Change Management - How to Adapt?

Two years ago I found myself in the midst of a war zone, and although the circumstances were dramatic, I had a first-hand opportunity to experience Change Management in the full sense of the word! This enabled me to draw important lessons about managing change rather than being managed by it! I chose to use these tools in The Thinking Coach Leadership Training seminars, here is a brief description of what took place…

In July 2014, I was living in Tel Aviv, Israel, a modern beach city with a thriving nightlife that suddenly turned into a war zone with missiles raining from the sky.  I was confronted with a dramatic life threatening change that seemingly came out of nowhere!

I had the opportunity to experience Change Management from the inside and learn what it means to manage change rather than being managed by it. Because you can REALLY freak-out and lose control under such circumstances! You feel vulnerable, unprotected, and you experience a very real sensation of "it can all end in an instance".

Hundreds of missiles came down at all hours of the day and night, it is a strange feeling to hear a siren and to know that you have 45 seconds to find shelter, or…you may be dead!

So here are some of the lessons that I have learned.

Change Management – tools: 

1)     Accept change – don’t fight it, instead learn its ways.

2)     Don’t panic – panic is a state where you either become frozen or too reactive to a new situation that you haven’t prepared for. Panic ALWAYS leads to wrong decisions! Very often, panic kills.

3)     Do not react emotionally, instead, adapt emotionally, because in the end, it is what it is, and the right emotions are crucial for the right actions to be taken.

4)     Do not necessarily follow others, stay cool, and become your own leader.

5)     Do not expect things to be like you think – expectations have a way of proving you wrong every time. (This means don't look at the past as your bench mark for decision making).

6)     Change often presents opportunities that weren’t there before, and if you can learn to handle the initial chaos that ensues with change, you will find yourself gaining the most.

7)     The only advantage you have is, the ability to think. When you are emotional you cannot think! Therefore, realize that becoming emotional at times of change is a luxury that you cannot afford.

8)     If you manage change, you will come out of it stronger than you were before.

9)     Realize that we are natural change agents that have the ability to adapt quite naturally to extreme situations.

Change  Management - How To Manage Change And Avoid Being Managed By It:

Change does not happen all at once. It’s a process that never stops. It goes on in seen and unseen ways, all the time. We change from the time we are born, (where birth of course is the ultimate change) from the small cozy world of the womb, to the outside noisy world. We adapt to natural changes quite smoothly, and although change is challenging at times, we are made to handle it naturally.

The difficulty, is adapting when we deal with abrupt changes, which are not natural and have a deep psychological element attached to them - such as an accident or violent attack of some kind, or even winning the lottery!

Change Management is the process that helps us prepare mentally and emotionally for changes before they occur, which means a persistent state of readiness.

The one thing you can count on at times of change is that it will be chaotic for a while.  Change Management is like a war zone, and is very much based in Fear. Dealing with fear, for me, has been the main process. The more I was able to channel the fear to a better state of readiness, the more accurate my responses became to the NEEDS of the moment. 

On one instance I was sitting in a coffee shop, busy working on my computer when the shrieking sound of a siren announced CHANGE!  I calmly packed my computer and walked (not ran, because I pre-planned the whole course of action in my mind before it happened - I was prepared for change) to the nearest building, to find shelter in the stair case with other "cool customers". And then, after 10 minutes, it was all over, and I was back in the coffee shop, coffee was served, traffic resumed around me, people were strolling again in the street.

Hopefully as a professional, you will never have to deal with that kind of level of Change. You may have to deal with a heavier work load, or being fired, or changing location, or family changes, but the same principles applies.

Change Management – Thinking According To Scenarios:

To be ready for change, it is crucial to pre-think various scenarios.  What would happen if….? What would that lead to...? What would be the best course of action to take…?

These three questions need to be asked while figuring three possible scenarios:

- Worst case scenario

- Best case scenario

- Likely case scenario

Think, what would you do in each case and think what that action may lead to - This simple process of Change Management will place you on the cutting edge of managing change rather than being managed by it.

What The thinking Coach Leadership Training Programs Offer?

Change Management Training seminars are part of our extensive international Leadership Training.

We provide cutting edge, international, Leadership Training programs for all levels.

Our training seminars are challenging, practical & gratifying. Our Leadership programs range from beginner levels all the way to top Leadership and Excellence Teams, where we offer a yearlong extensive leadership, training agenda, second to none. We help produce first class leaders, who master a wide variety of soft and hard skills, and learn to lead By Example, using advanced teaching and workshop techniques. We also have unique, “train the trainer” seminars, to help companies, organizations & government agencies create their own self-sustaining leadership development programs.

For more Information please contact us: elih@thethinkingcoach.com

Eli Harari

The Thinking CoachTM

* Photograph courtesy http://www.specinnovations.com