Leaders born in the 1980’s and 1990’s experienced drastically different childhoods.
Think about this: when did you get your first cell phone?
My first cell phone came in college when I started my first job.
This highlights a significant change New Generation Leaders are experiencing in work, home, friendships, and it’s carrying over to our teams.
Technology has radically altered our world, and our first adoption of technology impacts how our generation utilizes this tremendous resource.
Driving my 5 year old to the sitter’s house one day, she said,
“When I have an Apple Watch in high school…”
I said, “Girl, when you were born, there was no such thing as an Apple Watch. Who knows what crazy new thing there will be when you get to high school!”
I doubt she understood the significance of what I said.
Moore’s Law says the amount of data a computer could possibly hold doubles every 18 months. If our computers get twice as powerful every 18 months, imagine what they can accomplish in that time! Sociologists have even started to suggest culture is changing every 18 months. How can we possibly keep up?
Blaming or holding a generation responsible for how they use technology is irresponsible.
[Think about it. They might be using it, but who created the technology?]
If you’re lamenting the use of technology by younger generations, chances are your generation created the technology, or at least had a hand in the implementation. And by the time the next generation learns to use the same technology, it will probably be obsolete. More on generations in the next chapter.
Think about communication: if we don’t appropriately teach how to communicate, then who learns it? We end up with unrealistic expectations that people “just know” how to listen, speak, share ideas, and collaborate effectively.
And we expect people “just know” how to use technology that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago.
Change makes people quiver. But it doesn’t have to.
Follow these four steps to help cast vision for the next change your organization needs to make.
1. Celebrate Recent Wins & Tell the “Why”
Your organization has done something right. Large or small, you need to celebrate right now. The impact of starting with a positive foot forward will propel your message of change in the right direction.
Grounding your presentation in the “why” of what your organization is seeking to accomplish in the world will also help remind people of why you exist in the first place.
If you can connect this “why” with celebrating the win, you will be creating momentum around the conversation. Tie the win and the why to the vision of the change, then you better buckle up.
2. Lay out the tension: let them feel it
Your change vision will desire to overcome some challenge, reacting to a pain point you believe your organization currently faces. Now that you have brought people on board by celebrating the win and reminding them of the overarching vision, you need to let them feel the pain point.
Lay out the challenge and why it is that this is a problem. Don’t gloss over details of the pain, and work to ensure the pain point is an organizational issue and a team challenge, not a person. Help your team understand why continuing down the pain path will exacerbate future challenges.
3. Paint a Picture of the Potential Future
What does the future look like?
Tell a story, laying out the ideal, potential future. Help people see the hope and excitement here, recognizing there is a path forward from the pain point.
You are in a position to lead them through the tension of step 2, and you can bring it to reality right here. Their confidence in your leadership will grow in these phase, and your image of the future will help them understand their place in the bright future of your organization.
4. Recap the Win and Highlight Why the New Thing Will Keep the Wins Coming
Close the circle and help your team remember the why behind the change.
These powerful stories will help people anticipate the growth, excitement, and energy derived from next steps.
Navigating change is not easy, and you will face challenges. We believe this four-step process to communicating the vision of change will propel your team onto the path of change.
A brighter future is ahead with your leadership, and a better version of your organization is within reach.
This post is part of our New Generation Leader series. Discover how you can develop New Generation Leaders!