Archives for category: Change

Former President Bill Clinton served during Nelson Mandela’s rise to power in South Africa, and maintained a relationship and friendship with him that exceeded 20 years.

Clinton noted that Mandela taught him many lessons, including that “freedom was limited when other people are not also freed and empowered”.  This rule has an application in the business environment as well as society in general, as referenced in an earlier blog on empowerment, “95 % of the time, they’ll do right”.

All indications are that Mandela consistently led with a philosophy of love, caring and reinforcement!

What an improvement for all concerned if every leader was able to demonstrate similar  traits.

Clinton & Mandela

Given everything that I’ve read or heard about the man demonstrates that the World lost a truly great leader with the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela.

Mr. Mandela displayed exceptional compassion in choosing love over hate and living a life of forgiveness. Upon his release from Robben Island prison following 18 years of isolation, his position was that if you hate or have anger, the only way to have freedom is to just let it go, demonstrating no ill-will towards those that put or held him there.

My experience reveals that it is rare to find leaders that genuinely care about mankind, as well as all those supposedly served…employees, customers, business partners, shareholders AND community.  Studying the way Mandela behaved provides teachings for those in any leadership capacity, as well as how to live life in general.

mandela quote

Human nature dictates that “people resist change”.  Taking someone out of their comfort zone, and familiar surroundings or processes, makes this seem logical.

Nonetheless, to remain vibrant and competitive, organizations (and individuals for that matter) must not only embrace change, but ensure that it occurs in a timely and effective manner.

Change comes in various forms and sizes, ranging from moving office equipment or modifying routine procedures to major process renovations or reorganizations.

My experience has shown that the following requirements must occur in order to facilitate optimal “change” in an environment:

  • Ensure your employees are aware of “WHY” the change must occur
  • Deliver a clear “VISION” of what this change will do, for them and the company
  • Not only “SUPPORT” the change, but also eliminate obstacles that may interfere
  • “MOTIVATE” your people with focus on the rewards the change will bring
  • Reinforce the change by making it a part of your business “CULTURE”

Following this process coupled with ongoing enthusiasm and commitment during the transition will deliver the best possible outcomes.

Change

It is human nature for people and employees to be uncomfortable with change.  We often become content with the way things are, don’t want to “rock the boat” or disrupt the status quo.

Unfortunately, in this day and age, if organizations not only want to compete but ultimately WIN, change is virtually mandatory.

Having gone through numerous corporate transition periods, whether it be rapid growth, adjusting to radical technology introductions, downsizing, or mergers & acquisitions, the most common mistake that stands in the way of “buy-in” from team members seems to be poor communication.

As lives become disrupted and the future becomes uncertain, fear sets in.  Members of the organization are not typically willing to accept change quickly and enthusiastically!

What becomes critical is proactive communication.  Leaders must provide a clear understanding of why the change needs to occur, an exciting vision about what it means for the future, and an honest explanation of how it impacts EVERYONE in the company.

Perhaps most important for the “change-agents” is to be positive and motivational if they expect the transition period to succeed.  Of course, those traits can be used on a daily basis as well!

therefore change is good