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You probably know the old adage: “The only constant is change.” Now managing that change at work is no longer the exclusive concern of the C-suite (if it ever really was). Indeed, rapid advances in technology and business mean employees at every level can be at the forefront of small- and large-scale changes in our organizations.
Whether you’re helping your team manage a process change or you’re trying to convince the entire company they need to make a strategic shift, remember that there’s a tried-and-true method for managing the process and the complicated emotions that come with workplace transformation.
Step 1: Make the case. Lots of people side-eye change and are set (very firmly) in their ways. It’s your job to prove that the status quo isn’t working and lead them to a better way. Talk with skeptics 1:1 and engage with supporters to explain the problem and the plan to solve it.
Step 2: Look to the future. You’ve explained why the current situation isn’t optimal. Now share your vision for the future and emphasize how it will benefit the team/organization. You can use data, prototypes, customer tests, and other strategies to make your plan and desired outcome crystal clear.
Step 3: Build a path. Once your team is on board, the last step is to show them the way! It’s important to not make the path to that future so treacherous that they recoil at the thought of making the actual journey. Really spell it out. Timelines, ownership of responsibilities, and milestones are all things you can put on the roadmap to the future.
As professionals, we face the impact of change constantly. When the process is managed well, it speaks to both the facts and the emotions involved. So winning over hearts and minds isn’t just to be liked; it’s the foundational stuff that leads to sustainable and successful outcomes.—Karen Hebert-Maccaro, Morning Brew’s Queen of the Eduverse