As in any process, our plans may run into unexpected barriers and opportunities. Other changes can be introduced that affect ours, policies may change, or conditions in the external/internal environment we didn’t expect might impact our objectives. When this happens we can vastly improve the chances of a successful outcome if we are flexible and willing to adapt our approach.
As noted, setting up appropriate feedback mechanisms is key to understanding our stakeholders and our environment. It is these mechanisms that will allow us to identify unexpected challenges and opportunities as they arise.
As important as the feedback mechanisms themselves is our credibility. Adapting our approach can be difficult, especially for a change that has a significant impact and has been widely communicated. If we build trust during the process and are fostering a dialogue, our stakeholders are much more likely to accept a shift in direction/approach, especially if we involve them in that pivot.
Building trust allows us to take actions we otherwise would not be able to, especially when it comes to breaking with old mindsets and behaviours. Without trust, our chances of success are much lower.
For more on how to build trust, see Section 1: Navigating the world of change / Building trust and modelling behaviour of this Framework.
A change leadership mindset
There’s no particular formula for effectively changing the direction of our change. Rather, with the right mindset, we can recognize the need to pivot based on our engagement with stakeholders and our measurement of progress. Then, with trust and credibility we can make adjustments to our plans, involving stakeholders as appropriate.
This greatly increases the chances of a successful outcome no matter the direction the change ends up going in. For more on change leadership mindsets, see Section 1: Navigating the world of change / Building trust and modelling behaviour of this Framework.