The Roman God Janus was a deity of beginnings and endings. It had two heads, one looking backward and the other forward.
When setting goals, it is vital to keep the backward face of Janus in mind. Unless this is the first day of an organization, many actions and behaviors are running within it. These functions have been in operation for weeks, months, or years. Changing organizational habits are never easy. Before trying to do so, perform a full review of the current state. Understanding resistance to change is essential to making change happen. Knowledge of the history of a program’s origins, the pride employees feel in past achievements, or the comfort of doing it the traditional way is vital. How successful has the implementation of change occurred in the past?
Paying heed to the backward-looking face of Janus gives leadership a critical component of selling change in the future. When a program is no longer useful due to changes in the environment requiring a strategic shift, it is vitally essential for the leadership to explain the past’s virtues. It is also vital to share the other face of Janus to the future. A view of the future we don’t make this change and why.
Creating change is hard enough without adding in battling your staff. When thinking of doing something new, take the time to know the history and generate the buy-in to make the change successful.
Recently, I read an article about the presidency of George H.W. Bush. The author made an interesting point that Bush’s national security team was great because of what did not happen during the dissolution of the Soviet Union. They deftly managed it, allowing for the...