Achieving change is based on the realities to hand and working with what we have to be the change we wish to see. Where change is dependent upon the “If Only,” experience shows that such change is unsustainable because of the misalignment of interests and values as well as the empowered emotional ownership: Why is change full of “If only they did this,” “If only we had that,” “If only we could do this,” “If only they did it this way,” “If only they understood” going to succeed?
Bringing change is littered with the “If only,” but the reality of bringing change is that you work with what you have. That is all you have. Wishing for other things will not change what there is on the ground and you do not know that the result will be any better. Bringing change is working with what is there and making the most of it.
The realities and practicalities of change is more than the “If Only” and comes from having people do things differently. Working with what we have, the action of individuals having empowered ownership forms an emergent behavior which needs to be crafted and shaped. Leadership needs the vision and to share it, whilst a vision is aspirational, a vision needs to be achievable, even if it is in incremental steps, in an overall journey. It is in this way that the Empowered Emotional Ownership is formed with Interests and Values aligned.
Bringing change is a recognition of what has been achieved and that it is better than before: an acceptance of pragmatics and practicalities which is tempered with the desire to improve.
Avoiding the “If Only” approach to change starts with leadership where there is a recognition of working with what we have, building capacities and capabilities, sharing the vision, and working to that vision with recognition and rationalization of what has been obtained. The focus for leadership is on working with what is to hand and getting the best from what we have through the consistent and persistent application of proven practices. Worse than being an “If Only” change, is having leadership say that “If Only we had got the best from what we had.”
Creating confidence comes from the leadership and people of influence and starts with the leadership. Leadership creates confidence in the process and in the decisions made. From this comes confidence in the self. It is the self-confidence of those in the change that is required for the emergent behavior from the Empowered Emotional Ownership of the individuals. The confidence comes by relating the change so that the interests and values are aligned. This requires leadership to recognize the need for creating confidence, the importance in the change process, and taking active measures to sustain the change. Leadership takes advantage of opportunities along the way to build support and structures to adopt and adapt.