Embrace change with these 5 tips
We live in a fast-paced, ever-changing world. While we might easily adjust to new trends that affect our personal lives, it's much more difficult to alter the way we work. Especially if our company is decades old, or we've been in our position for a few years.
But if we want our organization to continue to be successful and survive for years to come, being open to change is critical. This is something that we as leaders need to accept and also ensure it flows down to all employees. Leadership consultant Edith Onderick-Harvey shares five ways to create a culture of change:
- Tell stories about others who moved beyond the status quo. Employees need to feel comfortable trying new approaches to solve problems or improve current processes. Sharing how others have transformed what used to be done to move the company forward is a great way to encourage innovation and problem solving.
- Create dialogue, inviting others to ask questions and share emotions, experiences and insights. Change can be uncomfortable. Allowing employees the space to offer their perspective can be cathartic and will likely gin up more support when the implementation work begins. Take another look at these tips to create a solution-oriented work environment.
- Ask "what if?" questions in one-on-one and team meetings. It's hard work to think about the same problem or product in a new light. Posing "what if" questions will help your team alter their frame of mind to find new approaches that will ultimately lead to growth and efficiency.
- Set expectations that everyone should acknowledge – and take responsibility – for mistakes. Success doesn't come without some setbacks, and failure isn't inherently a bad thing. Not learning from mistakes is the issue. Acknowledge when things don't work, but show appreciation for those who were committed to making a product or process better.
- Champion cross-boundary collaboration and networks to open up thinking and gain new perspectives. At NAFCU, we're creating opportunities to connect credit unions through online networks where peers can share pain points and solutions to help the industry grow. We also encourage internal departments to coordinate efforts so we get the biggest bang for our buck when rolling out a new campaign.
You can't change your operations overnight, but as new technologies and social trends emerge it's important consider ways to embrace them. However, be mindful about what changes will actually make your company more successful – it might be helpful to review these ways to modernize and grow to keep you on track.
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About the Author
B. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry. Since becoming president and CEO in 2013, Berger, who is also an author, economist, and one of Washington's top lobbyists, is credited with bringing national attention to key policy issues, while ensuring NAFCU's members meet policymakers at the highest levels of government.