The Surprisingly Best Day for Change

I’ve been travelling in Italy this past week for business constantly moving from plane to hotel to train and back again. It’s hard at times to push myself to keep up work routines let alone work on a new idea. Wouldn’t it be easier to do all that once I’m connected to a network, had a better working space, had more energy, or was back at home?

The same applies to organizations planning for change. With so much going on, how can we fit in another disruption? There is an inevitably long discussion about the ‘best time to change’.

“Well, we can’t do it at the end of the quarter. Christmas is bad. No one is here in the summer. People will revolt if we transition over a long weekend!”

There is no good time for change. Therefore, the best day for change is today. In fact, for most companies it was yesterday and you are already behind.

The longer you delay, the more you reinforce the message: “This is not as important as everything else.” So your only criteria for timing is urgency. And if your change is not urgent I will ask whether it’s necessary. What returns do you want? Are they significant enough to warrant moving faster?

Complex changes requires a longer runway, but the process of helping people adapt still begins now. Weave your message into corporate communication channels, speeches, and employee goals. The longer we wait the more resources ($$, time, etc.) we will spend and the higher the risk of losing momentum.

The pace of change will not decline. It’s a fixed constant. Employees must increase their resilience. A critical part of your role as leader is to help them do that through a combination of:

  • Selling: Clarify the change and ‘What’s In It For Me’
  • Capacity-building: Help people allocate time, build skills, and prepare as needed
  • Support: Motivate, coach, encourage

Don’t slow down your change. Focus on building resilience and get on with it.

Thoughtfully yours,

Jeff Skipper