Schools Out for Summer!
Today is the last day of school for my kids and they were both in tears at drop off this morning. As I reassured them that all is right with the world and that summer is on the other side, I’m reminded that endings are hard.
I am conditioned through my experience to look forward to the freedom, days at the lake, warm sunshine, and long days of summer but my girls only have 4 summer break experiences between them and what they are seeing is a loss of connection to their peer community and the feeling of disruption to their daily routine as studies ended and they brought home their supplies over the last 2 weeks.
When I look at this from the lens of an organization change leader I’m reminded:
- When you’ve had the experience of a particular change many times its important to remind yourself what it was like the first time, go back to the fully sensory experience of it.
- When routines are disrupted it moves us out of what is easy and comfortable. Learning and unlearning take extra mental energy to establish the new routine.
- Change is best when led as a transition versus a cliff event. Most of the time the need to ‘cut over’ to the new is not necessary for human behavior changes.
- Support people by helping them to appreciate the experience that is ending in an authentic compassionate way (no need to have a champagne toast ???? to a change that people don’t yet believe in). Also, on’t just walk away and ignore their hurt (because its easier for you to assume that ‘they’ll get over it
- Even the good change (aka summer break) comes with the sorrow of an ending. Translation…don’t expect the stock payout for an M&A to be enough for people to jump on board to the new way of doing things.
- Endings are a part of Transition.