The work we do with our clients through coaching and consulting is often focused on creating positive change for the future. In today’s workplaces change is recognized as constant. It is generally understood that the effectiveness and efficiency of a team or an organization can be changed through conscious efforts and action. However, for this to occur, leaders need to create the opportunity for continued personal and organizational growth and improvement. Often, we find that the leaders we work with do not have a firm understanding of what they, or their team, are changing from, before moving their focus to what they are changing to.

Determine what exists 

A necessary step of creating positive change is the recognition of what exists. This includes taking into account past cultures and current realities within the organization and team. Leaders must acknowledge these realities if they are to be successful in redirecting the organization and their team toward a new set of priorities and desired outcomes.

Honour your history

Honour your history by acknowledging and celebrating past successes. It is important for your staff to understand that past work is valued, and that their past and current contribution is important to the ongoing growth of the organization. Appreciate past success, however, be clear with your staff that what may have worked in the past will not necessarily work for the future.

Focus on opportunity

Focusing on opportunity enables the team to engage in a process that supports increased perception and understanding of the need for change, while emphasizing the value of current contribution and community in the workplace. Every team has existing experience, strengths, and abilities that can be leveraged, and highlighted, during the change process. Focusing on opportunity will increase the level of engagement among those involved, while also creating actual action for change.

To increase the likelihood of successful change within an organization those in leadership roles need to take the time to understand, appreciate, and celebrate past and present experiences of their team and organization.

Is your organization or team experiencing change? If so, how has your organization and leadership been successful in understanding and acknowledging the past in order to move towards a desired future?