The Face of Change


Is change positive or negative?  If the change is growth, the answer really depends upon how the person impacted by the change feels about it.

I recently attended a workshop which started off by having everyone in the room pick a card off a table that portrayed the way they felt their contribution was viewed by others in the organization.


I picked the card with a QUESTION MARK, because I view my role as supporting the organization when they have questions. 

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Another person picked a card showing A HOUSE BEING BUILT. He's working to implement many new programs and processes.



The third picked a card showing THE DEVIL.  He's implementing a lot of change, which is not going very smoothly.

Since I generally view changes coming from growth as POSITIVE, I was a little surprised by his choice. What I discovered was that the changes he's been implementing have been viewed very negatively by his employees.  So while he thought that the changes he was implementing were necessary for building a foundation for future growth, he felt he was playing the bad guy role in that process.

I'm not sure he needs to take on that burden.  If changes had been communicated in way that his employees understood, he wouldn't necessarily needed to be viewed at the devil.


  • Clearly communicate why a change is needed, ideally explaining the "good" that will come with the change
  • Clearly communicate how it affects an individual, ideally WIIFM (What's In It For Me?)
  • Listen to feedback, use it as an opportunity to confirm the specifics on your change or use it as an opportunity to help an individual understand the change.
  • As change is implemented, communicate the results of the change.

Do you see yourself as a positive or negative face of change?