Over the last 5 years I’ve been involved in many change programmes; Restructures, new business systems, new management teams, new facility start ups.
I can honestly say that leaders in every case have the best intentions for their business and for their employees. The best change programmes I’ve worked in have balanced the needs of the business with the vital “sense making” that comes as ended working relationships are grieved, new relationships are formed and the business strives to stabilise, normalise and optimise the change to deliver the results promised.
Sadly though, in my capacity coaching people through these transitions, I regularly encounter clients who feel their businesses have simply got it wrong for the survivors. People come to me with unhelpful legacy behaviours and beliefs (from themselves and their colleagues), scars from the past regimen, unaligned agendas, transgression of values, unspoken concerns about the future and other damaging symptoms.
“Are you considering the vital process of resetting relationships and letting go of the past during your change?”
Once the dust settles and the new system / department / team / facility etc is in place, what are you doing to help people make sense of the new world and to reset a new level of commitment to perform?
Are we spending too much time worried about the consequences for those that leave during a change and too little for the survivors left running the show?
It takes intention, vulnerability, confidence and courage for your people to “get real” with each other about how they’re feeling after a change. Sometimes your people have been too busy to even know how they’re feeling or the thoughts that need to be properly attended to. As leaders we crave feedback so we can bring our people together and line them up behind the common endeavours of the business. So how do we go about this with a minimum of intervention and time lag to performance?
As you’d expect this is where I ply my wares:
” I don’t know quite how he did it but Chris created an amazing atmosphere in which my team could really explore some fundamental issues. We have all come back stronger and lighter, thanks to the shedding of unwanted baggage.”
I was particularly proud of this feedback from a recent intervention with a team that had gone through a significant leadership transition and restructure. No two interventions are the same but common to all of them is:
- The creation of some safe space that properly allows your team to be listened to well by each other.
- Identification and shedding of unhelpful or old beliefs / constraints.
- An understanding of the resources available to the team both internal and external.
- Visualising of the future – roles, success, pitfalls, relationships.
- Commitment to something new.
This reset activity can and will happen informally over time through the storm, norm perform cycle. It doesn’t always land in a good place though and sometimes relationships can be irrevocably damaged. Sometimes you suffer the pain of losing good people even with your best intentions.
What I am offering is a chance to fast track through some of the relationship difficulties by helping your team really understand where everyone is coming from and walking in each others shoes.
If you’d like to talk through any of these themes then of course I’d be delighted to support and help you move on from a tough change. Please do message me and we can set up a call under no obligation on your part.
Thanks for reading this.