Click for joy!

Change: Learn Your Way Forward

change change leadership leadership Aug 22, 2021

Written by Roxanne Brown

Change is an active learning process. Even when the destination is clear (most often it's not, even in the most stable times), the path there involves a lot of test-and-learn activity. We like the "learn your way forward" way of thinking about change, or "decide-change-learn-decide-change-learn".

Thinking about it this way…

  1. Removes the pressure of needing a clear future picture before acting –- let that go!
  2. Removes needing to have the answers to all the questions you anticipate getting –- that’s not realistic, ever.
  3. Removes feeling like you have to be ready for every doubter’s comment –- the doubters are worth listening to but with a healthy amount of detachment. Meaning, don’t get weighed down by what they say. Instead think of them as helping you see the fears people may have and what might be important to address.
  4. Removes the feeling that it’s hopeless, that any change is destined to fail and that it’s impossible to come up with the right answer –- even in the best of times when you’ve made a clear decision to change, you probably had to change something about that vision because you learned something new and important on your way there. That’s just the way it works. It's good to let those feelings go too.


  • Breaking big changes into smaller experiments gives you built-in checkpoints for learning and deciding what to do next.
  • Doing this helps your team make traction on something and succeed together.
  • Learning opens up possibilities which can neutralize the feelings of fear that can come with change.

Changing through learning is a manageable, less stressful and focusing way to think about it.