We require a different sustainable, long-term approach to change management


Much is written about resistance to change and management of change, however the majority of advice on this topic is based on the old paradigm of changing being done to another person, ‘I’m managing. You are changing. Many people switch into fight or flight mode when changes are forced upon them. Numerous studies have shown that when confronted by tumultuous changes, people tend to be more suspicious, negative, and cynical and inclined to withdraw.

Therefore, change initiatives typically do not have the power to last. If people don’t want to change because they’re convinced there is nothing to change, they’re probably correct that it’s self-reinforcing. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea to be skeptical or that they shouldn’t immediately accept the change. In many cases, scepticism is a reasonable response to an offer of change because the change isn’t a assurance of successful implementation.

Does this impression stem from the history of the company? Or is it due to the leaders of the organization in it? Just one-third of managers recognize what their staff members are good at as well as 60% believe that they “don’t have the time” to show respect to the employees they employ. So, if managers aren’t working with their employees, why do any change have any weight for those who are that are affected?

A discussion of the human component of managing change

Some models of change management that we utilize date back to in the 70s. Approaches, including McKinsey 7-S, ADKAR or Lewin’s Model depict change as a controlled process rather than being an ongoing, organic state driven by perceptions and mental models. These outdated ideas can cause temporary changes, however, lasting change requires a genuine commitment from the heart. The more important question to consider is: is change an issue of communication, process or culture issue?

The change process is viewed from an operational standpoint and then there’s the change process from a perspective of a person. Here are five strategies to tackle the human aspect of change in an organization:

1. Connect the change to the desired change

The moment of change isn’t the only one. Many organizations have their own plans for changes that are on hold which are difficult to handle. The process of tackling these issues is what builds confidence in the change you wish to see. Employees who have had to go through numerous changes are skeptical and often take a wait-and-see approach before expressing their the support.

If your crucial change initiative is linked to unaddressed or unresolved issues it’s a win-win. Incorporating the long-standing requirements for change to current initiatives to make changes more credible and shows an organization’s ability to recognize and address problems on the frontline.

2. Begin with influencers, not just leaders.

When it comes to implementing changes, the standard is to make sure that the leadership is in place. But, many organizations ignore those who don’t have leadership roles in changes management process but have an impact on the company’s culture. They could include middle management, senior receptionists or sales staff. They influence the organization’s behavior by their influence and intelligence, as well as networking skills or the respect they enjoy in the ranks of the company.

They are the key elements for ensuring change is adopted. Engaging these influencers in the beginning increases trust throughout the company and provides a base for change that is based on solid voices. The influencers in the company may not hold conventional power, but they have informal power, influencing the social fabric of the company.

3. Let everyone have the opportunity to stake their own stake

If individuals are given the possibility to shape the direction of the direction of a change in their own way, they are much more likely to be a part of the change. When employees, for instance being asked to give their opinions, but also to be involved by contributing to a specific element or result and tap into their motivations and feelings of satisfaction.

While it’s a good idea to ask for input from employees or hold a town-hall meeting to gather different viewpoints however, these methods are rarely translated into actions that are part of the existing change strategy. They are often used as a cover for the executive, and the decisions made are framed by feedback from employees exercises that confirm what’s been established. Instead, you should present the proposed change through groups of smaller discussions in which employees can give constructive feedback, suggestions regarding how to make the change happen and ways to be involved. This lets them connect with the change on a more personal level, which increases their ability to stand out among others and creating an impression connectedness to something greater than them.

4. Create a neutral facilitator of culture to help you manage change effectively

If the change process is overseen by the C-Suite or CEO the individual concerns and issues are directed to supervisors in charge. As divisions between departments become a source of conflict and power is at stake, there’s a conflict. Teams with greater political power are in a race to have their viewpoint favorably over another, regardless of regardless of whether it’s beneficial for the overall changes or not.

Inviting an outsider can eliminate internal office tensions, politics, and posturing. As a moderator or engagement manager, and counsellor they can draw on your Inner Gordon Ramsey or Tony Robbins to tackle issues directly and encourage individual concentration. This helps ensure that decisions are balanced when disagreements arise, and also assists in removing internal biases.

5. Accept the behaviors that are supportive of the process of change.

Most often, change is presented as the form of a show with a pony and dog. The logos, posters, stickers and t-shirts are a source of getting buy-in and enthusiasm for change in the workplace. However, just like dogs employees can tell what it means and remain calm until the excitement wears off and then things go back to regular routine.

Instead of glancing at change by giving out superficial presents, show with action what the new represents. Change the focus to giving in the direction of the communities, or transform it into concrete actions that range from paid volunteer hours, to employee-matched donations. Through providing examples of behavioural behavior that represent the shift, leaders transform change from an idea that is stated into something that can be implemented. This sets the stage for employees’ actions when they are on the path of change.

Develop a set of micro-change strategies

Instead, break down the effort into smaller changes. In keeping with the fundamental message and clear, you can communicate a sequence of steps through which the change will take place. It could be a series of milestones, phases or any other segmentation method which shows progress toward the bigger target, and creates an impression of achievement and the progress. Micro-changes can also create internal momentum, which makes progress possible in the short-term while focusing on the longer term.

It’s never easy to change but the way we approach it can make an enormous difference in whether or not it is accepted. Although every organization and situation is unique and unique, human nature demands that getting buy-in from the top requires emotional commitment, patience along with positive feedback.

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