Innovation in the workplaceOrganizing for innovation

Lead change

Lead change or follow

With the coronavirus pandemic, change is a given. The question is, will you follow or will you lead change and take charge of the process and your destination? The time commitment will be the same, but the experience and the outcomes are vastly different. Leading change is much more rewarding than adjusting to change.

The experience

Trying to shape the future is certainly not an easy task. At the same time, it can be so much more rewarding to be in the drivers seat, define the direction, work out the kinks, and see the fruits of your hard labor come to fruition.

When do people get frustrated? It is when things are happening to them they have no control over. That makes you feel helpless and little.

Just creating a little corner for yourself somewhere in the house with a desk and a chair, where you can work, will already be more rewarding, than finding yourself in a spot where every day you just take the calls where you are and hope for the best in terms of background noices etc..

So if you can, take charge and make sure that you have control, or at least some, over your future destination.


It does require a bit of a different attitude, as to take action you need to be proactive. If you wait till things have happened or are set in stone, it is much more difficult to make change happen, as anything that you suggest then will sound like a complaint.

Whereas, if you try to help creating a solution for a problem that has arisen or will arise, you will be seen as the leader who took charge.

Your clients will look at it that way too. You reaching out to them and asking how things are going and how you can help, will be perceived so much better than you waiting for them to reach out to you.


Related to the attitude aspect described above are what you will feel when taking charge. You will feel much more on top of things than when change is happening to you, and you have to second guess what will and won't change.

By being in charge you may feel at times overwhelmed by all that needs to happen, but at least you will know what is all happening.

At least that is how it works for me. At the start of the pandemic, our household was pretty much in chaos. Now, I have divided up the chores and everyone is helping out, we are all much happier and productive. And the best thing, I do less while the kids do more :-).


Taking charge will define you as a leader. Some of us may not consider themselves leaders. Taking charge does not mean that you are running the troops up the barricades. There are so many different types of leadership styles, Indeed offers a good overview, that I am sure you will find a way that works for you.

Especially, because I know that the alternative is not very attractive. Nobody wants to be seen as a laggard.


When taking charge you get to set the direction. That sounds scary and it can be. However, as an innovator in a firm you always operate within boundaries. So the general direction is already set for you, and there is a set space in which you can play. It is like with family, parents decide whether or not to go on vacation and for how long. The kids get a say in the direction. Same for innovation projects, management decides the strategic direction, but that gives you as an innovator plenty of space to determine your direction and find opportunities that have impact and that your clients will value.


Last but not least, it is known that changes can suck the life out of a person. When nothing is routine, life becomes draining. We need some stability to be productive.

Interestingly, participating in an innovation project is envigorating, in spite of it being all about change. Probably, because it is very gratifying to make things better. Recognition and compliments from clients, peers, and managers are so rewarding, that it has enabled me to move mountains.


Lead change

Adjust to change

Experience Enriching Frustrating
Attitude Proactive Reactive
Feeling Always a step ahead Always a step behind
Reputation Leader Laggard
Direction You get to determine the direction You will have to adjust to the new reality
Mood Gives you energy Drains your energy

Lead change!

Therefore, I suggest that you don’t wait for change to happen but take the lead. We can help you to get your idea off the ground and create new revenue streams. Test your idea, create a business case under the guidance of an experienced trainer, and deliver results.

"When you’re surrounded by people who share a passionate commitment around a common purpose, anything is possible."

Howard Schultz, Starbucks

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