Adapting to Change (Part One)

Adrianne DuMond

It seems that everywhere you read, there are articles about the changes in the non-profit world. They include the effects of sequestration, the concept of sustainability, the politics of Washington, etc. The Center for Creative Leadership ( has just published a new book titled Adapting to Organizational Change, and this blog will touch on some of the suggestions for adapting.

The premise of the book is CCL’s research with executives in North America and Europe which reveals that all successful executives deal with change constructively. The book outlines some of the strategies for adapting well. Executive Directors and Program Managers may consider using some of these strategies to reassure and keep informed their staffs and the Board of Directors. The strategies include:

• Let go of the past, grieve about it, but accept it.

• Learn all you can about the nature of the change without first judging it.

• Take stock of who is losing what.

• Define the precise details of what is over and what is not.

• Admit to yourself and to others that the change has occurred.

• Actively seek information from relevant sources about the change.

• Let others know the facts and feelings you have about the change.

• Mark the ending in a meaningful way.

• Take note of what has been lost and what has been gained.

The transition from the old to the new is often painful and confusing, but these strategies may lessen the strain and stress. Next time I will address the suggestions from the book on how to accept the new.

Author:  Adrianne DuMond, Executive Coaches of Orange County,