The Positive Way to Successfully Navigate Change

Alex Bratty
4 min readAug 3, 2020

If there’s one unifying theme so far in 2020, it’s change!

It seems that just about everyone has had to make adjustments, change how they’re doing business, and get creative in coming up with solutions to previously unimagined problems.

While change often brings growth, we all know it can be difficult and painful.

So, how can positive leadership help as you continue to navigate through so much change?

Well, no surprise here…it’s all about how you, as a leader, approach the situation.

In fact, the research shows that how you think about your employees in the context of change is a crucial factor in how successful the change will be. Work done by Scott Sonenshein, a leading organizational researcher, shows that when you treat your employees as resources and not resistors, change is more successful. Not only that, employees become even more valuable to the organization and invested in its future.

Let’s pause for a moment and digest this concept, because I think Scott has really turned the whole concept of organizational change on its head.

He says, treat employees as resources, not resistors. Wow, that’s powerful, isn’t it?

So, what exactly does that look like? Well, he gives us three techniques that can make change not only less painful but, possibly even enjoyable — what a breath of fresh air!

#1. Encourage employees to take ownership at work and to experiment. Granted, this requires trust from you as the leader. You need to take a step back. Don’t micromanage, because that’s a surefire way to not have employees experiment or own their work. Instead, create an environment in which people are encouraged to try out new approaches and get inventive. Scott gives the example of a retail company that was struggling to sell a particular dress in all its stores. One store manager decided to cut the straps off it and sell it as a beach coverup. What happened? It sold out. The manager had been resourceful in repurposing and relabeling the item, and when he was asked why he did this, he said the owners of the company always encouraged them to “take responsibility for what we were doing…and [they] give us a lot of flexibility.” So, be the positive…

Alex Bratty

✅ Positive Work Culture Champion ✅ Researcher ✅ Improve Motivation & Engagement ✅ Increase Productivity & Profitability