Recently, I attended the Shell Hispanic Employee Network annual conference where the theme was navigating through
change. I'm a former Executive Advisory Board member for the network and appreciated the opportunity to connect with
friends and colleagues and hear what was on their minds.
Not surprisingly, there were a lot more questions than answers about change. Market changes, company
changes, strategy changes, budget changes…all create a level of anxiousness and uncertainty.
Change is unsettling for most people. When the change comes from within us emanating from our own ideas or initiative,
we’re ok with it. We like being in control.
But when it comes from the market or from our company it’s not so much fun.
How can we best respond when change hits our organization, market, or company?
Don't resist. You'll be more comfortable and better prepared if you embrace the change. Identify how you can support
the change in a manner that is visible to your advocates.
Don't deny. Most changes happening in our companies are out of our control so it’s going to happen whether you like it
or not. Learn as much as you can about what is driving the change and its implications and prepare for them.
Keep an open mind. Maybe the change will create opportunity for you.
Explore options. Knowing what options you have in the face of change helps qualm fears. It also helps
you create a backup plan.
And lastly, I like this old tip from a very old Andrew Carnegie book:
Ask yourself, what's the worst that could happen?
Once you allow your thoughts to go down that path...I could end up without a job, homeless, on the street with no family, etc. etc…
you begin to realize that the worst is not likely. It sets your mind to thinking, well that won’t really happen because I would do x
instead. Suddenly you have a more realistic view of the possibilities and more confidence in your ability to handle the
What productive responses to change have you seen in yourself or others?