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Navigating Change by Lighting the Way

"When it comes to leading change have you ever heard the phrase "be more like a lighthouse"?
It might sound a bit strange, but I've been thinking a lot about it lately. You know how a
lighthouse guides ships safely through dangerous waters? Well, I think that's exactly what we,
as change management professionals, need to do.
Many people fear being dragged through change and based on some of the change initiatives
I’ve seen, I don’t blame them.
When it comes to people adopting change though, we need to guide, not force them.
Our role is to facilitate the process by understanding their concerns, addressing their fears, and
helping them see the benefits of the change. By doing so, we can create a sense of ownership
and buy-in, which is critical for the success of any change initiative.
Just like a lighthouse, our job is to illuminate the way forward and help stakeholders navigate
the changes ahead. We need to provide a clear vision of the future state – in a relevant and
relatable way, outline the benefits of the change, and help stakeholders understand how they
fit into the new picture and a sense of direction and purpose.
But it's not just about providing guidance - we also need to identify potential obstacles and
pitfalls that stakeholders may encounter during the change process. By anticipating resistance
and addressing it proactively, we can help people feel more comfortable with the change and
reduce the likelihood of disruption.
Being available to guide stakeholders throughout the change process also involves frequent and
relevant communication, providing training and education, and offering support to those who
are struggling with the change. By doing so, we can create a sense of trust and reliability, which
is essential for building buy-in and ownership among stakeholders.
Finally, we need to be willing to adjust our approach as needed. Just like a lighthouse must be
able to adapt to changing conditions, we must be able to adapt to the needs of stakeholders
and the organization as a whole. This might involve revising the change plan, providing
additional resources or support, or addressing new concerns that arise during the change
All in all, I think the "be more like a lighthouse" approach is a great way to think about change
management. It requires a deep understanding of the organization and its stakeholders, as well
as the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. But with these skills and strategies in
place, I believe we can help organizations navigate the choppy waters of change and achieve
their goals.
What do you think? Does the lighthouse metaphor resonate with you?

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Guru’s in Organizational Culture both in 2021 & 2022, April is an internationally known organizational change management expert who has implemented change for government, health care, higher education and corporate clients. April is the author of four books including the bestsellers “READY, Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” and “READY, Set, CCMP™ Exam Prep Guide".  Contact her at [email protected]