In a rich essay about change for PwC’s blog, Elizabeth Doty of Leadership Momentum walks the reader through the typical players on the scene of a shift.
This analysis, highly recommended, not only charts concrete action for navigating through change. It inspires four abiding values for any ecosystem, company and even family working to get to the other side of success.
- Focus on what you have in common: the goals of the endeavor. Consider them the promises to make and keep for all stakeholders. Craft them in a way that you can get everyone on board, knowing that there always will be detractors.
- Decide whether you are a player or a witness. Doty defines the players as champions and resistors. The reality is that every player has some characteristics of the other, and there is a path to contribution. If you only want to serve as a witness, best not to stir the pot. Because the champions and the resistors have their work cut out for them.
- Know the difference between oscillation and advancement. Doty cites the work of Robert Fritz in describing a problem that many organizations face: while recognizing the need to do something differently, they often miss the fact they are churning, not moving forward. This is where leaders not only must help all players collaborate, they have to keep the goals and promises alive in the moments when people are struggling.
- Cast resistors to change as guardians. Beyond respecting their position, which is critical, absorb the challenges presented by resistors into a risk profile for the change. Seek their help in mitigating any risk so that the goals are achieved. Including resistors in outcomes is critical not just to strategy but to the quality of success.