Len is a visionary. For him, seeking the new is second nature. That’s one of his strengths, but one that he sometimes feels is more burden than asset. Why? Because to the members of his organization, his ever-evolving aspirations feel like, “Here we go again! He’s on to something else! He’s never satisfied! Before we really get going with his last great idea, he’s off to the next. We can’t keep up.”
Almost always, there are two reactions to change and any attempt at progress. Is your style and response more like Len’s – you can’t wait to try something new – or are you more like others in his organization who are undone by his preferred pace of change?
Each time you unveil a new idea and your colleagues push back, you have to make a decision. You can stop bringing forth new ideas and accept the status quo. Or, with a few adjustments, you can stay true to yourself, and express your natural gift and talent, while being more effective at helping others keep pace. Here are three steps you can take to make change easier to accept.
- Remember, the introduction of any new idea is a change. Those affected will cycle through the emotions change naturally stimulates. Allow time for this emotional adjustment. Build in opportunities for those affected to discuss the inherent advantages of the change, as well as their concerns.
- Link new ideas to present-day reality. Demonstrate the connections between the old and the new. Connecting the-way-it-is-today with what-we’re-moving-toward makes the new feel less foreign, disruptive, burdensome and more like a logical next step.
- Be mindful of the right timing for introducing the next new thing. Pace changes so your team’s sense of stability remains intact.
No industry or individual can escape today’s highly charged, quickly evolving workplace dynamics. If you’re a visionary, you owe it to yourself to bring others along in ways that respect, and educate, those affected. Acknowledge the threat negative emotions can pose, and allow sufficient time for change to sink in.