We've heard the speeches, we've read the quotes, we've gazed at the motivational posters (and their tongue-in-cheek demotivational cousins), all telling us that change is something we live with, whether we like it or not.
It's true: Change is a constant presence. In life and in business, change is inevitable. Those who manage change best are those who are always looking two or three moves ahead on the chess board. How is the market changing? What business and societal factors are at play? What can we capitalize on, or do differently, so that we lead change instead of react to it--or get left behind?
Communicators are always dealing with how to communicate change effectively. And yet, I was reminded recently that there is a human element often not factored into change communications.
During a meeting I attended with a client group, one of the attendees expressed concern that the organization's past successes, which are considerable, might be dismissed in favor of change and new ways of doing things.
It was an excellent point. Some people had spent years making the organization successful, dedicating long hours and sacrificing time with friends and family. They were justifiably proud of what they'd done. Would their contributions now be considered irrelevant?
The answer, of course, was "no." Without the achievements of the past, made by committed, impassioned people, there would be no potential for even greater success in the future as the organization travels a new course. But it's important to acknowledge those contributions, and to do it in a deliberate, formal way. I'm pleased to say the group resolved to do that.
Yes, change is something we should be prepared to do, our eyes on the horizon rather than on the hood ornament. But it's equally important to celebrate the legacy that forms the foundation of change--and to honor the people who made it happen.