Sometimes we change because we want to. Sometimes we change because we have to. Due to COVID-19, people and organizations around the globe are adapting to involuntary changes of all kinds. How we choose to use this time will determine how we can grow from it.
Forced change as a defining moment
Part of my role is to connect with other leaders across industries and geographies with a goal of understanding the most pressing issues they're addressing. Over the last two months, these leaders have shared insights about the challenges and opportunities they're facing from the global pandemic.
The volume of change is high for nearly everyone. Many leaders are asking their people to adapt to more change in the last five months than in the last five years. Yet, forward thinking leaders are looking for opportunities to make the most of the paradigm shift that is occurring. As a change leader, I am encouraged by this. Whenever we are forced into a change, the way we approach the challenge will determine how it affects and ultimately defines our organization.
The Power of Change-Enabling Roles
One way to maximize the growth opportunity in front of us is to enable our people with the right skills. This lays the groundwork for organizations to pivot faster, achieve better outcomes, and emerge from this pandemic more change-agile than ever before.
Every individual—from front-line employees and people managers to Agile team leads and senior leaders—has a specific role to play in change. Prosci's two decades of research offers clear insights into role-based capabilities and how developing them effectively enhances success. When people understand the importance of their roles and step into them during change, the speed and quality of change increases dramatically.
The change roles here at Prosci have been put to the test by the involuntary changes we had to make during the pandemic. We have needed to pivot in many of the same ways our clients have: moving to a remote workforce practically overnight, shifting to virtual delivery of our training programs within a couple of weeks, and maintaining our vibrant culture without being in our vibrant office. Change at this pace is never perfect and we have learned a lot along the way. But I could not be prouder. It’s a testament to the character of our firm and our shared belief in the difference we can make.
What makes a critical difference at Prosci is that everyone is very clear on their role in change. Our executive team, people managers, project managers, change managers and individual contributors are trained and coached on their specific change roles. As a result, each of us was able to quickly mobilize and orchestrate the many involuntary changes required.
Sustainable change takes a village. And change happens much faster when we have clear expectations for each change-enabling role. When we understand these roles and equip people to play them, we can turn challenging times into high-growth opportunities for ourselves as leaders and for each person in the organization.
We are here for you
As you transition to the next reality for your organization, all of us at Prosci are listening and adapting to help you solve your change challenges. We remain committed to providing virtual, role-based resources and content to help everyone in your organization step into their change role. Together, let’s seize this opportunity to grow personally and professionally—and come out of this pandemic more change capable than ever.
Michelle Haggerty has been with Prosci for over a decade and is currently responsible for Prosci's service portfolio and internal operations, leading the strategic direction of our offerings and ensuring delivery quality. Through balancing operational excellence with the customer experience, Michelle helps companies optimize the benefits of change management and achieve their project outcomes.