When Responding to Change, Start Here.

by | Foundations, Leadership, Planning & Strategy, Responding to Change, Teams

It seems simple. But don’t underestimate how powerful it is to get the right people in the right conversation at the same time. When everything is moving fast, you forget the simple practices that make it easier to lead. If you wind up not having the right people in the conversation, you wind up repeating the conversation. And that is exhausting.

Here’s how this plays out. You have something important that you need to make a decision about as a team. And it feels so important, that when you realize that not everybody’s there, you don’t feel like you can wait for them. So you just go ahead and have that conversation anyway. Or, you feel like it’s so important that you can’t wait for the missing person to join the conversation; better send an email!

When the work that you’re dealing with is complex and there are big decisions to be made, that sense of urgency that keeps you and your team from having the right people in the right conversation can cost everyone a tremendous amount of energy.

It quickly depletes your capacity to respond to change, because you’re spending so much of your energy and resources recapping what was said instead of moving the conversation forward.

If you’re only paying attention to one thing, pay attention to having the right people and the right conversation at the same time.

And this takes a lot of courage.

It might take courage to voice up and say, “You know, we don’t actually have all the right people here. I know we all got together to have this conversation but we’re missing some key people. I think we need to wait.”

Focusing on the right people in the right conversation at the same time will make a huge difference in your ability to effectively make meaning of what’s happening and make better decisions.

Right people, right conversation, at the same time.

Sometimes I joke and I say that 95% of my job as an agile coach is this practice. Shhh. don’t tell.

I have learned that if you can just get the right people into the right conversation at the same time, they will probably be able to figure out how to solve most of their own problems.


Take action now:

It’s straightforward, but it’s not always easy, which is why I coach leaders on the importance of this practice all of the time. And it’s the most important starting point when you are trying to conserve your change capital so that you can more effectively do the work that matters most.