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The Inevitable Obscurity in Change

February 23, 2017

By Laurie Clarke, Chief Operating Officer
The Tatham Group

fear-of-the-unknown

Learning how to change makes the “what needs to change” ambiguous. You will not know until you step into that uncertainty and make a genuine attempt to discover the root cause of why things are not working.

Our friend Drew Harvey, a Strategic Planning Manager at Wells Fargo, recently shared a story of a senior leader of a Diversity Council who had to prove his commitment to change. He was a white, heterosexual man, unsure of the work he was tasked to do. Initially he tried to create change without doing the work – he did a lot of “delegation of tasks and responsibilities.” To his benefit, he soon realized he could not dismiss his own biases, or reject responsibility to create a more inclusive and empowering workplace for everyone. He had to introspect and change the way he thought about diversity, gender, and race relations in the workplace to be an effective leader and contributor to the council.

“Moving forward in this circumstance shows strength of conviction and character as a leader,” says Drew.  Even with the best roadmaps to transforming a business, there is always a period of obscurity. It is inevitable during any change journey; if you are doing the work – changing how you think about your business, your customer and your problems.

So if you are seeking change, if you are seeking innovation, if you are seeking flexibility and speed in responding to customer needs, trust the process of change even when you are unclear on where it is taking you.