Adapting to Change

Adapting to change is often required following any corporate learning and it requires regular practise.

Just like in physical training – where muscles need practise and frequent exercise to become stronger – new tactics introduced in training programs need to be kept up regularly so that our brains can better absorb the lessons and skills, and put them into action. ‘Practise’ will also better position and prepare us for when changes occur in our roles or organization.

Another way to ease into change is to take on new challenges that you haven’t tried before. In Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell’s Adapt Boldly article in Training Magazine, they state that “adaptable [employees] work to acquire the skills they don’t have; they get in the ring and prac­tice them, no matter how awkward or uncomfortable they feel at first.” Doing this will build up that learning muscle, broaden work experience and skill sets, help build confidence and even improve strategies.

The most difficult thing to do on the job is to let go of processes and tasks that are comfortable and that have always been done a certain way. This unwillingness is something we often see even after training. Despite learning new skills, having proof that strategies can be improved and provide better results, employees and organizations as a whole can sometimes remain reluctant and slow in accepting change and letting go of old habits. This is because behavior is a pattern and as humans, this is how we learn and live. To change our patterns, we must be mindful, introspective and observant to what we are doing and saying that creates each pattern.

Change is a constant, as the old adage goes, and companies and leaders that have sought and embraced ‘the new’ have proven to be most successful. Adaption and growth requires openness to new ideas and approaches. It requires a belief that change will bring upon a positive impact on employees and the business.

Botehlo and Powell say that “the most successful [organizations] we know become experts at letting go, whether that means letting go of past company strat­egies,business models, or [standard] habits… [Furthermore], great leaders, whatever their titles, are constantly becoming  better, different, more informed. In this act of constant learning, they are becoming more comfortable with discomfort.”

And ultimately that is what’s required – to become comfortable with the unknown and build new skills in order to tackle the only certain thing in life: change. 

ElenaL. Botelho and Kim R. Powell: Adapt Boldly. Training Magazine. June2018.