During the past year and a half, many things have changed in our global economy. These changes have dramatically affected workforces around the world. Think of how your job is different now than it was just months ago. The changes can be as small as taking on additional tasks, or they can be as dramatic as making a total career change. No matter what changes take place, you will always be expected to perform in the workplace. If you are a manager, you will be expected to take change in stride and to communicate that attitude to your employees. If you are an employee, you will be expected to accept the change and maintain productivity. This issue of the Engaging Ideas newsletter deals specifically with the topic of change in the workplace.
"Leading Change Without Authority"
During periods of change, we sometimes think too far ahead. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in "what if" thoughts, we lose track of today. Take on the changes one day at a time, and the process seems less overwhelming.
Create a worst-case scenario. We haven’t truly faced head-on until we have faced the worst-case scenario. Always ask yourself, what is the worst that could happen for me as a result of this change? Consider how the change might push you beyond your capabilities, might create negative consequences with managers and team members, and how it might drain your energy and productiveness.
Prepare to accept it. This isn’t a matter of saying to ourselves that if it happens, it happens. It means through planning for the worst-case scenario. It’s the same sort of planning that emergency responders conduct. Maybe there won’t be a disaster that requires that level of preparation, but if it happens, they are ready.
Plan to improve on a situation to avoid a worst-case scenario; we must be willing to throw our energy and resources into the effort. Consider all the possible ways that the worst outcome can be avoided. In the planning process, consider communication, marshalling team effort, and intervening preemptively.
Keep busy. Sometimes change has the effect of slowing us down, leaving us disorganized and unmotivated. It is during these periods in our careers that we need to summon the most energy possible and keep busy. Not only will this keep us from dwelling on our concerns, but it will also enhance our image in the organization at a critical time.
Cooperate with the inevitable. We can’t avoid or deflect change. It’s a part of everything we do in our careers. When we remind ourselves of this, we don’t waste time and attitude fighting inevitable change.
Do the very best you can. The most fundamental rule of business professionalism is to do the very best we can at all times. This motivates us internally, driving our efforts through whatever changes we are facing. Whatever way the change ends up impacting our careers, we want to be able to say to others and to ourselves that we did our very best.
Put enthusiasm into your work. What are the ways that we can boost our enthusiasm about our work? How do you get motivated? What can you do to make sure that you are giving the most energy to your work that you can? During periods of change we need as much enthusiasm as we can muster. When we are enthusiastic we get more done better, faster, and with less. We experience more enjoyment and feel a sense of accomplishment from our work.