Jun 14, 2023

Three Ways to Manage Change in Tough Times

While the world is being turned on its side and a new normal is being created, I think we are all longing for some durable truths that can serve to guide organizations moving forward. While so much seems so different and disrupted in our world, there are some truths about crisis that seem to be pretty durable, standing the test of time. I have found much solace in the following three pearls of wisdom and I hope you will, too.

Find Opportunity

Every crisis breeds change, challenge, and opportunity. We know there are many uncertainties and ambiguities in our world. The news cycle and social media merely serves to accelerate and amplify them. However, if we can find the strategic opportunity in crisis it can strengthen our long-term relationship with our clients. That might mean being a voice of reason or safe harbor in a storm. With so much change and division in our world, this is a great time to calm and assure fears in your organizational functions, communication, and agility.

Foster Trust

For over a year I have stated that trust is likely the most important asset an organization can foster equity among stakeholders today. We know that there exists a generational erosion in trust among Millennials and Get-Z’s regarding big business, government, and institutions. The growing racial and political divide in America bears witness to a distrustful narrative and hurtful reality of our past and present. Consider what you can do that will foster trust and strengthen bonds during times of great change.

Remember Your Core Business

Volvo is not really about cars, but instead about safety, FedEx is not about package delivery, but instead in predictability. Starbucks is really not about coffee, but about building community. Each of these companies knows their core business. We must remember our core business. If our core business is simply providing education to students transactionally in a physical space, I think we have already lost the battle. If it instead is more about care for the community, nurture of the individual, flexible and learner-centric systems, and behaving as innovative organizations, then we are on the right track.

While change may be part of the future, this moment in time will pass. Our current realities don’t define us. However, I do I believe how we respond to our circumstances tells us a lot about how character – as organizations and as industry.

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