In a world filled with change, it is often not the physical changes we find difficult but rather the emotional letting go of the way the world used to be and the shifting to a new identity. These psychological responses are called ‘transitions‘. They come in three stages.
Having separated from the old life and crossed the uncertainty of the Threshold phase, the third and final stage is called Consolidation. This is where you work to bring the different parts of your vision together, align them into a coherent whole, and find out how they have turned out.
For example, we all know now how Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber work. But once upon a time all three were radical, untried new business models. To succeed, their founders had to inspire people to Separate from the way they previously bought books, hotel rooms, and taxis; then convince people to stick with them through the uncertainty of the Threshold startup phase; and finally, align and Consolidate the different pieces of the enterprise into the evolving coherent brands we all know and love (or hate) today.
Success in this third Consolidation stage depends on showing that progress is being made and on shaping what that progress means. To achieve this, schedule “quick wins” in your project plan. Celebrate each one as it happens. Use each step to show that the vision is being accomplished and shape what that means for each audience (customers, employees, investors…).
Operationally a plan that joins the dots is essential. Emotionally and psychologically it enables you to show your key audiences how each small milestone is building towards something greater. Sharing the plan will help your team to understand this and the roles they play.
Finally, above all, focus on the purpose of your vision. Whether you are running a project, settling into a new role, or building a new organisation, knowing its purpose will enable you to shape the meaning(s) of what happens, resolve competing priorities, and empower your team to respond synergistically to whatever happens.
Then, once you have consolidated your vision you will want to set new goals. The cycle of inner leadership will begin again as you centre and ground, make sense of the situation, choose the best way forward for you, and create an inspiring vision to achieve it.
Adapted from Inner Leadership.