Baby Steps to Change

January 18, 2012

Last weekend I was invited to an ice skating birthday party – for  31 year old.  I had not skated since I was about ten and even then it wasn’t pretty. However, I was motivated to try something new. When I arrived at the rink, my first reaction was “we are supposed to walk in these things?” referring to the journey to the ice after the skates were tied. I soon noticed that people were gliding around and there wasn’t a mass pile up of bodies, as I imagined. Kids, adults, everyone seemed to be having fun as I stood there convinced that I couldn’t possibly move around without injury. As I stepped on the ice, I held onto the ledge for dear life as my graceful friend Christina pranced around like an Olympic champion.  Christina and her group of friends kept telling me that I could do it and I finally said to myself, “yes I can.” I soon made it to the opposite side when they needed to clear the ice. “How the heck was I going to get back to the other side?” That’s when Christina took my hands and helped me across and believe it or not, I made it.  The next few hours were filled with encouragement, various people holding my hands and a resulting trip across the ice without the wall in reach. With support, a little hand-holding and my own determination, I did something new, didn’t get hurt and had fun.

So how does this apply to you?

When we are looking at new ideas, change can be difficult.  Whether it’s adding social media to your event or organization implementing a mobile app or simply moving to a new venue,  doing something new can be scary and can be met with resistance, both internally and externally. This shouldn’t stop you from moving forward.

If you are ready to change your organization in 2012, congratulations. Start small. One step at a time. Measure feedback and adjust. Hold someone’s hand through the newness. Explain the reason for change. Encourage them. Encourage yourself. Stand back and enjoy success.

And if you feel like you are totally out of your mind, crazy for ever thinking that you should try something new and that that status quo is is the way to go, remember what Mark Twain once said. “Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.”