How to deal with disruption and change

 We live in an uncertain word; todays’ workplace is filled with more disruption and uncertainty than any other time in history. In the words of the ancient Greek philosopher, Heraclitus; “the only consistent in life is change itself”.

We are living in times where change on a large scale can be instant. Cast your mind back a couple of years to the onset of the pandemic and how we instantly needed to shift from a centralised to a remote work model. A company can face a cyber threat and instantly be boycotted or abandoned by its consumers.

With technology and the ease of information sharing, companies can face rapid change and need to know how to deal with this. Just about every industry has had to embrace major technological change over the past ten years, and will continue to have to do so in order to keep up with the speed at which the world is changing. Here are three ways you can deal with uncertainty and ambiguity in your company;

  1. Embrace the disruption. 
    Change and disruption has become the new norm in the workplace. Your team needs to know that things are not set in stone, that the business needs to be in a constant state of change in order to advance and keep up with technology and the changes to the environment in which it operates.

    Naturally people are resistant to change and may have the feeling of just being comfortable with the way things are done and they are suddenly having to learn new ways of doing things. Ensuring you are able to communicate well to your team about how the changes they need to embrace are for the better; communicate how the changes are better for them, for their roles, how they are secure and supported in their roles despite the changes. Some personalities tend to be more resistant the change than others. They may have been working in a company for a long time, having done things a certain way and can’t see the benefits of change. When faced with a big change, often in technology, they can put up a challenge. Managing these people can be tricky but necessary and care should be taken they don’t become toxic within the team, as you need people to be onboard and have a positive attitude. 

    Creating a culture that embraces change and uncertainty builds collective resilience. You are not a sitting duck, you are not an entity just sitting and waiting for things to happen to it, instead, you have a culture that is curious about the world around you, expects change and is ready to adapt to change and bounce back from challenges and set-backs.
  2. Focus on what you can control. 
    Your company’s vision, it’s purpose and the purpose of individuals within the business should remain unwavering, especially in an uncertain or chaotic environment. People look to leadership in times of uncertainty and ambiguity and keeping them feeling like they belong to something bigger than themselves is vital. Shifting the collective focus from how you do things, to the why can help people to embrace change and ride out rocky times as a means to better reaching goals and fulfilling the company’s purpose. 

    Another thing you can control is the capacity to learn from mistakes. By having a culture that encourages experimentation coupled with accountability, and to accept that mistakes are natural, and are opportunities for learning and growth, we can figure out what works and what doesn’t work, and move forward with greater capacity to be successful in the future. 
  3. Encourage innovation and creativity. When companies are in the habit of ‘thinking outside of the box’, they are going to be much more prepared when the unexpected happens. If a company has systems and processes in place that allow for collaboration and creative thinking, they are already one step ahead when disruption happens and a company needs to respond quickly. Companies need to prioritise opportunities for people to think creatively. If they are so busy doing their everyday tasks, they don’t have the time or space to think outside the box and the work inside the box takes up all their time and effort. Those businesses with a focus on innovation and creativity have their fingers on the pulse, they are curious about the threats and opportunities in the world. 

How does your business deal with uncertainty and disruption? Could you and your leadership team benefit from one of my tailored workshops? I’d love to share my experience and fool-proof leadership techniques with you. 

Don’t hesitate. Get in touch today.

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