Is Fear Stifling Your Agile Change Initiatives?

After a particularly mind-bending week of attending the Business Agility conference, I wandered into a coffee shop while visiting Louisville, KY and stumbled upon this little gem:

If you fear change, leave it in the box.

Change is always on my mind.  I spend hours thinking about better ways to coach organizations and individuals on embracing change, making change easier, experimenting with small changes or going all in.

When people resist change, fear is usually the cement that keeps their feet stuck in place.  Fear makes people afraid to take risks, to learn new skills, to lose their jobs.

The key to undertaking any large change effort, whether it is a transformation, reorganization, or a shift in a new direction, is finding leaders (at all levels) who have the courage to support the change—typically leaders who are willing to stick their neck out, even if there’s a chance it will get cut off!

I have been coaching in several organizations and the one consistent theme I have seen regarding successful change initiatives is that they have servant leaders who drive change in a way that inspires others to leave their fears in the “box.”  These organizational “heroes” are ready to be active change agents by pushing boundaries, questioning, and helping the organization take the action needed to transform.

How can you be a heroic change agent?

  • Start by setting aside your fears about reputation, politics and yes, even job security, to do the right thing for the customer and the organization.
  • Create and overly communicate a clear, consistent message that helps everyone understand the purpose of the change.
  • Remain steady and consistent in your commitment to change through the ups and downs of the journey.
  • Recruit and bring along others willing to become change agents. Extra bonus for getting skeptics to leave their fear in the box!

Great leaders are capable of transforming their organization and its culture. Leave your fears in the “box” and be a heroic change agent who inspires people to join forces and push the organization forward!

By the way, I’m not sure what the cow in the box represents, but I will noodle on it. Maybe it will be my next topic…