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CHANGE is just around the corner

by Rita B. AllenApril 2015

Do you like to move forward, progress and grow in your career and life?  Are you actively looking for ways to stretch yourself with new behaviors, strategies, skills and knowledge?  Is change something you welcome and embrace on a regular basis?  Keeping an openness and curiosity for improvement, efficiency and/or innovation requires us to remain agile and flexible.  Sometimes this results in new strategies, structures, processes, as well as people.  These types of change can at times be uncomfortable, yet manageable, if we accept change as a requirement rather than an obstacle. 

Change is inevitable and represents progress yet more often than not, it is met with some resistance. Many times it comes from concern or fear of the unknown impact the change may bring to oneself and/or others. While we cannot control or predict what changes will be presented to us, one thing is for sure…the only constant today is change!

Our goal is to embrace change and realize the role we play in making change happen — leadership sets the tone and everyone contributes. While it can be uncomfortable and trying at times, change allows us to grow and venture into new territories that may be foreign at first but quite rewarding in the end. When I first started teaching as a Lecturer in universities, all the teaching was in a classroom. Over the years, a hybrid model was introduced and ultimately a completely virtual model. While I was initially resistant to these changes, I tried embracing them and have learned to appreciate the model much more than I ever imagined. As a matter of fact, I now enjoy teaching many virtual courses which have enabled me to work with a diverse mix of students from all over the world at any one time and the opportunity to engage every single student in a dynamic dialogue which would not happen in a live classroom! Being flexible and agile is important in order to grow and succeed.

Every day we are faced with changes  — changes in our economy, markets, industries, organizations, technologies, as well as leadership/people changes in our companies. When we can get comfortable with this fact and wake up every day embracing and welcoming change, we actually open ourselves up to never-ending opportunities and possibilities!  In fact, managing change effectively is an essential leadership skill today. Not only is it required of leaders and managers but as individuals, we all play a critical role in executing effective change.

Living in a global and multi-cultural economy as we do, there has been tremendous change in how we work as well as how we learn. Most organizations have employees, clients and other stakeholders throughout the world who are working, communicating and collaborating daily to achieve results. 

Change is good…change is necessary…change is progress! It's like Ben Franklin said, "Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it." There are many proven practices for how leaders and managers can manage change effectively but it takes the involvement of everyone in the organization. What can each individual do to play a role in managing change? Over the years I have learned to ACT to effectively deal with change and have coached individuals and teams to do so.

ACT now to effectively deal with change;  By Rita Balian Allen

Accept and Acknowledge the need for change

Communicate with all parties involved in a pro-active manner to Clarify and Comprehend the needs as well as the process required for the change to be implemented

Thrive in the progress change brings — Throw yourself into the change, keep an open mind, Try new things, Test different approaches, Think about impact on all, ask for and be open to feedback, Teach others your learnings, and Tell all

Ask Rita:  Do you have a career question and/or a career story to share?  Email your questions or stories to rita@ritaballenassociates.com

Rita B. Allen is the Author of Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself

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