Change: Leading Through Transition, Ambiguity and Uncertainty

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CHANGE: LEADING THROUGH TRANSITION, AMBIGUITY AND UNCERTAINTY There are many metaphors for change. I had been challenged one time at my church gathering to view change as a journey, from one place to another. It is easier to focus on where the journey started, and finally where it ended and forget any lessons learned while travelling. I have often heard it said, “When one door closes, another one opens”. What they don’t tell you, is that between the closed door and the open one is a long dark hallway. I think whether in an organization or in my personal life, change can feel like stumbling around in the dark. The familiar is left behind, and we venture into the unfamiliar. I believe the biggest challenge is not getting lost on this journey, and to keep moving forward. As I sat in the classroom for this my first module, my anticipation was high while still not knowing for sure what I would take away from the session. Hereclitus said that change is a constant and at this stage in my life, I have to agree. Given the inevitability of change, I cannot deny the value of understanding its nature and managing the process of transition. I have experienced enough instances of change to have learned that there are two general outcomes: success or loss. I am able to admit too, that while it may be easier to observe change and its outer effects, I am less in touch with the effects of change on the inside – myself and other individuals included. The title of the first article “Managing Change: Winning Hearts and Minds” again reminded me of my church lesson and the journey metaphor. As an exercise, we were asked to first place our hands on our forehead, while saying “I can’t get there from here,” then placing our hands over our heart, and say “I can only get there from here.” The focus on the inner dynamic was new and strange, and it correlates with the author Jayme Alexander’s belief that the reason organizational change is not successful is because of a lack of...
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