How to Make Change Happen in Your Business for Growth

Change. It’s everywhere.  It isn’t just about putting your energy into building something new or simply fighting through the old ways of getting things done. Change involves a real shift in thinking, which leaders in commercial enablement learn more about daily.  Learning to embrace when it challenges current thinking or communicating is complex, and that’s the very nature of the role.

Commercial enablement leaders find that they must challenge and disrupt the status quo. That means enrolling others because change isn’t just about one person. Lasting change involves others, and leaders must aim to pass that spirit on to their team. It’s human nature to resist change and the unknown to some extent, so commercial enablement leaders need to stay on guard to avoid this thinking pattern.

Many become reactive when changes happen, constantly battling many small things instead of focusing on the bigger picture of where the difference is heading or why it’s required in the first place.

Bring your teams through change.

Contrary to what many think, change doesn’t necessarily come as a massive wave or a “big bang” initiative.  Nor can someone simply wave their magic wand and make change happen.  There are different types of change, which often come in tiny, incremental steps.  When the ice melts, it’s primarily due to the environment.

There are three types of change that people in the commercial system will encounter:

  1. Developmental change — when things are continuously improving so that change becomes a wave of being
  2. Transitional change — when the old is being dismantled
  3. Strategic change — when the company is defining the end state and how to evolve and get there

Each person has different consequences, which impact how they must navigate change when leading. They can also experience all three of these types of change at once.

A leader’s responsibility is to bring people through change faster and reduce the challenges that come with it by minimizing productivity dips. But leaders shouldn’t pretend they know everything that’s going to happen. In an ecosystem like the commercial system, knowing everything is impossible. Leaders must know that they aren’t in control when changes happen.  That short-sighted thinking can affect their credibility as a leader, especially if they’re conveying messages they can’t follow through on.

Learn to overcome resistance.

Enablement orchestrators always need to anticipate resistance when change is happening. Instead of getting frustrated, realize it’s only human nature. But as with change itself, there are different types of resistance. It can show up in a variety of different ways. One of the most common forms is negativity, which is best tackled by counterbalancing it with positivity and doubling that positivity to help keep momentum.

When overcoming resistance, enablement leaders can plan for three stages of change: the start of a difference, its implementation, and sustaining it. There are often many initiatives in these stages at one time. As a result, enablement orchestrators must also interact with their colleagues and peers on those three levels to understand how people think and feel about the changes while also engaging them to understand if they’re adapting and overcoming resistance.

Finally, repetition is everything when navigating change. Enablement leaders can’t just tell people to go do something — they may need to ask 7-10 times and remind people why it’s essential.  Many enablement leaders lose patience and show frustration.  When that happens, they can’t blame others for failing to adapt.

What you can do

As an enablement leader, you need to be aware of how much change you can or can’t embrace and handle individually and as a group. At the same time, you will need to be focused on what difference is required what must happen, and how your actions and decisions affect how you interact with others.

Consider creating solid relationships or even a formal approach to navigate constant change.  As a leader, the environment you make and your relationships are more critical than anything else.  Find out what your team needs from you to increase their resiliency and adaptability to change or to feel more supported.  Sometimes, they don’t know what to do or what to say or need to be heard.

Last but not least, ensure you’ve considered the views and perspectives of everyone impacted by the change. Don’t make assumptions about what you think they will experience. Engage them, ask them, and talk with them. Otherwise, some peers or team members may feel they haven’t been considered or are being left behind.

What it means to you

Commercial enablement leaders have a unique role in leading people through change. As a leader, you’re visible and responsible for closing the gap from the current to the future.  Many might not always agree with a change or feel they have all the information they need to handle change optimally, but with your help and leadership, they will learn to adapt.

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