Move from “Why?” to “What’s Next?” to Strengthen Your Change Agility

Change Agility

As he sits in the hospital and watches his daughter slowly recover from a tragic car accident, a childhood friend – and one of my favorite dancing partners – is faced with the duty of creating a new normal. Joe said it has taken him three months to move from pondering “Why?” to “What’s next?” He said the realization recently occurred to him that he must ‘be there’ for not only his daughter but also for his wife and two teenage sons. They all need his strength and love as they navigate what is next…which is now. “I’ve got to get back up and dance,” Joe tells himself every morning now.

“Why?” is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself, your teams, your companies regarding a change you are leading. Do your best to answer “Why?,” and give people time to process what the change means to them.

Then, as quickly as possible, move on to asking “What’s next?” Get out of feeling like a victim of a change to being an architect/creator to what is to be.

Here are a few questions I find helpful in building change agility.

1. What action(s) can I take TODAY to make sense of / influence how this change impacts me TODAY?

2. What skills do I have that have helped me handle a change in the past that I can use now?

3. Identify one reason this change could be good for you.

4. How can I support someone else trying to change?

5. What skills / experience do I need to acquire to move forward?

A key aspect of change agility includes learning agility. Find a useful learning agility assessment with suggested development activities here.

Let’s go, leaders. Put on your agile dancing shoes and have your teams to do the same. And, let’s go Joe. The world is cheering for your family and your daughter’s speedy recovery.

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Sandra Schwan

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