How We Build Organisations That Support Change

Two Ways to Embrace Change in Mindset

Tavian Jean-Pierre

12 days ago|5 min read

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Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Funny enough, I was one of those people that hated change. For me, adapting to change was a pain. And it often threw me off my daily schedule or plans. I tend to be very organised and ensure I set out clear steps to get to where I want to be. In doing so, I can often forget that the winds of life may change my path.

Although we know that life is near impossible to predict, we live our lives ignoring change. And many of us, at least to some degree, predict our lives, plans and schedules.

So, many of us are not prepared for change. And this is why change often ruins our days, months and even years. We do not equip ourselves with the tools or mindset to embrace change when it comes and tackle its difficulties.

However, there is also a problem with being too flexible to allow for the winds of life. When we fail to have a plan or structure, we lose sight of our identity and where we are going.

So, we must have a balanced approach to preparing and dealing with change. COVID-19 taught us all lessons about navigating and dealing with change. Without having a balanced approach, we fail to see the bigger picture and make rash decisions that lead to further implications.

The UK allowing everyone to come out for the summer after the first lockdown only led to rising cases and more deaths. And making promises to the general public that were later betrayed led to uproar.

Leaders have a difficult job in both navigating and preparing for possible change at any moment. And although you can never be fully prepared, having the mindset to embrace it will take you a long way.

As highlighted earlier, I was someone who struggled to embrace any change that entered my life. However, encompassing these two rules in my personal life helped me embrace change.

1. There Are No Such Things as Best Practices

The coined business term “best practices” has plagued many of our organisations for a long time. We both teach and tell others in our organisations that there is a “best” way to do things.

Although “best practices” help with quality and the setting of regulations, they limit our ability to embrace change. Not only do they limit our ability to embrace it, but they also restrict our desire to challenge it.

For most people, doing things the way they have always been done is the best solution. After all, the people before them did it, and it worked out. But this mindset stops people from thinking outside the box and finding new ways to do things.

When we are willing to plainly accept the practices that have been put before us, we will never generate innovative ideas. And this will only lead to a lack of ambition and creative ideas.

When we say “best practices”, what we really mean is “the current solution”. What we are doing today is working fine and getting us from A to B, but there is nothing that says it is the “best” thing to do at all times.

Not to mention, every organisation has their own set of best practices. So, how would one be able to measure what is truly the best? And are any of them really the best if they all claim to be?

The idea of “best practices” stops us from embracing change because we believe we already have the greatest solution possible. However, COVID-19 has shown us that there is no such thing as a “best practice”. Instead, we have solutions for our current time that can certainly change with the winds of life.

So, one way to embrace change is by accepting that the solutions we have today are not set in stone. They are accustomed to change and will change as time goes on. Our solutions are great for our use today, but there is nothing stopping them from being changed.

Therefore, think of your practices as present-day solutions. That way, you are less likely to cling to them as the be-all and end-all. As a result, you will be more willing to change your current practices when the winds of life require you to do so.

2. Take Time to Move Outside Your Comfort Zone

Remaining comfortable is one of the main reasons I struggled to embrace change. I enjoyed my comfort, and my work allowed me to remain comfortable.

For many of us, this is the case. We create practices and habits in our lives that allow us to remain comfortable. That is not to say that we do not push ourselves to be the best we can be. It means that our methods to get there tend to be in our favour.

For example, writing every day after work is a great way to distress. It is also the only time I have to write. However, whenever something happens, and I need to change that schedule, I get extremely annoyed. That is because my routine has been broken, and I am no longer comfortable.

As leaders, it is easy to build routines that suit us. Although this is great for our productivity, it makes us less likely to embrace change and encourage others to do the same.

Contrary to common belief, I do not think that our comfort zone is a bad thing. I have found that staying in my comfort zone allows me to be the most productive and build habits that work well for me.

However, change is not a comfortable experience. And constantly living in our comfort zone does not give us the resilience required to embrace and face the challenges that change brings.

Therefore, purposely taking some time out to step out of your comfort zone will allow you to build resilience. You can also do this for your team on a regular basis.

For you, that may mean waking up a little earlier on one day of the week to read a book. It might mean jogging slightly further than the other days that you jog.

For your team, that may mean encouraging everyone to bake a cake when not everyone is a great baker. It could mean going for a team jog during lunchtime to encourage their fitness.

Making time to challenge yourself will bring about resilience that allows for a healthy response to change. And this is the resilience we need in our organisations to deal with the ever-changing world.

Closing Thought

As leaders, it is essential to build organisations and inspire people to embrace change. After all, if there is one certain thing, it is our ever-changing environment and world.

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Tavian Jean-Pierre

A Visionary and Writer that hopes to inspire leaders, change ideologies, and encourage others to be their best selves.

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