Change often comes on its own schedule. Sometimes it provides notice, other times it shows up totally unannounced. Change can be as mild as a calm breeze or as forceful as a tornado. It can usher in good times, or it can deliver hard times. Some change provides little time for implementation, while other change initiatives afford ample time for reaction. There is, however, one almost universal constant with change. It generally comes clothed in some initial vagueness and unknowns.
All organizations face change from time to time. As the Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “Change is the only constant in life.” That said, learning to recognize, accept, adapt to, and master both the challenges and the opportunities brought by change is essential. If a team is to deal effectively and efficiently with change, a shared involvement is indispensable.
Vagueness and ambiguity confound and complicate change. Dealing with unknowns and better delineating the poorly defined, can dramatically enhance a team’s involvement in a change process. Astute leaders provide essential insights and reliable information, to help their teams unwrap vagaries and deal with the unknowns they face. If they are graced with the advantage of time, incisive leaders use it to continually provide the most current, reliable, data-driven, and documentable information possible.
If time is not on their side, prudent leaders still pursue the highest level of informational legitimacy as possible. In such instances, they share openly with their teams that, the immediacy inherent in some change initiatives can compromise a full and totally accurate flow of essential information. They then prepare their teams to be open to ongoing developments, periodic updates, and the potential for major revisions as the process continues.
Leaders who proactively deal with ambiguities and unknowns, enhance organizational efforts to make the most of change.