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  • Joe Bender

Organizational Change Pillar of Readiness #1: Awareness

One of the more pronounced challenges we grapple with in change initiatives is truly seeing, understanding, and, above all, accepting our present reality. A transparent, honest, and critical grasp of our current state serves as a shared departure point. Our efforts at change falter chiefly because this starting point remains ambiguous to many.

Diving deep into understanding requires time, active listening, and vulnerability. As individuals and teams, we must earnestly assess our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and looming challenges. Ponder over this: if we sidestep the glaring truths within our organization, how can we possibly tackle them? Echoing the popular adage, "The first step in solving a problem is recognizing you have one," we need the courage to spotlight and address the proverbial elephant(s) in the room. This introspection isn't a negative exercise, but it isn't without its discomforts. Acknowledging our missteps, admitting oversights, and realizing our need for change is essential.

This initial step is a journey of discovery to genuinely pinpoint where we stand. Before even considering change goals, it's imperative to "see" our organization in its true light. If we overlook this foundational step, pivotal concerns might elude us. During this introspection, always have a metaphorical mirror at hand. Shunning blame, avoiding excuses, and shedding the victim mentality are crucial. Recognize your potential role in existing problems while also acknowledging your capability in crafting solutions. When teams embrace vulnerability and genuinely listen without defenses, the latent strengths of both the team and the organization shine through.

To create a shared understanding of where we are together we need to see our current state clearly together and from one another’s perspectives. This act in itself, readies us to acknowledge the need for change.

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