Managing Change and Preparing Your Team for a New Year

Posted by on December 13, 2022

As I look forward to the new year, I first look back on the one that has passed. 

The only thing that stays the same is change. 

Last month, I participated as a keynote speaker for the 2022 NASPA Region 1 SSAO Institute

It was my first foray back into the world of student affairs at a regional level since the pandemic. It was exciting to see old friends and former colleagues and engage with participants about this idea of change readiness. 

Given all that has gone on in the last few years, leaders in organizations are finding themselves stuck in ‘react’ and ‘response’ modes. To move toward a healthier state of change readiness, we need to understand better where we have been, where we want to go, and how we want to truly “be” together. 

Creating a better understanding of where we have been and where we want to go, and what must change to get there.

Change readiness is a mindset, a culture shift, and an empathetic way of going about leading and managing change. It pays attention to the human or people side of change and recognizes that we all interact, understand, and show up for change in different ways. 

Readiness takes into account that our past experiences impact our current behavior when it comes to change. It allows us to be both in the moment and ready for the future. 

Preparing ourselves and our teams for change, whether planned or unplanned, can lead to more successful outcomes when it comes to changes in our organizations and our lives. 

So, I ask the questions here as I did at the institute: 

  • How do you know when you are ready for change? 
  • How does your team know if they are ready for change? 
  • What mechanisms do you have in place for understanding the capacity of those around you in leading and managing the change? 
  • What do you know about the emotional impact of the change so that it can be successful and sustainable? 

The new year is a great time to consider readiness for you and your team. 

Taking time to be intentional and reflecting on the questions above can help determine your own level of preparedness for change as you consider the readiness of those around you.