Change Management: Changing Lanes – Remember to use the blinkers!

Posted on 25. Jul, 2011 by in Blog, Change Management, Servant Leadership

We were at the 4-way stop. The one at the edge of town, always busy with several cars lined up in each direction.

Straight through the stop sign to access the local farmer’s market. A right turn earns a peaceful afternoon at one of several local wineries. Turn left and quickly arrive at a gas station and loop back into civilization.

It’s one of those intersections where you hope at least 3 drivers are paying attention.

Changing Your Organization - use your signals

Signal change using the "3 Cs"

Alot of people.

Alot of choices.

Alot of movement.

Many accidents have occurred at this concrete patch. Most times as a result of a driver wrongly predicting the moves of another driver.

Yesterday, as my husband and I were waiting our turn at this popular junction, sure enough, one of the drivers neglected to use a blinker – the turn signal to let the other 3 drivers know of her intentions. My husband commented, “traffic sure flows better when people just remember to use their blinkers!”  Yep.

Interestingly enough, no horns blared, no shaking fists or other gestures flew out of  car windows, just a massive “tentativeness” permeated the area. For the next 2 sets of drivers navigating their turns, hesitation, unsurety, and a lack of trust regarding intentions clogged the area.

Was the driver going to turn or go straight?  The right turn signal is on – does he mean it?  Can I trust the signal or lack of a signal? Is he going to go straight after all or did he forget to use the blinker and is about to turn?

People ended up, well – stuck.

This same thing happens in organizations – businesses, schools, churches, (families too) when “the driver,” otherwise called “leader,” neglects to signal a “lane change,” “turn” or any other change in direction.

When we neglect to clearly share our intentions, we leave people wondering, tentative, and unsure about their next steps. Sometimes even bigger issues are ignited –  Trust Issues. And once the trust foundation is shaken, the workload doubles as you have to repair trust and still drive the required change.

Just like at the 4 way stop,intentions are honorable. People just get in a hurry and forget. So before you start the change process, a quick reminder.

Remember  the 3 Cs:

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