Before a snow flurry fell, I took dozens of actions to get prepared for the impending change of seasons:

Outdoors, I cleared the patio, put the hammock and grill away, moved plants indoors, cut back all the bushes, removed the hose, put my snow tires on and brought in the bird bath then the bird feeders. Inside I moved the sweaters to the prime drawer, put my sandals away, threw an extra cover on the bed, took the polish off my toes and ended pedicures. I stopped cutting the grass, bagged all the leaves and swapped the lawn mower for the snow blower in the garage.

Mother Nature sent all kinds of signals that winter was coming: the water in the dog’s dish freezes, the plants die, and gradually I go from wearing sweaters to coats to coats/mittens/scarf/hat. No one told me to stop wearing shorts or to turn off the air conditioner – it just made sense to do it.

Organizations should model their change efforts after the change in seasons. Help people understand what is coming and allow them to take steps along the way to prepare themselves physically and mentally for what is ahead. Point out the positives – like pomegranates, sweet potato fries, dogs on the bed at night and hot cocoa. Help them make minor adjustments to become ready for the new reality.

A night of steady 50mph winds brought us winter overnight and we went from 60 degrees to 30 degrees for highs. We may not like the change, but we were ready for it – which may be all you can ask for in your organization.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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