Embracing the process of CHANGE

At the eve of the 2017 annual general meeting at HW, it is interesting to review the calendar year past.

  • A new council was formed and a new president presided
  • Bayside was replaced by Wynford
  • Coastal Pacific was replaced by Meridian
  • The new council sought assistance from volunteers to tackle major HW projects
  • Major motions are now tabled for consideration after many months of research and collaboration

(We have covered in previous posts some of the “exciting” events and there is no need to rehash.)

On March 1, 2017, will there be a “New Status Quo” at HW?

Let me quote from a Harvard Business Review article: “Leadership is about change, but what is a leader to do when faced with ubiquitous resistance? Resistance to change manifests itself in many ways, from foot-dragging and inertia to petty sabotage to outright rebellions.” (Does this ring a bell?) Continuing: “The best tool for leaders of change is to understand the predictable, universal sources of resistance in each situation and then strategize around them.”

The same HBR article written by Rosabeth Moss Kanter enumerates several (10) reasons why people resist change. Rather than identifying them, let me instead quote the essential attributes of leadership that help nullify resistance to change:

  • “Leaders can help people maintain dignity by celebrating those elements of the past that are worth honoring, and making it clear that the world has changed. That makes it easier to let go and move on.
  • “Leaders should over-invest in structural reassurance, providing abundant information, education, training, mentors, and support systems.
  • “Leaders should acknowledge the hard work of change by allowing some people to focus exclusively on it.
  • “Leaders should enlarge the circle of stakeholders. They must consider all affected parties, however distant, and work with them to minimize disruption.
  • “The ghosts of the past are always lying in wait to haunt us. As long as everything is steady state, they remain out of sight. But the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action. Old wounds reopen, historic resentments are remembered — sometimes going back many generations. Leaders should consider gestures to heal the past before sailing into the future.
  • “Although leaders can’t always make people feel comfortable with change, they can minimize discomfort. Diagnosing the sources of resistance is the first step toward good solutions. And feedback from resistors can even be helpful in improving the process of gaining acceptance for change.”

GHOST OF THE PAST

I particularly appreciate what is written and how true it is: “…..the minute you need cooperation for something new or different, the ghosts spring into action“.

From an objective point of view, it is my opinion that many of the leadership attributes above have been exemplified by the tremendous efforts of the current council.

HW is a beautiful community; a rare jewel in the City of Richmond. The proposed changes are bound to elevate community perception, enjoyment, and value never before experienced. Let’s embrace change!

change

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