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Difference between designing change and acting on change. It takes years.

Article was published on LinkedIn on Sep 30, 2021.

Flanel flowers only grow every 20 years after bushfires. @timhurleyphotos

It's been two years since I left the company I love. And the McKinsey words in the headline around time and change feel so real. Let me connect both.

Reading through the words I posted then, they still feel so true. I put my all into these words - honoring the 12 years at a company I chose to leave and manifesting some of the hopes for the next chapter in my life as an HR leader and Executive Coach. The pandemic hadn't even been around the corner and so much has changed since then in the world.

I haven't seen my family and friends in Germany for almost two years. This is the painful part. At the same time, the pandemic allowed me to have grown my coaching business into more than I would have ever hoped for with amazing new and old partnerships. I am still at awe that I now work across all timezones out of the Blue Mountains, stolen Darug and Gundungarra country. With more connecting to myself, my loved ones and nature than ever before. Having full autonomy over my time, being financially independent, living a simple, conscious life. And all the people I am able to surround myself with - it's truly amazing.

So, it's really worth it to be brave and push through the fear.

"Courage is fear walking."
Dr Susan Davis

The fear is always there, even research around Positive Psychology shows that it's not about making it go away. It's about handling it in a healthy way as described in the concept around Emotional Agility by Susan Davis. Noting all emotions along the journey. Being with these emotions. Or as Shirzad Chamine, former CEO of CTI Coaching Institute and founder of Positive Intelligence puts it, not keeping the hand on the hot stove for too long. Noting the pain and choosing to take it off. This mindset shift requires self-care and self-command.

"We need a mindset shift."
leaders' voices during restructuring

I often heard leaders at my old company wishing for a mindset shift in their people when it came to strategy turnarounds or restructuring projects. Because ultimately, no system change without individual change. Mindset change leads to behavioral change. And individual change is mostly required in any large-scale restructuring, because this is the so-called ACT phase of a change journey as labelled by McKinsey. It takes years, because it requires extra energy to change mindset and ultimately behaviors. It requires iteration, experimenting, sensing and presencing as described in the McKinsey article on Performance 2.0. and experienced by myself. I'm learning now that having the patience, taking one step at a time, meeting the person where they are in their own change journey, is simple, BUT SO HARD.

"The first three stages of the change journey (aspire, assess, and architect) typically take months; the act stage, years." McKinsey

And of course, this applies to myself and my own journey of change. There are these moments of doubt. The money part. Is it enough? Am I enough? (btw - I am still the main breadwinner in my family of 5). Why do I still not establish all those healthy habits and routines (well... maybe they that's also the hyper-achiever in me 🤣 )? How can I give back in a meaningful way? How can I use the inspiration from other social entrepreneurs?

It is then I turn to my own wellbeing basket. Exploring the balance between performance and wellbeing. Being ok with my emotions. Without judgement. And offering it to my community, my clients. Learning about their change journey, their bravest transition, their truest version. Why is the Leadership Coaching industry booming? Because it's providing this space for emotional agility in times of disruption and change. Without judgment.

Can't wait to hear your story. Feel free to connect and share.

And because it's International Girls Day, research shows how impactful role models can be, it took my so long to find my own, and because remembering ourselves as a child leads to more self-compassion (yes, thanks again@Shirzadchamine), I'm hashtagging #thislittlegirlisme.

Sources: #mckinsey #positiveintelligence #emotionalagility

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