Change is Popular
The topic of change doesn’t go away. Google the phrase books on ‘change‘ and 1,570,000,000 results come up. Change methods results in 928,000,000 searches; change management 474,000,000; change leadership 493,000,000; strength-based change 51,200,000; strength-based leadership 4,150,000. You get my point.
There are countless ways to approach change. Your values, mindset and experience will determine what fits for you. We talk about winners and losers in change. There is money to be made in change, especially if you are brought in to design or facilitate it.
Responding to Change
With regard to organizational change, where you sit in an organization is likely to determine how you might view it. You could adopt any of the following perspectives and actions. You could:
- Deal with it
- Force it
- Mandate it
- Institutionalize it
- Defend it
- Implore it
- Ignore it
- Create it artificially – from a place of fear, threats, organizational weaknesses, fire and brim stone and forcing compliance
- Invite it
- Embrace it
- Request it
- Play with it
- Recommend it
- Create it transparently – from a place of possibility, opportunities, strengths, aspirations and foster commitment
Strength-based Approach to Change
When you take the perspective that every system – human or otherwise – has something that works already – it opens up the opportunity and the possibility to begin to address change from those perspectives.
Invite more of what works already so we can do more of THAT!
You know what? People respond to that. When a community discovers together what it does well already and openly celebrates, and acknowledges assets, successes, and its collective capabilities, it creates upwards spirals of energy and interest that fuel a spirit of WE can do this, Vs. IT can’t be done.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated ~ William James
There are a number of ways to invite people to be active participants in their own change. Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space Technology, World Cafe, Search Conferencing are such examples. Creating a safe space for people to share the best of their past and co-create their dreams and pathways for a bright future speaks to creating change from a transparent place. It requires trusting open, collaborative, generative and generous perspectives and practices.
20 Positive Outcomes
When you invite people to discover the high points of a past change experience where they focus on what works Vs do a post mortem on the weakness and failures, this is what can be unleashed:
1 stories of best performance
2 celebration of past successes
3 growing positive metrics
4 sharing most favorable feedback
5 energized activities
6 engaged communication
7 willingness to jump in
8 go that extra mile
9 volunteer mindset
10 abundance of ideas
11 increased support for each other
12 greater sharing of ideas
13 openness to customer feedback
14 greater collaboration around initiatives
15 more communication across the organization
16 increased transparency
17 greater acceptance of risk
18 sharing resources
19 leadership shows up where least expected
20 joy and play become part of work
The list is a just a start. What else have you discovered? Let’s build the evidence for strength-based change to develop our communities and places of work.