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Cassandra Worthy: Major Changes ‘Serve Your Evolution to Your Very Best Self’

By Sarah Kamp
April 24, 2024
3 minute read

Change expert Cassandra Worthy is pioneering a new approach to transformation. During times of upheaval, traditional change management often falls short, she said — and she’d know. As founder and CEO at Change Enthusiasm Global, Cassandra brings her experience and expertise in leading people through change to help organizations approach change as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

“It’s the mindset, the skill set, and the tools that are at play at that intersection that determine your potential to grow, and your probability of success or failure for your change endeavors,” Cassandra said. “And so it’s at this intersection that we’ve created and are pioneering the change growth space, which runs in parallel to traditional change management.”

During her EmpowerHR Americas keynote presentation, Cassandra shared her framework for growing through change, which involves three steps: the signal, the opportunity, and the choice. Think of it as a traffic light: the signal is red, the opportunity is yellow, and the choice is green.

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Recognize and harness your ‘signal emotions’

When change is constant, you may struggle to recognize which specific changes present the best opportunities for growth. But the signals live within us, Cassandra said.

In her change enthusiasm framework, Cassandra emphasizes the importance of recognizing “signal” emotions — those immediate, often intense emotional responses we tend to have when faced with change. “It’s really difficult emotions: the fear, the frustration, the anger, the anxiety — the feelings you just want to escape, the feelings you just want to run away from,” she said. 

These emotions are the red light. They serve as indicators that something significant is happening that requires our attention — and often our action. By identifying these emotions as signals, you can use them as catalysts for personal and professional growth. 

Cassandra encourages people to not shy away from these feelings, but to instead try to understand where they’re coming from — and what they could lead you toward. You experience these intense emotions for a reason, and learning why can help you move forward more thoughtfully and effectively.

Cultivate a mindset of Change Enthusiasm®

In the past, we’ve approached change from the perspective of managing people’s reactions to it, to gain buy-in and minimize disruptions. But Cassandra’s concept of change enthusiasm goes much further than traditional change management. 

Change enthusiasm is all about embracing change with an open and proactive attitude. This mindset reframes change from a potential threat to an opportunity for learning and development. Opportunity is the yellow light. “Change enthusiasm empowers us not just to manage change, but to grow through it,” Cassandra said. 

By cultivating this mindset, individuals and organizations can transform their approach to change, seeing it not as an obstacle but as a doorway to new possibilities. “You’re going to come to find out that the really big changes, the really major changes, they never happen to you,” Cassandra said. “They happen for you: to serve you, to serve your evolution to your very best self, allowing you to unleash that inner rockstar that we all have within.” 

This shift is crucial for HR leaders, who are often at the forefront of managing and leading change within organizations. You can lead the mindset shift and help employees approach change from a place of optimism and enthusiasm rather than fear and uncertainty.

Implement a strategy of constructive choices

Changes to and around us provide unlimited opportunities for us to take charge of our own growth—even when it’s hard. The final component of Cassandra’s framework helps you do just that and revolves around making strategic, informed choices in response to change. 

Once we’ve recognized our signal emotions and embraced a mindset of change enthusiasm, the next step is to act deliberately and constructively. This involves evaluating the options available and choosing the path that best aligns with our growth and desired outcomes—not the choice that comes from a place of bitterness or resentment. “Choice” is the green light.

“When you feel that fear, you feel that frustration, that anger, and in that moment when the easy choice is just to disengage, when the easy choice is just to keep doing things the way you’ve always done them,” Cassandra said, “in that moment, what will you choose: Bitter or better?”

By implementing a strategy of constructive choices, individuals can influence the direction of their personal and professional journeys, optimizing outcomes and enhancing resilience. This strategic approach to decision-making ensures that responses to change are not reactive but are thoughtful and purpose-driven, maximizing growth and effectiveness in times of transition.

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