This #kaizenblog chat was more than just our usual chat. We said goodbye to the chat’s founder and co-host, Valeria Maltoni. Valeria has created a chat on Twitter that goes far beyond the 14o “soundbite” and asks all of us to think a bit more about our ideas about business, social media and ourselves. Her passion for connecting with people and seeing where conversations can take a person are infectious and always an experience.

The real gift here is that Valeria is not really going entirely away. She will be around, as always for a good conversation full of big ideas, on Twitter. If you haven’t connected with her, you can find her on Twitter as @ConversationAge. Do connect with Valeria! Your world will become much more interesting!

In that vein, Valeria wrote a lovely post about Passing the Baton. Managing a transition to the next stage in your business or career often involves passing on the “job” to someone else. What is embedded in this process? To see the whole conversation, check out the transcript Transcript for #kaizenblog – ManagingTransitionInBizCareer_!

We spend time dreaming and working towards a vision of where our careers or our businesses can go. Another thing to keep in mind, as Valeria reminded us, “So many companines don’t have a succession plan, or traning to help you manage your career…need to have one for yourself.” How would you describe the a career or organizational change/transition/shift to a more sophisticated level?

  • Laura Crum “A1: I like the term “movement” but that’s pretty broad, too. Doesn’t necessitate forward motion.”
  • Parissa Behnia “a1: having direct honest communication about how difficult change is. be a bull in a china shop, kinda”
  • Lois Martin “A1 I think back to how my business and I have grown by “stretching” — taking on new, larger, more challenging clients, projects”
  • Jason Mikula “Sometimes you have to reach, take on something you’re afraid of & force yourself to grow”
  • Rob Petersen “Q1 Explain why change needs to occur and make everyone see what is value in their being  behind it”

There were references to how change can be uncomfortable so we asked, Given the ebb and flow nature of managing change, what makes change more complicated or simple?

  • Penelope Singer “It’s important to not overwhelm yourself with too many changes at one. That leads to paralysis”Growth and change in business and career
  • Tanja Ziegel “Frame of mind”
  • Laura Crum: “A1a : true change is never simple. t’s EASIER to stay in a bad situation than make move to a good one”
  • Jason Mikula ” ‘Voluntary’ change vs. ‘forced’ change — both can be complicated or simple”

The thoughts behind the comments about change and the process of managing change brought up an interesting idea. Often with change, good or bad, we feel a sense of loss. For big changes, it can even be grief. For example, entrepreneurs who put everything on the line to make their venture go and then have to close the doors, maybe even file for bankruptcy. Those with business partner may see friendships end. Certainly one’s identity depends partly on our roles. When I’ve talked with clients about their past business failures, it is not unusual for them to describe a stage of grief.

Now clearly, not everyone is going to be distresed to that extent but do we even recognize the feelings when they occur? However, we often resist change in the early stages. We fret over how things will be different or we will be different. This can happen even when the change is in our best interest. What would happen if we took the time to grieve what we use to have or do before the change started?

  • Mary Ann Halford “Who has time to grieve – have to focus on keeping up w changes”
  • Amber Cleveland “A2: I’d rather celebrate what I have rather than grieve it. When I left my last co, there was a nice partyfor me=felt good”
  • Ken Rosen “Q2 Maybe not grieve, but acknowledge. Chg adopted when anticipation overwhelms fear, uncertainty”
  • Penelope Singer “intermix your grieving with change by remembering past positives and linking to future positive change”
  • Lois Martin “A2 Grief and disappointment will happen. The loss of  a client. Learn from the experience and move forward. Don’t dwell”

So if we’re sensing that change is coming and (hopefully) noticing the discomfort, How do people know it’s time for a change?

  • Jason Mikula “Even if it looks like a -, find a way to leverage it, improve yourself, your life, your mind”
  • Parissa Behnia “Q2a: if they are in tune with their “gut” feeling, they will sense the need for change. our intuition is smarter than we are”
  • Tanja Zieg “It may be just a feeling of restlessness or being antsy…something quite “right’…pay attention to that”

Valeria Maltoni gave some great advice,  “to me, it’s about learning to listen to yourself Feel when the party is going great and you can make a gracious exit”

Certainly the question about grief touch a nerve as there was quite a discussion about acknowledging grief or permutating it into another emotion. This led to an interesting side thread about how emotions fit in and whether or not they are even appropriate to have them in the business world. Interestingly, there was no consensus as to what to do with these emotions. It’s worth reading the transcript and see where you land in the conversation.

As with most #kaizenblog conversations, we take the topic and take a look at how we engage with the ideas in the conversation. We ended the conversation with this question, What changes are you experiencing in your career or business?

  • Penelope Singer “A3 Full realization of need for clearer paths. Mores structure in some areas, less in others”
  • Parissa Behnia “A3: it’s hard but be content and expect change. your success depends on emotional maturity in dealing with it”
  • Elaine Rogers “I often find pushing myself out of my comfort zone empowers me to accept change and not fight it – hard work tho”
  • Rich Becker “A3 It’s becoming easier to be the content publisher than it is to guide clients toward becoming marketing-content publishers”

 Change is an interesting part of our life experience. Perhaps Thoreau is correct in his observation that there are those who lead lives of quiet desperation and are slaves to their work and their employers. Avoiding change is impossible. As we move along in our careers or in leading our businesses, let us take Valeria’s example and know when to leave a party graciously.