Management Challenge
- The Ambiguity of Change
- Changing Your Perspective
- Adapting With Flexibility in Leadership
The Positives of Change
While change is a fact of life, most change initiatives are met with struggle. For many teams and their leaders, any attempt to change the status quo can feel like a threatening process. While it is common to feel the unknown, experts in change management encourage all to welcome change as a positive.
In today’s world, the shift to more remote work requires organizations to embrace change rather than resist it. With this type of change, leaders and teams often feel a level of stress or resistance. It doesn’t have to be that way! Change is good and allows for new ideas, innovation, and potential!
Adapting to change can take time and patience. By being open to all that change has to offer, organizations can give their team members and themselves the best chance to thrive in an ever-changing world.
The Change Management Challenge
Change management allows organizations to dive into the challenge of changing. Adapting to change is ultimately a journey that takes into account the ups and downs of transition. Challenges are always part of change and will decide what will make or break your initiatives.
This resistance to change ignores one of the biggest truths: change is an inevitable and often positive aspect of working with others, and the ability to cope with change can decrease stress and even increase productivity. The reality is that new and exciting opportunities show up for you when you learn to accept and embrace change.
Change management experts share that the challenge of adapting to change lies in organizational resistance to change. A company and its leaders and team members operate like a system. As employees work to maintain the balance, change threatens to interrupt standards of operation.
Change management experts reveal that the majority of change initiatives fail due to a company’s lack of understanding of how to approach the dynamics of change. Leaders and team members must get past the fear of change and resistance to such a shift by taking a multi-level approach to implementing change. Achieving change starts with relentlessly committing to challenging an organization and its members through its processes, thoughts, and perspectives.
The Ambiguity of Change
In today’s in-person, hybrid, and remote work world, organizations that help implement change need to prepare their teams to face the unknown. Arming employees with the right mindsets, tools, and support to traverse the journey of change is an essential step to unifying a team and giving them the confidence to take the next step on the journey.
While change initiatives allow organizations to intentionally and thoughtfully enact change, the spaces between a company’s present and future are the liminal spaces that can make a change so challenging. Part of reaching past this liminal space forces leaders to focus on well-communicated and well-executed change initiatives. This actively replaces fear with hope, allowing your team to imagine all the positives of change. This positivity fills every member of your organization with the confidence, purpose, and belief to help them navigate the difficult moments that often make adapting to change such a challenge.
Changing Your Perspective
Change is often so upsetting because it forces us out of our comfort zone. Learning to shift perspective allows us to face the unexpected with open eyes and an open mind.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”Wayne Dyer
Change communication helps to change our perspective by holding an ongoing conversation to align and unify perspectives ahead of a big change. This type of communication gives leadership and team members the opportunity to understand any feelings and fear regarding a change and learn how to overcome them together.
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The following steps will help you shift perspectives by adopting a change management mindset:
- Identify the cause of the behavior that will hinder or help a change.
Successful change is a result of consistent habits and routines. True organizational change starts with a behavioral change that will help you meet your desired goals. By identifying behavior that either helps or hinders this shift, you’ll make the first step in successfully adapting to change.
- Reframe the root causes.
It’s important to reframe the initial beliefs that hinder or help a change so team members can make better-informed decisions as they warm up to the shift. This will help transform perspectives from negative to positive as your team begins to view the upcoming change as a purposeful and productive one.
- Make the change personal.
True change takes place when every facet of an organization has the opportunity to be part of the solution. Leaders and team members should encourage each other to “role model behavioral changes” as a way to personalize the desired shifts. This helps leaders and employees internalize the process, making them even more committed to seeing the change through.
- Reshape the work environment.
The organizational culture and environment inherently shape one’s ability to adapt to change. In addition to generating the motivation needed to facilitate change, a work environment must change as well to accommodate this new mindset.
Adapting With Flexibility in Leadership
Adapting to change requires a keen sense of flexibility in leadership. To prepare your teams for the challenges that come with change, leaders should improve their flexibility in the following ways:
1. Cognitive Flexibility
Cognitive flexibility involves the ability to perform different strategies and frameworks. This type of flexibility directly impacts one’s ability to plan, make decisions, and manage daily responsibilities. Leaders with cognitive flexibility can keep multiple scenarios in their minds and can best determine how to implement a change.
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This type of flexibility indicates divergent thinking, the ability to leverage connections, and an interest in designing new approaches.
2. Emotional Flexibility
Emotional flexibility is one’s ability to handle emotions in the decision-making process. Leaders that are well-versed in emotional flexibility are high in emotional intelligence as they consider the best way to handle their own and others’ feelings.
With apt emotional flexibility, leaders are accepting of others’ fears, concerns, and questions as they openly communicate with others. This type of change communication is ideal for adapting to change as team members feel as though they are included in the upcoming shift.
3. Dispositional Flexibility
Dispositional flexibility reflects a leader’s ability to maintain a sense of optimistic realism. Leaders that are dispositionally flexible lead with optimism and openness. While they don’t ignore negatives that occur, they work hard to visualize a positive outcome in the future. This type of flexibility champions changes as the opportunity to create a better future, allowing their team members to do the same.
Are you and your team struggling with an organizational change? We help leaders and teams thrive through change! Contact us at Voltage Control to learn about our programs that help organizations and teams facilitate lasting change initiatives.