Manage Your Own Change in Business and at Work
Thanks to the very interesting jobs and projects I’ve been lucky enough to experience over the course of my career, I have plenty of experience in Organizational Change Management, from stakeholder communications / climate-setting, to project planning / implementation, to training and even providing support for the grief at the losses caused by changes like layoff, mergers and acquisitions, and even hiring ramp-ups to support rapid business expansion. Because, more often than not, employees and other stakeholders resist change instead of adapting to change – it’s human nature, even in the 21st century where technology is producing rapid and often dizzying change for all of us. Even when change is the rule and not the exception. Indeed, on the organizational level, change management is pain management.
The greater gift of these experiences has been the process of coming to the realization that I am, to a large extent, able to proactively manage my own change before an organization, manager or even an economic downturn can manage it for me. The learning process of managing personal change has always been challenging to me personally (and periodically frustrating and fruitless), like golf is to some of my more athletically gifted friends and colleagues. Playing golf and personal change management is often pain management. However, unlike golf, I find the personal change management process much more satisfying and rewarding.
So what does personal change management look like? I can give you a few examples from my own experience:
- Living below our means, e.g. keeping our spending level well below our earning level. This can manifest in several ways, including but not limited to:
- Driving well-maintained cars for 10 years or more.
- Banking a year or more of salary, a la Suze Orman.
- Paying off all major debts, e.g. mortgage, car loans, student loans, consumer debt.
- Ensuring all of the proper insurances to protect all of the above.
- Ensuring that our health is maintained.
- Discovering and quantifying the intersection of our talents; our vocational passions; and how the former two meet the needs of current / potential customers / employers.
- Résumé at the ready.
- Business plan and/or overall plan to manage potential changes (one page will do) at the ready.
- Network at the ready: dig your well before you’re thirsty.
- Mentors at the ready: a.k.a. those wonderful folks who you want to be when you grow up, and who have walked the path before you, lighting your change-management way.
- Sharpening the saw: ensure that your subject-matter expertise is current and ready to meet the needs of current / potential employers / customers.
- Giving away free samples: show your current / potential employers / customers how you can help meet their needs on a larger scale, longer-term.
- Being of service: without the expectation of direct / equal reward or reciprocation. The universe rewards good karma.
- Showing up in person and in social media.
Fearless personal inventory time: what resources, choices and talents do you have at your disposal to proactively manage your own change (in solid preparation for whatever that change may be) in business and at work?