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Empowering Lemonade Makers

Empowering Lemonade Makers

Jul 2018

We have all heard over and over again how things are changing! We are in a dynamic change environment, nothing remains the same, everything changes, everything is disrupted, we are changing so fast.

With all this warning and knowledge, why is it that organisational change seems difficult? Why is it that people still grapple with anxiety and resist change? Why is it that they still feel like they are being served up lemons?

Recently, I experienced two organisational change extremes. In the first case, when I met the Line Managers the resistance was palpable. They felt they were being forced to swallow a bitter pill. However, in the second case the Line Managers were optimistic.

In our current business and organisational environment, I am constantly reminded that our Leaders are change agents. They have the power to resist or promote change. How they embrace change initiatives ultimately determines if the change initiatives will be successful. So, my recent experience raised questions for me;
• How do we equip our Leaders for change, so they can embrace being change agents?
• How do you encourage Leaders to embrace a sense of opportunity?
• How do we create a fertile environment ready for change?

To solve these questions we must empower our Leaders to become Lemonade Makers.

Please note. Not all change is bad and unplanned as suggested by the use of the old lemonade saying in this blog. Many change initiatives are positive. Some are absolutely vital to keep our companies and organisations sustainable. It’s just a great tag line to help you remember these steps.

Here are 3 simple steps that will start empowering your Lemonade Makers.

Step 1 – Talk about Lemonade
‘Remember, the task of change management is to bring order to a messy situation, not pretend that it’s already well organised and disciplined.’ Fred Nickols, 2000 Distance Consulting LLC

Discussing change demystifies it. Talking about issues helps our Lemonade Makers process and understand the change. Remember ‘the more we feel understood, the less we will fight’ (Aligned and Sabotaging). This helps them formulate in their own mind how they will advocate the change within their area of influence.

While discussing change it is vitally important to ensure everything is referenced back to the company or organisational guiding statements. Change must always be understood in referenced to these statements.

The other aspect of openly talking about change with your Lemonade Makers is that it builds a culture of ‘Forward Thinking’. This type of culture encourages good strategic questioning. It encourages discussion about potential opportunities and strengths.

Step 2 – Give them a Recipe
Give your Lemonade Makers a process, methodology or model to use during the change process. Change models give people a ‘starting’ reference point for the change. It helps them gain their bearings. Once they have established this reference, they can then begin to build a ‘change structure’.

Many great change models exist. It is just a matter of finding a suitable one for your company or organisation. These structures seem to possess the power to liberate people!

Step 3 – Ask them to make Lemonade
Once you have discussed change and given your Lemonade Makers an appropriate change model, you must call them into action. They must begin trying to implement the change. Change will only begin to occur when the initiative begins to gain momentum. Your Lemonade Makers will only begin to perfect their art once they start trying to make ‘lemonade’.

The more our Lemonade Makers practice and develop their art the ‘sweeter’ the lemonade will taste!

At Joseph Consulting we are not very good in the kitchen, but we love working with company and organisational leaders who need to make lemonade. Please feel free to call us for a coffee so we can chat about the lemons and how we can help empower you to make lemonade.


Jason Gallagher

Joseph Consulting


If you would like to read another blog related to this topic, we suggest the following;

Leading in High Emotion Situations

Endless Possibilities without a New Year’s Resolution

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