5 tips for Thriving in Transitions.

By SCN Blog Contributor Julie Jakopic

Transitions are the name of the game in 2017.  Not just in government but in business and in life.  As a colleague at IBM said “The world has never moved this fast before and will never move this slow again.”  Change efforts are no longer things that happen one at a time, in a discrete time period. They are concurrent and constant.

That requires a different approach. Here are 5 tips for making change happen more smoothly and for thriving in the midst of it. While it’s written from a work perspective, these apply for personal changes to – don’t just add stuff with out adjusting.

1) Build in time for the work. You and your team can work 110% or even 150% for a workload surge. And that used to be how change was approached, you often just did more for a burst of time.  But that burst is now constant. Recognizing this is important and requires a different approach. No team can sustain a sprint pace for a marathon. Plan for what it will actually take.

2) Get help. Maybe it’s help sorting through and managing conflict as others adjust to changes. Maybe it’s freeing up a person’s time to focus on the new initiative. Maybe it’s to look at a variety of approaches to the initiative. This might mean an internal advisory team. It might mean adding contract staff.

3) Practice flexibility. Change begets change and anxiety. The anxiety makes us want to hold on to the old – what we already know. But the more rigidly we do that, the harder it is to adapt.  Ask questions, test ideas, experiment.

4) Build curiosity. Ok, I hinted at this in #3 but it’s important. Ask questions – about processes, about impact on time, on people in the organization and outside.

5) Take care of you. See #1. How do you manage stress? If it’s great do more of it. If not, learn to manage it well.  Whether it’s exercise, meditation, downtime, reduced screen time, being outside, getting massages, practicing deep breathing or all of the above, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of you first.