Change: How Can We Do Better?

Change. For some, the word evokes thoughts of uncertainty or forced navigation of the unknown. For me, change—specifically, organizational change—serves as a driving factor. I see change as a positive force under which an organization or team can think outside the box with respect to how they accomplish their mission and work together. By embracing the opportunities that arise from imagining how we can improve upon existing organizational models and processes, we free ourselves of constraints and complacency, disregarding notions of “this is how it’s always been done” and collectively adopting an approach of “how can we do better?”

Throughout my career, I have led or supported a number of initiatives focused on change, ranging from organizational strategy development, to smaller efforts focused on building teams to accomplish focused tasks or outcomes. Along the way, I have adopted key principles that I build upon with each new endeavor I undertake.

First, when initiating a new effort, large or small, go beyond acknowledging differences of opinion or thought and actively seek out diverse perspectives to incorporate in the end product. Whether working within a collaborative partnership or assembling multidisciplinary teams focused on researching and developing a cutting-edge solution, inputs derived from diverse educational, professional, or personal experiences ultimately create richer and more impactful results.

Second, when working toward an end goal, accept that the first solution might not be completely successful and may either require course corrections on the path to implementation or revision after completion. Once success is attained (however it has been defined), be sure to revisit the effort regularly to ensure it continues to be meaningful.

Finally, be patient and persistent. Not all efforts to initiate a new process or initiative will be quickly adopted or gain momentum. Believe not only in the benefits it can afford your organization or team, but also the power of your own capabilities to bring it to fruition. And keep pushing forward.

The potential and possibility of enacting change to positively affect an organization and the people supporting it truly drives me as a leader. Regardless of the size of the effort, time duration, or area of focus, change-oriented initiatives require planning beyond near-term goals and identifying the innovations we need to invest in now to be able to meet the challenges of the future. Reach beyond the norm, try something new, and always ask, “How can we do better?”