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Leadership Best Practices: Make Discussions about Change a Part of Regular Meetings

Change is often thrust upon employees with little to no warning. And given the normal reaction to change – we hate it! – this does not make for an easy transition for employees. What often happens is that productivity decreases as employees focus on what the change means for them – which is usually a worst case scenario. If a leader focuses on change regularly, then change becomes the norm in the organization.

Consider this example. A vice president of operations facilitates two-day long divisional meetings once a quarter. At each of these meetings, part of the time is spent breaking into small groups and having discussions around a variety of topics that are focused on the future and improvement. These smaller groups have brainstormed around questions such as:

  • How can we increase customer satisfaction?
  • How can we improve partnerships with vendors and suppliers?
  • How can we increase collaboration with internal stakeholders?
  • How can we enable increased participation from across the division on internal initiatives?

The ideas are gathered after the session and compiled. They are then shared out among division leadership who select one or two initiatives to work on. Individuals are pulled from throughout the division to participate.

Change is happening. By focusing on areas of improvement, the group is implementing change. But, they are doing so, effectively, on their own terms. Change is not being thrust upon them; rather they have determined how to change by bringing forth ideas that improve how the work is done and how the division performs overall. This makes change a positive; employees are engaged and motivated.

Consider looking at change from a more positive perspective in your organization by being proactive rather than reactive.