Navigating Change

I’m in the business of anticipating the impact of what’s to come, and planning for complexity as change unfolds. But change is no longer confined to a planned effort or a project. It permeates every fiber of work. Its speed stumps leaders at the highest levels, which then cascades down to everyone else as disruption and ambiguity. Unfortunately, most of us have experienced this unpleasant state of uncertainty.

How does change actually affect people?

Well, we humans take change pretty personally. We are thrilled with unexpected positive change, like a gift or recognition. But we have the exact opposite reaction when we can’t get the answers we need. This uncertainty impacts our reasoning and decision abilities, causes anxiety, increases resistance, and confrontation.

What are the top 5 things we need to know and do in times of change?

There’s a whole science around leading and managing change, but here are a few questions we all need answered in times of change.

“Why is it happening?” (help people make sense of it)

“What will change for me?” (be specific about what will be different in the short term)

“When will I know more?” (if you don’t have answers, commit to getting them by date certain)

“How do I talk about this?” (come up with a plan together; solving and planning for the future)

“Who else is impacted?” (help forge connections and validation so people don’t feel alone.)

Are Millennials better at change than older generations?

Actually, millennials are now in their late 30’s! This group c