1. There's no right time to change things. People will always wish you moved slower or faster.
2. In fact any hope of doing it perfectly or even well might just be aspirations you have to let go of!
3. That's not to say you shouldn't try to do it well but there is no way you can please 100% of the people 100% of the time or even get close!
4. As Andy Brett wisely told me once, 'just because people don't like it, doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do.'
5. But even agreeing about the right thing to do is hard especially in this moment in international development when we are (rightly) being questioned to our core.
6. So, resist perfectionism but pick a way forward. Accept whatever way forward you pick if not the only or perfect way but do commit to the way you have chosen, in all its imperfection.
7. Make sure you have lived experience of the issues you work on in the room and listen. Guard against any instinct to assume you know better
8. At the same time know that there is no way everyone will agree no matter who is in the room.
9. As a leader you will have to hold some of the complexity, doubt and questioning. That is what leadership of change in this moment, especially in the INGo sector, probably is; Holding paradox.
10. I wanted to lead change in a way that centred everyone's wellbeing. But in trying to do so I took on too much myself. If I was starting again I would ask for more resources for this from the outset.
11. Change needs resourcing. We need I think a fund set up to support the change that is necessary. Sometimes that change may be dissolving institutions and letting them die well. Other times it may be transforming their approach and supporting their people. This funding won't need to be endless but it does need to be there especially for smaller organisations or those that have limited unrestricted funds.
12. Restricted funding is the enemy of change. I mean that in all the ways possible. It really is.
13. Flexible funding is on the other hand an enabler of change, adaptability and generative approaches to solving the problems and challenges of our time.
14. Leading change is not easy. Change triggers all kinds of often unexpected reactions and challenges. Whilst we might be able to see why our organisations need to change. Making that change a reality is hard and often confusing work. That's not to say we shouldn't pursue change, in fact we must. But it is to say that we can prepare for and anticipate it's many challenges. Doing this not only helps us anchor ourselves when things get hard. It also gives us the very best chance of being as prepared and supported as we can be.
Leading Change in International Development is my new 12 week programme that starts 24th April and offers replenishment. re-imagining and practice for leaders of change in this space. You can find out more here: https://maryannclements.com/leading-change-in-international-development/