Implementing Change

The start of the new year is typically the time when we think about both personal and professional change. Is that you? Implementing change can be a challenging task, but with the right approach and mindset, it can be done successfully. To start, you need to be very clear on your WHY. What is the purpose of this change? What inspires me to make this change in this moment? By getting in touch with your why, you can ensure that the change is aligned with your values and that it will have the impact you desire. 

Having and tracking progress towards a set clear and specific goals is an important part of the equation. Whether it’s to improve your fitness, advance in your career, or make a change within your organization, setting specific goals will give you a clear roadmap to follow and make it more likely that you’ll achieve your desired outcome. Remember, a goal without a plan is just a dream!  

Can we also talk about the power of visualization? In the words of Oprah, “Anything you can imagine, you can create.” When I first learned about visualization and how effective it is, I was amazed. I highly recommend it as a way to connect your why, your mind, and your body. This article that provides more insight and information.

Another key aspect of creating change is to create a series of small milestones that you celebrate along the way.  Give your brain a reward and a dose of dopamine and see what happens. Milestones are helpful in the process of creating new habits which is often at the core of change.  They also help you stay motivated and on track, even when things get tough. For example, if your goal for 2023 is to improve your physical fitness, it’s more helpful to focus on creating a consistent fitness routine and tracking completion as you go, than being fixated on the number you see on the scale.  

Creating change within an organization can be especially challenging, but it’s important to remember that change is a process that takes time. To be successful, it’s essential to understand the emotional transition that humans experience as a result of any change event (even those that we initiate ourselves). To understand and support people during change and transitions, you will want to communicate effectively and regularly with everyone involved, understand their challenges and concerns, provide clarity, revisit the WHY with key stakeholders, build a coalition of support, and rinse and repeat. Be open and make sure that people feel HEARD. 

Finally, it’s important to stay flexible and open to different approaches. Sometimes, the best-laid plans may not work out, and it’s important to be able to adapt and pivot when necessary. Remember, change is a journey, not a destination, and it requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to learn and grow. With these traits, you can create change in your personal life and within an organization. 

There are changes afoot in corporate America. The volatile labor market and other issues have rocked many companies to their core over the past few years. A significant number of organizations are reconsidering how they do business and who should be leading their teams. In particular, women of color are poised to make a radical impact on how business is conducted. 

These leaders are those out front advocating for policies and practices that promote diversity, equity and inclusion. They understand the importance of creating an environment where all employees feel valued and respected, regardless of their race, gender, or other identities. This not only benefits the employees, but also the company as a whole, as diverse teams have been shown to be more innovative and effective. 

These same women are serving as role models and mentors for the next generation of leaders. They demonstrate that it is possible to achieve success in business while also staying true to one’s values and identity which takes a great deal of courage, persistence, and thick skin, amongst a few.  

 I’d like to celebrate Rosalind “Roz” Brewer, current CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance. She is a source of inspiration having served in executive roles at organizations such as Kimberly-Clark, Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Starbucks, prior to being appointed CEO at Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2021. She has been honored by Forbes, Working Mother, USA Today and Fortune for her impact as a leader. You can see her in action below.

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