4 Principles to Transform Your Organization

In my experience, learning, applying, and integrating these four principles is what makes the difference between purely personal growth and helping it stick in an organizational context.

1. The problem seems personal, but it’s not.

Most of us are used to seeing conflicts or tensions as a sign that something has gone wrong, but it’s not. It’s a sign of growth —  in you, and in your organization.

As the leader or founder, you are providing the container for the organization. You need to know how to interpret the tensions or conflicts you’re experiencing so that you know how to guide the organization to grow.

What seems like interpersonal conflict, or people not trying hard enough, or someone being a poor fit can be signs of a developmental shift that the organization is trying to express through you. I can help you understand the bigger picture to identify and direct healthy growth. It’s like a gardener learning which new sprouts are actually weeds.

2. Developmental progress and shifts require space.

This can be terrifying. Our bodies have evolved to keep doing what we’ve been doing – not because it will serve us in the future, but because it hasn’t gotten us killed yet. So putting something down, even if its time has come, takes knowledge, discernment, and support.

Before, you might have muscled through with your own willpower. Now your work is to let go. Releasing control, trusting your direction, and leaving some openness can cause profound shifts, but it takes courage and support.

In a garden, if you don’t pull out the weeds, the veggies you planted won’t have space to grow. You need to clear space for them to grow strong and healthy.

3. A single leader can be a unilateral pivot for organizational change.

You are ready to try new things with your company, but your partner doesn’t want to, or tried but then stopped. Many founders get exhausted trying to get others at the company to buy in to new ways of doing things. Going for buy-in can often be counter-productive. You need to know which changes to implement in the way YOU work, and how to do that when others keep doing business as usual. When you make the changes, you’ll start to see others shift, too, without having to convince them of anything.

4. Take one (right-sized) next step

No matter the big picture, no matter the change, there is always a human-sized, right-for-this-moment next step you can take. You need to know how to sense what that step is, and feel safe enough to take that step. Changing an organization or your role isn’t like building a widget in a factory – each situation is unique, and the solutions will only become clear as you take one step at a time.

You need to do more than just understand these principles, you have to integrate them as a framework and apply them consistently. Start to really live them. Then you can start to make the changes that will be uncomfortable at first but will ultimately lead to a much healthier organization, just like you did in your personal life.

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“In my organization, I have to deal with issues that are contentious and sometimes politically charged. After working with Amanda I feel more confident in how I communicate with others and also, how I listen to my own internal voice. I look forward to building on what I have learned, so that I can be a better person, partner, friend, and leader."
Gretchen M.