No matter the change that we might be facing, those who are willing to embrace change and possibly even look for it, are working toward making a difference in our lives and the lives of others.
While not every change is positive for everyone, let’s look at how one change has positively impacted the world: the evolution of cellphones. The first cellphone was invented almost 45 years ago. Martin Cooper, an engineer and general manager for Motorola, successfully developed the first portable phone in 1973. However, it was not until the 2000s that cellphones became more widely available and affordable.
We can see just how impactful this change turned out to be for so many of us. People across the globe have embraced not only having a cellphone but the many day-to-day advantages it offers.
Our Response to Change is a Choice
As leaders, we have the power to either build excitement through change or instill stress or even fear in others. That’s quite a bit of power to have, and it’s a choice we all make with every change we are responsible for.
While some changes that are cascaded down the organization are beyond our control, we do have a choice in how we respond to them. Whether it’s a direct report, a peer, or even a customer, the people around us will experience change in the way we communicate it – be that positive or negative.
Technology is a prime example of how one might either embrace change or shy away from it. For instance, the use of emerging technologies in education. Over the years we’ve seen a huge difference in how the school system has adapted to new technologies, both within the classroom and communication with parents.
Children are using computers as part of their everyday routine and are constantly exposed to new programs, software and other technical updates. Yet, they thrive in that constant learning and ever-changing environment. They have been able to take their familiarity with technology to the next level by becoming the cellphone experts in our society. While I can’t speak for everyone, the student-teacher relationship is reversed with my cellphone – my kids show me the newest tricks!
Everyone is unique when it comes to change. We will either seek it, embrace it, or avoid it, but the one thing we all have in common is that we can change. The key ingredient to successful change is communication.
Be as transparent as possible and people will trust you. To truly make change work, we need to get everyone involved. So how do we get people to buy in? Understanding what’s important to the people around us and what they need is a good place to start. Remember the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) rule? Learn to recognize how to connect the change with WIIFM for those affected by the change, and make this a communication priority throughout the process.
Help Sponsor the Change
For organizations to be successful, change must happen. So, what really makes change stick? It’s the people who take action and are willing to be champions for the change at hand. Champions are people who are willing to advocate for change, not slow growth with resistance and negativity.
Think of the many experiences in your life and reflect on how they have impacted you. Some good, and perhaps some not. All in all, you have likely learned something in every situation. As you lead others, remember to show your sponsorship for change in an encouraging way, so that you may allow others to be part of something that could potentially be the greatest change in their life or for your organization.