Aren’t you just the tiniest bit bored of hearing about change? The change curve. How management should lead change. Change management strategies. Successfully implementing change. Change change change change change. Fret not. So, are most of us. The thing is that, it’s high time now. We get it: Change is the only constant and the pandemic has further accelerated change for the entire world of work. Business models, talent process, the way we communicate and collaborate, everything needs to change. Alright! Noted!
But the truth is when a shift is looming in your organization, the actual change is the least interesting part. A new structure, changes in strategy, leadership, mission or culture. Those are changes that can – and most likely will – happen to you during the course of your career. However, have you ever thought about this: When you are facing change, you’re also going into a deeply personal journey.
“When you learn to lean into your personal approach to change, you’ll be able to thrive at the speed of change – not be left, gasping and adrift, in its wake,” suggests experts from Insights, a one of the leading people development companies.
Like you, your peers, the leaders, and all the employees undergo a similar experience. Each one of us individually goes into a personal journey and reacts or responds to change in our unique ways. Hence, if you wish your organization to really thrive – not just survive – in this rapidly changing world, you need to introduce an element of self-awareness. Beyond reskilling and upskilling, ultimately, it is the response to change and a better knowledge of self that will take employees and in turn organizations towards success.
Invest in personal development to lead in the future
Personal development is where the real gold lies. When it comes to change, it’s much more critical to develop an awareness of how each employee approaches and copes with it. Otherwise you are creating a career for employees filled with moments of stress and unhappiness. As Deloitte’s latest Human Capital Trends report also highlighted, “Renewing workers’ skills is a tactical necessity, but reskilling is not a sufficient path forward by itself.”
At this point in time, when the need to face change is more than ever, talent leaders must relook at their L&D strategies and shift their focus more on personal development as well. The journey shall start from each one of them getting closer to themselves. Who they are? How do they experience change? What are their strengths? Where do they struggle? With more self awareness and understanding of one's own self, talent leaders will give employees and themselves an opportunity to build a more relevant personal development path.
Change can’t be controlled, but transition can!
“It isn’t the changes that do you in, it’s the transitions. Change is not the same as transition.
Change is situational: the new site, the new boss, the new roles, the new policy. TrAnsition is the psychological process people go through to come to terms with the new situation. Change is external, transition is internal.”
– William Bridges, Managing Transitions
In his transitions model, Bridges recognized that we all go through three stages when a change occurs:
- Stage one – Ending and letting go
- Stage two – Neutral zone
- Stage three – New beginning
It is true that there is a certain familiar feeling that ripples through people during changing times. However, we all don’t experience events in the same way – one person’s positive change could be another’s worst nightmare. To better understand that, let’s look at the change curve, the transitions model created by William Bridges, which recognizes that the locus of change is external, but processing it is all internal.
As organizations now prepare for the big reset, they should focus on employees’ respective internal journeys. They should help them recognize their own individuality and help them bring their most authentic selves to work everyday. These self aware group of employees will bring in more productivity, more valuable contribution, as they become more happy and feel more self-sufficient.
(The article is based on whitepaper: ‘Change: That’s old news’ by Insights. Click here to download the whitepaper and learn more about building a self-aware workforce.)