3 change management lessons learned from (attempted) travel this week

Many of us have been affected by this significant snow storm, most much worse than me. I was set to travel to LaGuardia tonight but the travel gods had other plans. This puts me in a pickle. I was heading to a client site and we have a great deal to cover.

As I waited to hear back about my airline alternatives to get to the NYC area before heading to LA this week, a few “ah-ha” moments popped to mind:

  1. Know your resources. When you’re in a bind, great problem-solving resources are essential. Do you have the right numbers in your contacts? Can you have someone help solve one problem (flights) while you solve another (rental cars). If not, get prepared for the unexpected. This approach–having plans B-Z and assignable resources in the wings–is also vital for great change management.
  2. Focus on the fixable. Being mad about the snow is like being mad about the sunrise. However, planning and preparation might make it easier to focus on what can be fixed. Could I fly, for example, to any of the other airports in the area? Can we still cover our subject matter remotely (yep!)? When can I get back to the area (two weeks!)? So, while not ideal, this change isn’t going  undo progress and there is no sense becoming unhinged about those things outside of my control.
  3. Prioritize your outcomes. In rough weather travel, as with change management, some things matter more than most. With travel, your wallet and passport can solve a ton of problems. With other changes, having your key stakeholders on board with a new direction in the face of change can make all of the difference.

As the great Mick Jagger once said (over and over again) “you can’t always get what you want”…which is so true in the case of travel and change management. As he told me “If you try sometimes, you might find you get what you need.” In my case, I now need to get to California. Safe travels!

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