How to Manage Complex Change.

In today’s competitive environment, you are constantly dealing with change – both expected and unexpected. Some of these changes you can control and others you cannot. Any brand that does not change risks being left behind in this always changing market. The good news is that the ability to manage change is an advantage you can give yourself to stay competitive. But it is not always easy. The key is to keep in mind the areas in the photo provided and revisit them often.

What is the VISION for your change? If you don’t have a strong vision, you are going to have confusion. Step back and look at what is happening in your environment as if you were a visitor. Do you sense confusion? Leadership needs to convey a clear vision of the future that generates action and inspires change.

What SKILLS are needed to work on to obtain the vision? Do you as a leader have a concrete plan on how to allow everyone to gain the skills they need? A skill is a particular ability; or having expertise. It is a characteristic that allows you to excel or perform at a certain level in order to complete the goal. These three skills I value most in my team members are: ability to take initiative, responding well to feedback, and having a strong communication style.

What INCENTIVES are the involved? Incentives work two ways, both for you and your team. A big misconception is that incentives need to be monetary. For your team the incentive component of managing complex change is the thing that motivates or encourages one to do something. The gift of time is a great incentive. The incentive component for you as the leader is a bit different, based on your initial vision and the skills required to reach that vision, you will decide if there is enough incentive to move forward with this vision. Not only is the goal attainable, but is it worth the time and effort? If it not worth the investment of your time then is it time to go back to the drawing board?

What RESOURCES will be needed? Once you have a clear direction in place, you and your brand need the resources that will take steps toward the future and turning it into a reality. Without adequate resources, visions will fail all the time. For example, in education, resources can be tangible, but don’t forget that people can be some of your most valuable resources.

What does our ACTION PLAN look like? Is it detailed and flexible? Flexibility is a must, because will never go just exactly as planned. How will the plan adjust over time? You, as a leader, have to fully understand, organize, and prioritize all the factors to reduce your anxiety about them. The clearer you are about what’s most important to your brand, the less anxious you feel, which makes it easier it is to create a plan of action. This task often requires strong research and planning along with consulting with other outside resources. You should rely on the people in your network who will listen without judgment and will set aside their own preferences and biases to help you grow as leader and as brand.

At its core, the root of change is that we want to reach a specific goal that we feel will position ourselves and our brands better in the future. Progression is a goal that we strive to achieve, and must strategically plan to arrive at the vision we have in mind. By navigating the proper channels, it is possible to create the positive to reach the impossible.

When all the pieces are put into place, SUCCESSFUL CHANGE will follow. Just remember in the ever-changing, competitive climate your brand exists in today, you will constantly deal with change. Your brand will need to upgrade the way it does business in order to stay competitive. Ultimately, change is NOT the problem – how your brand makes the changes is both the problem and the solution!

Andrea Kidd

Public Relations Consultant

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