Wooden mannequin getting idea about change management

Three steps toward accepting change

There’s the old adage that the only thing that’s constant is change. Just recently, my family found out our good neighbors are moving to another city.

We have become great friends over the years. Our children, who are all around the same age, spend every waking moment together. After seven years of living next to each other, how was this something I could help myself and family to accept?

Luckily, enduring a transition is something I’m quite familiar with. In the health care industry, we have to handle a lot of change with everything from learning new ways to care for our patients to adopting new processes that will make our work more efficient.

Here are three steps that I’ve used to adopt change not only in my work place, but in my personal life as well.

Take the time to understand

Office leader embracing change and looking out office window

Whether it’s a major transition coming at work or finding out that something in my personal life is about to change, it’s important to mentally process and absorb what I’ve been told, understand the impact it will have and figure out what I need to do to prepare.

If I’ve taken a moment to let a future adjustment sink in, I can then ask more thoughtful questions towards understanding the impetus for a particular transformation. If I can better comprehend the burning platform, I can accept it, celebrate it and eventually help champion this change.

Prepare for the change

Female and male colleague preparing for change

Outside of asking questions to understand what’s coming, it’s also important for me to do research, especially if the approaching change is something I’ve never dealt with before. Finding out all of the information I can brings a certain level of comfort which helps me stay positive throughout the process.

Understanding that change doesn’t come easily for everyone, I recommend continuing to ask questions along the way. Don’t be scared to have an honest conversation with your leader if you are having a tough time processing or actually making a transition. Chances are they can help alleviate any concerns you may have.

There’s also the opportunity to lean on your peers who are likely going through similar changes and have the same apprehensions. Change is difficult, but having a support system can lessen the initial discomfort.

See change as an opportunity

Office team planning change managementKeep an open mind about an upcoming transformation. Instead of focusing on all of the ways a change will disrupt your everyday activity, think of the opportunities it can present—not just for you, but for the organization as a whole.

Maybe there’s a chance that you will take on a new role. Perhaps, you will get to interact with new people and work on different types of projects you’ve never done before.

If nothing else, it’s important to note that at some point….this too will become the norm and you’ll wonder why you weren’t doing things this way in the past!

About Author: Kelly George

Kelly George, MHA, RD is the Vice President of Performance Improvement for OSF HealthCare. In this role, Kelly is accountable for providing leadership in the deployment of improvement methodologies throughout all clinical and operational functions across OSF HealthCare, as well as other methodologies and/or frameworks that support innovation. In addition, her responsibilities include supporting execution of Ministry strategic initiatives. She assures adherence to best practices in process improvement and innovation methodologies, project management and value recognition while maintaining up-to-date expertise in industry process improvement innovations.

Kelly has been serving OSF HealthCare since 2002 in varied roles including Outpatient Dietitian, 6 Sigma Black Belt, Managing Master Black Belt, Program Manager and most recently in the role of Performance Improvement Manager. Kelly received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She went on to complete her Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kelly is married to Brian and they have two children, Owen and Colin. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading and traveling.

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