Why is it that at the mention of change there is such mixed emotional reactions?
I often see when working with clients the individuals who say…great, and really embrace the freshness that change can breathe into the business when compared to others who take the …Oh no! ‘If it isn’t broken why fix it’ approach.
I agree that mismanaged change can be a recipe for disaster and change for changes sake can be a waste of time and resource.
Change can bring new ideas, move businesses and teams forward and can be really exciting.
Why does it go wrong?
Generally change programmes go wrong because of some or all of the following reasons:
· Not thought through thoroughly enough with all aspects and implications being considered (consider SWOT and PEST analysis).
· Not communicated clearly enough to stakeholders and listened and allayed their concerns.
· Expecting too much of stakeholders in their ability to cope – support.
· Implementation disjointed and not satisfactorily resourced.
As people are a key factor in overcoming resistance to change the successful implementation of new working methods and practices or integrating new businesses into a group is dependent upon the willing and effective co-operation of everyone. Many change initiatives and programmes fail because they are derailed by the “people factor”!
A key part of successful change is, therefore, building and communicating the reasons & the vision for change.
What is the Change Curve?
Essentially ‘the change curve’ is the emotional stages that individuals may pass through when a change programme is implemented.
When implemented correctly the time taken to move through all stages is reduced and less disruptive.
How can we make change easier to implement?
· Be clear as to why we want the change. What are the benefits?
· Have we considered all dimensions of the change or are we looking at it from only one angle?
· What do we need to communicate and to whom?
· Gain buy-in through engagement and be prepared to listen and allay concerns.
· Provide support to those fearful of the process.
· Implement with confidence and in manageable chunks.
· Be prepared to flex when required to make it work.
· Use change as a platform for more change – don’t make this just a one off!