Disagree & Commit or Everyone Loses


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There’s a critical piece around change management that we need to address as we close up this month, and that’s the idea of “disagree and commit.”

Successfully navigating change involves everything we’ve discussed this month; building a culture of resilience, being willing to challenge the way you’ve always done things, and communicating clearly about change to your team to obtain buy-in. Another important aspect is when a decision has been made and the way any team responds to that. Which brings us to the concept of ‘disagree & commit.’

When you see change as a threat, you will suffer from it.
When you see it as opportunity, you will grow from it.

The bottom line in any team and organization when it comes to evolving the business is that there are always growing pains and the truth is not everyone is going to agree with every decision. An important concept that everyone needs to rally around is the idea of disagree and commit.

This means that regardless of how much anyone disagrees with the decision, their responsibility to the team outweighs their protest to it. It is important for individuals on a team to wholeheartedly move forward for the sake of giving the organization and their team the best chance at success.

If any individual, or an entire team pushes back or actively attempts to sabotage change, it may be doomed to fail. At the very least this makes it incredibly hard to move forward.

The best way to prevent teams and individuals from pushing back against change and new directions is to have all of the elements of change management that we’ve talked about this month in place. These include:

1. Adopt a mindset of being open and receptive to change

Know that change is inevitable, and proactively build mindsets so that when it shows up, your teams can respond by saying, “Alright how do we navigate this?” We stay calm, and present, and treat it as an opportunity instead of challenge.

2. Challenge the way you’ve always done things

Remain open and willing to adapt and improve and be more exceptional by refusing to hide behind the way you’ve always done things. Be willing to ask if the way you do things is the best way.

3. Communicate change to your team

Unpack the “why” for your team about the change so that they are brought into the context, and take opportunities to create a dialogue with your team. Give people an opportunity to be vulnerable about their fears/concerns and address them with the goal of obtaining their buy-in in the end.

All that being said, it is also the responsibility of team members to choose to get onboard, to participate, and commit. That’s an important element of building and having great culture; everyone needs to be held accountable to pull their weight and show up for the organization.

Approach change management with an understanding that it presents challenges for employees. Have compassion and awareness around this reality while also setting expectations that everyone is required to pull their weight. These things combined will make it far easier when the time comes to navigate the choppy waters of change and create success for your people and your organization.

This content was created by keynote speaker Galen Emanuele for the #shiftyestribe. Free leadership and team culture content centered on a new focus every month. Subscribe to the Shift Yes Tribe at shiftyes.com