Our morning started with a disturbing conversation. We were talking with a Yellow Cab driver. He said he had made no money in the past two months. Uber is killing the taxi cab business. He needed to start looking for job after being a professional taxi driver for many years.
He’s facing change and not happy about it. His industry is being disrupted. This change isn’t his fault and there’s not much he can do to stop it from happening.
This conversation made us reflect on the importance of understanding change. What is change, how does it impact us and what do we have control over?
- Change is what happens on the outside, transition is the internal response. You can pile change on people but you cannot force them to make a transition.
- Transition is a process that takes time. You can reduce the amount of time and the severity of the transition by doing excellent change management during change.
- When leaders announce a change, they’ve already gone through their internal transition process. It’s important to understand that anyone hearing about change for the first time needs time to go through their own internal transition process.
- Everyone processes change differently. What’s a big deal to one person may barely make an impact on another person.
- Resilience is a critical capability in times of change. This is your ability to recover quickly. You can increase your resilience through specific practices like gratitude, meditation, exercise, acts of kindness and journaling something wonderful that happened each day. See The Happiness Advantage for more information.
- When sharing a change, everyone’s first question is “how does this impact me” or “what’s in it for me.” Until you answer that, the rest of your message on change sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher “blah, blah, blah.”
Leaders make or break change. Research repeatedly shows that it’s not the plan for change, the explanation of change or the team that makes change successful. The number one factor in successful change is leadership.