What’s change got to do with it

What’s change got to do with it

The other month I had the privilege of attending the Caledon Chamber of Commerce Business Summit. On top of that, being part of the panel speakers on stage! WOAH! What a fantastic day the Chamber organized!

I walked into the room, thinking I’d be early. NOPE. To my pleasant surprise the room was packed with the hustle and bustle of networking, laughter, photo-taking and more!

The first person I noticed – another handsome turbaned brother – who’s a lot taller than me. Standing next to him and taking this photo might have triggered my shortness insecurities! 😁. All good – my lack of height I make up in width and loudness!

During the panel discussion, I touched on EMBRACING CHANGE , COMMUNICATION & TRANSPARENCY and AGILITY & ADAPTABILITY. Here is one of the questions I was asked and some points I had shared. Maybe there’s something that lands with you.

Embracing change

Q: Disruption often brings about significant change. How do you inspire your team to embrace change and see it as an opportunity for growth, rather than a threat?

A: When working with teams I often suggest a change management framework called ADKAR. This is a Prosci change management methodology and stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement.

Frameworks are a way for us to organize thoughts and activities and ADKAR works well for large organizational change that’s planned, or smaller change that’s unplanned.

Another take

If ADKAR doesn’t quite float your boat, here are some, not all, but some questions you can keep on deck should change hit you (un)expectedly.

Purpose & Objectives

  1. What is the purpose of this change management exercise?
  2. What specific objectives are we aiming to achieve? 

Stakeholder Engagement

  1. Who are the key stakeholders affected by this change?
  2. What are the communication strategies we can use to engage them?
  3. How will their feedback be leveraged? 


  1. What steps do we need to take to implement the change exercise?
  2. Are roles and responsibilities clearly defined? 

Impact & Progress

  1. What potential impacts does this change have on employees, processes, and resources?
  2. What metrics or indicators are being used to track progress and measure the success? 


  1. How will we measure success?
  2. What feedback will be gathered, from whom and what will we do with it?

Keep in mind

With any change management exercise, it’s important to practice vulnerable leadership. This means letting your people know that the change coming might be difficult, uncomfortable, we may not know all answers, but together we’ll figure it out – everything is figureoutable!

Vulnerable leadership is different than being vulnerable.

It’s also important to be a realist – not too positive to give false hope – not too negative which impacts others embracing change.

For example – an Optimist will say the glass is half full. A Pessimist will say the glass is half empty. A Realist will say, WHO CARES, there’s more room in the glass so put more water in! Keep it real.

This leads into the mindset of the change leader. Do you have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? A fixed mindset is playing for status quo. A growth mindset is playing for progress. When is it appropriate to operate from either side? When is it appropriate to leverage a blended approach?  

The last piece on embracing change is that we may not have ALL the information for a particular change event. But we do need to make the best decision possible with whatever information is available. If there’s time on the clock to investigate further, go for it. If not, make do with the data you currently have.

This also means the senior most leaders in this change exercise need to get good at asking the right questions – GOOD LEADERS ASK GREAT QUESTIONS. What questions do you ask of your teams, your colleagues, of yourself?

👉🏽 I’m curious – what stands out the most from all of this? What lands? What resonates? What would you edit or tackle differently? Please share because I would love to learn from you!


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