Had any change lately? New premises? Merging with another department? 4000 voluntary redundancies in your organisation? New job? New baby?
Change is like a river flowing all around us. Some climb on a rock and look for the bank. Others sit on a rock in the current, just watching it flow by. Others jump in and go with the flow. The industrious ones grab a boat and steer their way through the rapids, avoiding jams, drops and waterfalls. And there are those who CAUSE the change, direct the flow of the river. These are the engineers, the disrupters, the wild and radical innovators.
That, or they’re God.
Here’s what I know about the leaders and teams that stay centred through change. These are those who can steer their boat through whatever the river brings their way:
Clear connection to purpose.
Like Simon Sinek explains in his 2009 TED Talk, they start with ‘why.’ This remains front and foremost – like a compass guiding them through the fog.
Deep care of personal presence.
How we turn up at work causes ripples. Sometimes even tidal waves! Especially if we are in a position of authority. Being deeply mindful of our presence, the energy we broadcast, is essential for staying centred.
Rigorous truth telling.
Centred teams and leaders invite truth telling as a core ingredient to their culture. Truth tellers are respected and encouraged, even when the news is not good, sometimes even troubling. It’s only by considering truths that are difficult that a team can address critical concerns.
People reading and mapping of interpersonal relationships is essential for centred teams. Dynamics are not static, nor do they develop successfully without deliberate care and attention. Centred teams manage their culture assiduously as a primary concern, especially in change.
Patterns of emotions, knowing how to deal with change resistance, and strategies for planing, communicating, and managing change are all critical change navigation tools.
Projects that matter.
Projects that are meaningful and connected in a line of sight to customers, that are collaborative so as to engage the best of all team members, and that are needed will galvanise leaders and teams even through the most difficult and turbulent times of change.
What are your tips for staying centred through change? Share your experience in the comments below.