Crazy Good

Recently in conversation with a manager at a client company, I asked about the big changes going on, including the acquisition of another company.

She said,"It's good. Crazy good."

What's good is the growth that they will experience with this acquisition.

What's "crazy" is the overwhelming amount of change they are trying to absorb.

Her choice of words, "crazy," was an apt term. If you're not careful, huge levels of organizational change can have negative side effects.

I seized the moment to tell her about VUCA, that is, volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and uncertainty.

She nodded after each concept and said at the end, "Yep. That's what we are going through."

What does it take to stay resilient in such a hi-change environment? Here are four things to think about.

  • In highly volatile situations, people will feel endangered and scared. This type of change means stress. And stress can lead to illness.  Whatever you can do to reassure people and create islands of stability may help lessen the fear that often accompanies such change.
  • In uncertain environments, predictability drops, and surprises rise. In such a climate, planning, organizing, and adaptability take on a critical importance for managers and their teams.
  • In high complexity environments, confusion and chaos become the norm. Many of the problems that teams face will have no obvious "low hanging fruit" solutions that they can quickly implement. Instead, managers and their teams need to learn new ways to think critically and creatively to solve the dilemmas they face.
  • In the midst of ambiguity, where there may be multiple meanings of events, a team needs the mental ability to maintain their "line of sight" toward their objective. Having a clear and compelling sense of purpose ('Where can I do the most good for the business right now?') helps to laser focus on the most pressing priorities. 

Operating in a "good crazy" environment of change is not easy. People may feel like things are "out of control." By recognizing it for what it is, leaders can bring the energy and thinking needed to help their teams weather the storming.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on June 29,  2016. Looking for more ideas on how to manage change? Terry Seamon is an Organization Development consultant with Facilitation Solutions, a training and organization effectiveness practice based in New Jersey. He has designed and delivered training for his clients on leadership, coaching, engagement, managing, communication, customer service, conflict, stress, teamwork, and change, and has written extensively on these and many other topics. Invite Terry to your organization to speak with your teams. Call today and discover how Terry can help you achieve your goals: 732-246-3014.


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