A change project is kind of like a marathon, at least to the one that is leading it: a journey that requires patience, resilience and decisiveness and is full of surprises, no matter how much you have trained. Conditions will change. Competitors are unpredictable. Shoes, the most important tools, may break.
If changes themselves are challenging because they reach far – often having effects on each and every one in an organization, even outside it – change projects are challenging because they are subject to change.
Something happens, always. One has to do this, the other one needs to do that, the third one something else; something more acute, more important, more prioritized. The forth wants to take the change project in one direction, the fifth supports the opposite.
So, change leader, exercise like a long-distance runner: you are going to need patience, resilience and decisiveness. Once you have convinced your organization about the necessity, benefits and profitability of the change, stick with your plan and go for it! When your change project is influenced by different arguments and actors and when you yourself feel like giving up a little bit, just trust your schedule and execution plan like a true top athlete. The plan is made because situations will change.
And remember, there are other long-distance runs besides the marathon. Your change project doesn’t have to be one.
The writer has worked as a consultant at CCEA. You can follow Tiia on Twitter.