Reflections on COVID19 and Managing Change


June 2020

It would be fair to say that over the last few months I have reflected on many things, not least how much I value my hairdresser! Vanity aside I would like to share a few reflections and my top tips on implementing and managing change.

As a specialist ‘change’ consultant, trainer and coach, I takeaway as much from the people I coach and train, as I contribute to their development and growth. It’s a genuinely reciprocal relationship. However, the last few months have brought such rich learnings for me due to the honesty of the people I have worked with in sharing their experiences of managing change on the frontline during COVID19.

Staff, managers and CEOs have shared their first-hand experience of how they have had to dive straight in to unchartered waters with little or no time to prepare. Managers have described how they have had to respond to significant change – in relation to both the organisational change process and human change process. The challenge of trying to keep so many plates spinning while adapting to the change themselves.

When I stepped back to reflect on what had supported the change process across these organisations, I noticed some common themes. Those individuals, teams and organisations who had managed to navigate these unchartered waters most positively, were embodying the philosophies and using the tools (either consciously or unconsciously) which I had for so long believed in. Eureka … they really did work even in a time of significant (dare I say ‘unprecedented’) change!

For me change is quite simply about keeping your eye on the big picture without ever forgetting about the details. It is a fine balance between driving forward the needs of the organisation and taking the people with you in the passenger seat. In order to do that you need to know your people; you need to involve them, and you need to listen to them.

The difference between an organisation surviving through change and thriving through change, is not how well the change is managed (although that is very important) it is how well the change is led. It is about trust, consistency and clarity.

My top tips on implementing organisational change are:

  1. Clear, transparent, two-way communication
  2. Genuine engagement and involvement
  3. Authentic change leadership

How do you provide authentic change leadership?

  1. Develop your toolbox and keep it updated
  2. Develop your ability to be reflective through self-reflection and peer reflection
  3. Develop your awareness and ability to be ‘present’ and focused on the task in-hand.

Remember there is only one constant in life and that is change. It can feel unsettling when it’s not initiated but the secret is how you respond to it, and that is in your hands.

So, take-back the reigns of change and feel how exciting change can be, embrace the opportunity to be creative and grow.

If you would like to find out more about Implementing and Managing Change training please see Homeless Link I deliver their public and in-house training both F2F and virtually. For anything else please do get in touch with me directly.