Doug Berg is today’s guest blogger. 

How can you help build confidence in your change initiative?

As a change leader, I’ve often heard it said that ”people don’t like change.” Yet, I’ve more often found a stronger emotion to be true. People embrace what they can feel as good changes (positive change). What they fear are bad changes (negative change). 

Usually change requires a degree of familiarity before one can be sure; ”Is this a good change or a bad change?” Gaining the confidence that it is, can be, or will be, a positive change requires support of those whom it affects. Confidence enables progress toward successful change.

Important levers in building confidence include involvement, listening, and communication. Let’s talk about involvement. Involving those who will be affected by the change in the effort will help build their confidence. This ”team” approach, with multiple minds on the matter at hand, will likely outshine the impact versus change orchestrated by fewer individuals working in isolation. A strong change leader can use the stages of the transformation process as opportunities to help build others’ confidence in the forthcoming changes. 

For example, arrange group participation early on to document for the topic what it is we ”Do Well” and what deserves to “Be Better.” Enlisting a variety of individuals in ”brainstorming” sessions will likely create additional options for change. This helps assure that the right ”best practices” can be curated using multiple perspectives. 

As design decisions are made, the team can help identify specific Pros and Cons. There is often a productive category straddling between Pros and Cons, let’s call them Peeves (aka ”pet peeves”), which might be carried around by some, preventing them from embracing the change. By recording and addressing these, the fear of change will soften and your project can accelerate.

Organizations typically need a growing bandwagon of champions to sail through the upcoming ”heavy lifting” for completing change initiatives. You’ll be stronger when you nurture many people in the process of change. The steps to test, to implement and refine the details, and to transition behaviors, happen faster with a collective confidence in the change.

Confidence enables progress.

As a leader of change, strive to be wide open on the emotions and ideas of those who have a stake in the topic. By helping your talent pool build confidence in the new direction, you support successful change.       

Doug is an experienced financial executive that helps deliver positive change throughout organizations. He is passionate about achieving continuous improvement in ways that benefit employees, customers, and shareholders. 

Doug Berg

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