Adapting to Change (Part 2)

Adrianne DuMond

Last time I wrote about the changing nature of nonprofits, given the economy and the politics in Washington. The article focused on strategies to help leaders guide the acceptance of change effectively for their staffs and Boards of Directors. The strategies for taking them from the old to the new are also important.

The transition stage is fraught with confusion and dismay. But take steps to reassure and keep informed. Some strategies are:

  • Accept that uncertainty is an integral part of going from the old to the new. Don’t expect to have all the answers or to make perfect decisions.
  • Set short term goals that advance you towards the new beginning.

In the new beginning utilize the clarity that emerged in the transition stage. Other strategies to consider are:

  • Give everyone a part in the new beginning; Find a place for all relevant parties (staff and Board) to participate.
  • Create a process to track new problems and ways to address them.
  • Re-emphasize the reasons for the change and speak positively about the reasons.
  • Deal with your own personal uncertainty and resistance to the change.
  • Find ways to mark any success. 

As in the first article, these strategies are noted and expanded upon in “Adapting to Organizational Change”, a recent book published by the Center for Creative Leadership (www.ccl.org).

Author:  Adrianne DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org