Cassandra Worthy: The ‘Change Enthusiasm Growth Cycle’

REACH 2021 keynote speaker Cassandra Worthy, author and consultant.
REACH 2021 keynote speaker Cassandra Worthy, author and consultant.

“The emotions of change — and powering that energy to fuel your credit union’s growth within any period of disruption — is what you’ve gone through over the past two years,” said keynote speaker Cassandra Worthy as she launched Thursday morning’s general session at REACH 2021, hosted by the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues. “But there’s room for frustration in the years ahead.”

(View or download any of this week’s photos from the REACH 2021 photo gallery)

The “Change Enthusiasm” presenter, author and consultant said as credit unions deal with post-pandemic realities in serving their members, they should be pondering the next two to three years ahead on this all-important topic.

“There’s room for fear and anxiety in thinking about how you’re going to keep pace with changes and disruption,” Worthy said. “NOW is the time to address how you harness the power of that energy to fuel your credit union’s growth, as well as you as an individual, innovator and leader.”

The “change enthusiasm growth cycle” is a workable strategy and can be broken into three steps: 1) the signal (red light); 2) the opportunity (yellow light); and 3) the choice (green light). The first step entails fear, anxiety, frustration, anger, and grief; the second involves what’s possible and what your options are; and the third consists of a transformation from “signal emotions” to growth-sustaining emotions such as hope, anticipation, excitement, joy and gratitude (transforming fear of how you and your organization will be impacted into hope).

“The more you can work this mindset and make it part of your inner core, you’ll come to find these big changes never happen to you — they happen FOR you,” Worthy said. “They happen to serve you and enable you to become better and evolve. By practicing change enthusiasm, you’ll come to trust that when big changes come, you realize it’s happening FOR you and you’re about to grow.”

She said credit union leaders will experience an infinite amount of change events in their professional lives that invite them to practice those three steps over and over again. The more they practice, they will build resilience muscle that needs to be “stressed, torn and ripped over time.” That happens through periods of change and disruption — such as the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on business and society.

“The more revolutions you go through, the more your change-enthusiasm muscle grows,” Worthy said.

She challenged attendees to think about a personal challenge, change, or disruption that’s giving them the most signal-emotion; then to name it. Then, think about how it’s inviting them to grow and learn about themselves.

“Capture at least one action and milk that opportunity for all it’s worth,” she said. “And use an accountability partner. Find someone you can buddy-up with and get on each other’s calendars as you leave this session.”

Stay Engaged During REACH
Attendees and League staff will be sharing photos, comments and memories through Twitter (@CUatREACH), Instagram (cuatreach), and the REACH Photo Galleries.

REACH is one of the credit union industry’s premier annual events, attracting leaders and system partners from across California, Nevada and the United States. This year it’s held from Nov. 1 – 4 at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, CA!

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