How Long Will This Change Last?

NewsApril 6, 2020

How long will this change last

When will things get back to normal?

As a change specialist, I’m often asked this question.
How long will a change last? When can we get back to normal?

In every Change there are transitions: From the way things used to be, to the new Disruption.
And with transitions, there are 3 distinct stages:
Stage 1- Crisis
Stage 2- Being On Hold
Stage 3- New Beginning.

On April 1, there were 200,000 cases of Covid-19 in the USA.
Most of the world, with the exception of China, is in Stage 2- The World is On Hold. (China actually seems to be in Stage 3, starting their new beginning.)

So back to the original question, “How long will this change last?
How long will most of the world be in a holding pattern?”

Short answer:
Longer than you think.
Longer than you’re prepared for;
Longer than THEY told you.

That’s why I call Stage 2- Being On Hold. Because we usually only have an approximate idea how long we will be here.

But experience shows us that it’s almost always longer.

When I’m on board a plane, waiting for take off and the pilot says, “This is your captain speaking, we are having a slight mechanical issue. It shouldn’t be more than 5 mins”…you know the outcome. In my experience, When a pilot says that, it is usually 45 minutes to an hour.

So what can we do to help ourselves get through Stage Two, being On Hold?

Remember, this is a temporary stage. It is not permanent.

I tell people to “Unpack Your Suitcase.” (This signals to yourself that isn’t an overnight business trip.) So you need to create routines that help you live a new temporary normal.

2nd, Learn all you can now about the new world you’re living in. Learn new skills, try new things. Don’t hold on to the past.

3rd Prepare yourself for a new future. You will not go back to the way things used to be. Back, is no longer there.

4th Leaders, Don’t overpromise things that are not in your control. Be calm. Be confident and tell people what you’re doing to help. Don’t make predictions about the future.

Stay safe. stay connected!

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