With Great Change, Comes Great Responsibility
I’ve been at Oven Bits now for just under 2 years. In that time I’ve since gotten married, did a complete rebrand and website overhaul, helped launch one of our very first products (more on this in a later post), stepped into a new role, and witnessed not one, but two different office expansions. Needless to say, plenty has changed, and it’s been great.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.
— Winston Churchill
But just like anything else, change exists on a very fine line between incredibly great and drinking from a firehose. So how does one balance that threshold of change in an organization? There are probably hundreds of ways to do this but I’ll narrow it down to four things that I’ve seen work well in my own personal and professional life.
Some Things Don’t Change At All
It should come as no surprise that people like stability. I believe a huge key to the success we’ve had with change at Oven Bits is the fact there are some things we don’t change at all. Our core values are a great example of things that don’t move no matter how much we might change as a company. We protect them and encourage each other to practice them daily in little ways. They make us who we are and they’re not going anywhere.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but anytime we make a change, we ensure that everyone is aware of what is happening and why. This allows us to stay on the same page concerning the things that are changing and even more than that, encourage people to jump in and get involved with the change. This goes a long way in letting everyone know they’re important to the company and it’s direction.
This is just a great rule for life, but being honest with yourself and your team about the disruption certain changes may bring can do wonders with mitigating the fear of the unknown. Speaking to the reasons why the changing is happening in the first place and bringing that clarity to the whole situation can also fight against individuals feeling overwhelmed.
Make It a Conversation
Frame change as an ongoing conversation. At Oven Bits we do this through our bi-quarterly group meetups called Fireside Chats (think State of the Union). These open-forum meeting times allow us to ask questions, gather feedback, and seek to understand how things are going in general within the company and concerning certain changes we may have made. It also gives us protected time to reconnect and re-up on the things we said we were going to do.
I get it, change is hard. But it can also be great. Half the battle is just removing that fear of the unknown and letting a little sunshine in. After all, change is inevitable.