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Leadership and Managing Change

Emma Noguchi Devianne, Managing Director of CoachingGoWhere, shares how people can shift their mindset about change.

Writing an article about change in the middle of dealing with Covid-19 crisis is like telling a gazelle to run as fast as possible while being chased by a Lion. Duh!

Whether you are a leader of a team, a department or an entire company, you may feel the need to constantly manage changes around you: changes in business direction, changes in tasks or process, changes in your team(s).

Most leaders often feel it’s their job to manage all these changes as they emerge and take the best possible decision, for the best course of action. The bottom line is often about safeguarding the business results, the client’s satisfaction, the profit margin or in the current times – avoid as much as possible - bankruptcy or lay-offs.

These changes are typically external -from the leader’s standpoint- and the moment they are in the leader’s awareness, they get attention.

How about other types of changes, the ones we may not be aware of?

  • Typically, change happens all the time and ourselves as human beings, we are constantly changing, our knowledge, skill level, competency and experience change over time and so is our thinking process. Our values and priorities change whether we’re aware or not and so are our perceptions. And so is our physiology. So do we take into account our more ‘internal’ change?
  • And if, as a leader, we change, so are the people we work with: our team member, our stakeholders, our partners and customers. They all go through constant change as life is happening to all of us, one day after the other, whether we like it or not.
  • Our environment is also changing: the immediate one (our office, our home, etc.) as well as the larger environment we evolve in: community, society, country, the world at large

We need to take into account the fact that change is always around and within us. It’s a constant and yet an always shifting variable.

So here is a series of questions to remind yourself about what are the changes you may not be aware of yet:

  1. How is what happening in the world changing our business? Our company? Or how we do business?
  2. How are my employees/ stakeholders changing as a result?
  3. How are my customers/ partners changing as a result?
  4. What change (internal or external or both) is happening in my home, my family, my loved ones?
  5. What change is happening within me, emotionally, mentally and perhaps even spiritually?
  6. How is our community / society changing as the new context sets in?
  7. How is my / the environment changing?
  8. Is there another change happening, that I am not aware of yet?

With CHANGE being a constant and a shifting variable, we – leaders – are like the mechanical engineer checking the aircraft’s engine while….flying in the air. Or we're the surfer fixing the board while riding the wave at the same time!

How are you managing change? and which change(s) are you managing?


Emma Noguchi, Managing Director of CoachingGoWhere, a consulting and coaching company helping leaders surfing the waves of change.


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