I believe that we live in a time of accelerating change. Change has been going on throughout history, yet I sense that the rate of change continues to climb. Change creates new opportunities, yet for many people change is tantamount to doom – a shakedown of the old ways of working. Some change is gradual yet continuous – over a period, one observes substantial changes. Other changes are dramatic and release enormous energy, I think of these as upheavals.
Leaders Helping through the Region of Confusion
Yesterday I talked to a group of professionals about disruptive change. I asked how many people in the room had experienced substantial disruptions in the way they work over the last three years. Roughly half the people in the room raised their hands. I cited as sources of disruption the causes of technology, the economy, or business structural changes. I heard agreement in the room that these are causes of disruption; someone added that family and health issues also create disruptions.
Leaders cannot prevent disruption. A disruption follows natural or environmental events, and a leader is among the first to perceive the areas that have the most impact and upheaval. Leaders help others find a path through the confusion of change. The role of a leader at a time of upheaval is to express a vision of a way through turmoil, to lift people through confidence and through offering hope, and by blazing a trail away from the place of pain.
Think Innovation and Executive Education
Most people think of the downsides during the time of upheaval. The old ways of working may not apply anymore. Personal wealth and security may evaporate. Yet, at the same time, some people are finding opportunities to act, seizing opportunities. People create new wealth at times of disruption, just as old wealth circulates to others. Certainty is gone; however, the bold and strategic thinkers find reason for taking action.
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