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Leading an Organization [& Individuals] Through Change

ERIN VAN HANDEL
HNI Marketing Coordinator

“Nothing endures but change,” opined Greek philosopher Heraclitus. This certainly rings true in business – you don’t have to look far to see the next change or disruption on the horizon. change

Change is the New Normal

Change is a constant.  Love it or loath it, it is simply something we have to learn to manage.

Some change is external to an organization.  For instance, the rise of Internet technology radically changed the business landscape.  In less than 20 years, e-commerce giant Amazon has become a Fortune 100 company, recording revenue of nearly $50 billion.

On the flipside, some established print media outlets have taken a nose dive.  If organizations do not introduce new ways of doing things or new products and services, they will experience a decline in success and ultimately die.

Some change is internal to an organization. Baby boomers and Generation Y now work side by side, and as many studies and anecdotes can attest, this frequently causes friction. Senior employees say their younger colleagues are self-absorbed and lazy, and the youngsters accuse the over-50 crowd of being rigid and overbearing. The generation gap is rapidly changing internal environments.

How do you lead a culture through change?

Guiding an organization through these internal and external changes [and many, many others] is a daunting task.  Even more difficult, perhaps, business leaders also must address team members’ individual responses to change.

Individuals handle change in different ways.  It involves both a rational and emotional response, and even when employees agree with and understand change, they may struggle with certain aspects that affect them.

We’re taking on the topic of change management at our next HNI University workshop in Wisconsin, in a session called Leadership Through Change.  Aleta Norris from Living as a Leader will walk us through:

  • An understanding of the need for continuous change
  • The predictable human dynamics of change
  • Typical reactions to change
  • Strategies necessary to effectively support the your team in managing change  

This workshop is geared toward CEOs, CFOs, and anyone who is a leader (or who aspires to be a leader) in their organization.  The event is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, with networking to begin at 12:30 p.m., at HNI’s Focus Center. Click here for more details and to register.

Topics: Leadership / Strategy