Managing Change For Success: Architect Or Victim

What would be the consequences of conducting business in the 21st century as you did in the 20th century?  How would marketplace and industry changes influence your ability to be competitive?  What could you do to manage change toward enabling success?

The 21st Century Business Context: Change and Opportunity

Change is a constant in life.  Its presence is pervasive and flow relentless.  It influences our decisions and actions.  How we manage change influences the success or failure in our endeavors.  We expand our resources daily attempting to influence the influence of change on us.  Our continual interaction with change is fueled by our cognitive and physical energies.  We calculate the costs and benefits of change related to our decisions.  Anticipating and preparing for change are life skills.  They enable us to more effectively manage change.  Change can enable or disable our intention and resolve to achieve desired goals. Our orientation toward change and its management offers us a choice; a choice to be the architect or victim of change.

Call to Action

Becoming an architect or victim of change requires commitment and work.  Architects envision, design, and steward change, while victims are unaware, unable, and underperforming.  Thinking about change can be challenging.  Consider adopting the following seven guiding principles when engaging and managing change.

Architect of Change

As architects of change, we assess the viability of business strategies relative to emergent opportunities.  Determining whether change will enable or disable a business strategy depends on our capability to identify the interdependent relationships between market conditions, business goals, and our ability to manage change.

Architects of change employ these three guiding principles toward managing change:

  1. Envision: Envision desired outcomes, associated business challenges, and the necessary resources to successfully manage change.  Determine how change could influence achieving desired results.   Envisioning serves two purposes: first, as a platform for goal setting.  Second, it creates a conceptual framework enabling reflection and assessment relative to business strategy feasibility, professional knowledge, and skills relative to managing change.
  2. Reflect: Reflection requires honest and accurate evaluation of personal capacity and professional capability.  Therefore, we need to understand and prioritize our reflective findings.  By doing so, we can explore our potential and inform ourselves if we possess the capacity and capability to effectively engage and manage change.
  3. Accountability: Accountability emerges from reflection and assessment.  Align key personal, professional, and market data can empower informed decision making.  Once decisions are made, focused action and accountability can foster meaningful results.

Manager of Change

Managing change is a dynamic process.  Frequently, managing change is viewed as a confusing experience, possessing few definable structures resulting in scant predictability.  As a result, change is considered a complex experience influencing our lives and work, while subject to limited control.

However, the influence and impact of change can be anticipated and managed by using these four guiding principles:

  1. Learn-to-Learn:  Learn critical thinking skills.  Gain fluency in the higher order thinking abilities: analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.  These skills will enable you to define change.
  2. Become a Life-Long Learner: Education is the cornerstone of 21st century on informed decision making.  In this millennium, knowledge is power; the power to acquire a comprehensive and integrated understanding of our professions and strategies for success.  Learning the characteristics, structures, and patterns of change can enable you to effectively manage change.
  3. Practice: In his latest book Outliers, futurist Malcolm Gladwell writes that to be great in any vocation we “must practice our vocations at least 10,000 hours.”  So, practice…practice deliberately with coaching.  Practice enables performance consistency and flawless execution in managing change.
  4. The 5 A’s-Accesses, Acquire, Apply, Adapt, and Adjust: This simple formula enables you to harness the power and potential inherent in change, in turn maximize return-on-investment and promote success.

Apply these seven guiding principles to managing change and become more adaptive, resilient, and intelligent about managing change. Coaches can enable personal and professional growth toward becoming and effective change manager.  Remember, the choice is yours; architect or victim of change.

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