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Be the change you want to see in the world

Posted by Roxanna Samii Wednesday, May 5, 2010

There is a group of us who are attending an appreciative leadership course - known as the “Springboard”. Today's session focused on “leading change”.

We found this session so insightful that we decided to share what we learnt.

We learnt a new maxim today: “change is inevitable; growth is optional”.

We also learnt that change is difficult because it moves people out of their comfort zones. People do not resist change as much as they resist being changed. At the same time, resistance to change occurs for a reason. Thus leaders need to understand the reason and also understand that people respond to change differently, based on their personalities, histories, personal visions or perceptions of their environment. Leaders need to also understand that they cannot change people, people can only make the choice to change. Leaders do not control/manage change, they guide, shape and influence change!

Bob and Sheila - our coaches and mentors reminded us that we are continuously changing. If we do not change, we die. We also learnt to differentiate between change and transition. They are not the same thing!!!

We learnt that we need to plan for the change and support the transition. We were offered the following definitions/descriptions:

  • Change is “the point at which something starts or stops, when something that used to happen one way starts happening in another. It is the actual structural, technical, economic or demographic shift”.
  • Transition on the other hand is “the psychological process that happens on an individual and organizational level over a period before, during and after the actual change”.

The take home message was that successful change is made up of eight key components:

  • Establish a sense of urgency
  • Involve people whom the change will impact; build a guiding team
  • Create a clear vision and purpose of the initiative
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate
  • Empower others to act and hold them accountable
  • Leaders walk the talk
  • Plan for and create short-term wins; do not declare victory too early
  • Embed/institutionalize new approaches all along the process
We closed the day by further exploring what these eight components really mean. We learnt that people expect and want to know the following four Ps from their leaders:
  • Purpose: Why are we changing?
  • Plan: How are we going to do this?
  • Picture: What will the change look like?
  • Part: What is my role in this? What will it mean for me?
To conclude we learnt that leadership is about making things happen…leaders may create change by playing a central role in the actual change process, or by creating an environment in which others are empowered to act.



Thomas, Shyam, Sheila, Branka, Laura, Xenia, Antonella, Andreina, James, Tiziana, Shantanu, Bob, Roxy, Loko, Benoit, Bob, Sylvie

1 Responses to Be the change you want to see in the world

  1. Social networking is the grouping of individuals together into to specific groups. Very good description and definition about this social reporting.