Life and the workplace have at least one thing in common. That commonality are challenges that come our way. Most leaders try to avoid challenges and changes because that can produce conflict and an unsettling feeling that things are not the same.
Organizations spend a lot of time trying to avoid challenges and the change that occurs. However, in doing so they miss out on opportunities to grow and learn. There is a cost that comes from missing the gold nuggets that are disguised as challenges. Often through, in experiencing a challenge we identify innovative ways to respond. Ways that would be overlooked without the pressure of a challenge.
For example, if you think about COVID and the change and pressure that brought to every organization. It was not fun or easy for leaders to adapt but there are many who are now better off for having the opportunity to navigate those challenging days. Many leaders now report being prepared for business disruption, the ability to recruit remote team members, and understanding how to deliver services or products remotely.
Our growth comes with the necessity of navigating change and embracing a process of asking “Is this the best way?”
Leaders should integrate time regularly to challenge their assumptions and identify new ways to serve their client’s needs. Otherwise, we fall into the trap of assuming that what worked a few years ago will continue to work now. Be sure to model this for your team so they will also gain confidence in adapting and innovating.
Leaders must avoid the comfort of not stretching and instead commit to continuous learning and innovation. The changes we need to make might not be huge, but they are critical. There are always opportunities in the midst of challenges. The question is whether we will be prepared and willing to access those opportunities.
Watch for when opportunities emerge and avoid saying no too quickly. We must stay open to new ideas and approaches even when we initially feel they are unconventional or outside our comfort zone. Being willing to change is one of the best things we can do to fuel growth in our teams and organizations.