Have you encountered resistance when implementing improvements that cause change? As I plan to introduce several initiatives in one of the organizations I serve, I think about Ilan Shimar’s Advice from Nature Series. A lake would tell us to:
:: Be Clear
:: Make positive ripples
:: Look beneath the surface
:: Stay calm
:: Shore up friendships
:: Take time to reflect
:: Be full of life!
I am the type of person who always is looking for ways to improve things. This usually means change. Most people don’t like change. The lake would advise me to first be clear. Be clear about what I am trying to improve, why it needs improving, and what are the impacts of changing the status quo. Too many times it seems like people go off on some improvement initiative without being clear on what they are doing. I sometimes have a tendency to jump out and think my way through something as I go along. In this instance, I certainly need to be clear before I start making big waves.
Make positive ripples and look beneath the surface remind me to understand all the issues and approach the change in a positive manner. If I understand other people’s issues, I am better equipped to keep things positive. Nothing kills an initiative faster than a negative approach that causes walls of resistance to immediately go up. Getting too emotional can also fan the negative flames, so stay calm is always good advice here.
Shoring up friendships or developing your relationship with stakeholders is critical to making change. My chances of success are greater if I can use my relationships with stakeholders to make them a part of the process. After reflecting on all this, I am struck by the last piece of advice, be full of life. Remember, the goal here is to add value to the organization and improve it the best you can. The last thing I want to do is to poison my relationships with others in the organization and kill any current organizational effectiveness.
Advice from a lake will help you to keep the organization fresh, full of life and productive. If you approach change with good intentions but violate this advice, you could end up with a “dead sea” organization.
In what other situations could you apply advice from a lake?