leadership incorporated blog

September 5, 2010

Inspired to Succeed: A Powerful Tool for Successful Change

Filed under: Uncategorized — inspiredtosucceed @ 8:09 pm

Show of hands: Who’d like to bend change to your will?

Who wouldn’t, right?

Here’s what I notice as I’m working with clients in education, health care, manufacturing, the law, media, sales, and technology. We are all always in a state of change. And the rate of that change is accelerating.

And many of us feel change is having its way with us. Does this describe you?

Most of us tend to see the change that is happening as if we are outside it. We distance ourselves from it. Some of us fight every change with all our strength. Some of us resist some change some of the time, without even knowing we’re doing so.

We want to control change, but the change is bigger than we are. Today, I’d like to offer you a model that can help you to bend the change that is happening in your work and life in the directions you’d like to see it go.

The first step in mastering change is to SEE it. One tool for doing this is visualizing a metaphor for the change. Some people may see the change happening to them as a mountain to be climbed, a maze to be navigated or a tangled mass of wires to be sorted and separated. Any metaphor that rings true will do. Now see your metaphor in stages. For example, if your metaphor is a marathon, you might identify that the stages are choosing which marathon to run, learning the course, training and preparation, getting started, maintaining a steady pace, dealing with obstacles, finishing, and what comes next. See how the path to your goal fits with the metaphor you’ve chosen.

The second step is to ALIGN with the change. If you look at the metaphor you have created, rather than seeing it abstractly from the outside, step into the picture. Identify where you are now within the metaphor. (The contemplation stage IS a stage!) Act as if the change is already a reality and all you have to do is follow the path. Monitor your progress as you go.

Next. From the perspective of accepting the change and being inside it you are in a better place to SHAPE the change. A tool that I’ve been using to do this is something I call Change SculptingTM. I work with my clients (and prospective clients) to sketch out their picture of success at a specific point in time in the future. Then we begin to build from where they are now. We look at the challenges in the space between now and then. By seeing the entire picture as malleable clay, we can sculpt the change, planning ways to effectively work around the obstacles in the direction of their picture of success.

The last component is to EVALUATE. Simply continue to monitor your progress in terms of your metaphor and adapt the change  as you go.

If you are a member of the senior leadership team of an organization, I will be happy to walk you through this process. Just shoot me an email at sr@leadershipincorporated.com.

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