Are You Leading to Win? The Truth of Change

Posted on August 2, 2018 by Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Four Practitioners Discuss Change and How to WinHumans are by nature beings of repetitious activity. We learn to win through various tried-and-true processes. Formulas regarding change and proven to yield positive results become instinctive nature while those viewed as faulty practices have fallen to the wayside.

But what happens when we experience a shift in the status quo? From an organizational standpoint, change can be necessary to encourage momentum or facilitate progress. This concept is especially true in healthcare where there is constant pressure for organizations to match the demands of an ever-changing market landscape. How employees react to this shift can set a precedent for organizational outcomes and procedures further down the line.

Organizational leaders tend to focus most on the strategy of change, ignoring the personal tactical changes often impacting their plan significantly. To truly make a lasting impression, the best approach is to change the minds of those involved in the day-to-day processes and the first step for leaders is to change their own attitudes and approach.

Tony Schwartz, CEO and founder of The Energy Project, states in the article Leaders Focus Too Much on Changing Policies, and Not Enough on Changing Minds, “Over time we tend to develop confirmation bias, forever seeking evidence that reinforces what we already believe, and downplaying or dismissing what doesn’t.”

This statement indicates the highest probability of organizational change comes from within the individual. Effectively maintaining a positive shift in the proper direction often begins with senior leaders turning their attention inward and reflecting upon what truly motivates their team members.

Positive transformation is never a given in any situation. Stepping out of one’s comfort zone allows room for growth and clarity in situations otherwise deemed intolerable. Asking yourself this set of questions acts as a guideline to improving perspective in an undesirable situation:

  • “What am I not seeing?”
  • “What else is true?”
  • “What is my responsibility in this situation?”
  • “How is my behavior being influenced by my fears?”

These guiding questions will give you new clarity to address the challenges you and those you are leading face, as you work through the planned change.

Strategy has been and will always be a crucial component of change management in healthcare organizations. However, leaders who couple strategy with encouraging their team members’ individual reflection produces the best results and honors the person as well as the process.

Read the full article Leaders Focus Too Much on Changing Policies and Not Enough on Changing Minds for more.

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