Change is hard; it taxes the soul of both leaders and followers.

And, for many of us leading change, I wonder if this frustration sometimes leads to giving up or giving in too soon?

Two years ago I began a transformation process with one of the peer groups I lead. The change was disruptive. Some folks stayed, some folks left and we began the hard work as described by Dr. Bruce Tuckman in his elegant model of team development and group behavior, i.e. forming, storming, norming and now performing.

At the beginning, the task seemed daunting, and I often wondered if we would be adjourning, rather than transforming.

And then… the process took on its own life. We stormed through to norming and today we are congratulating ourselves on how well we are performing. Looking back, the time flew. Looking back, it wasn’t all that hard. Once I articulated the vision, communicated it often and asked each member to own it, the change began to happen. We were mindful of celebrating our wins and mindful of institutionalizing our new approaches. And most importantly, we continue to be mindful that while the present is to be celebrated; it must also be monitored and evaluated. We must follow the DIME model to prevent the new practices from becoming stale.

Biggest learning for me: stay the course; transformation takes time. Allow it to unfold at its own pace.

Why Vistage Works

Elisa K. Spain

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