Look around you. Change is everywhere. In business, politics, technology, relationships, our lives, spouse, children, bodies (yikes!), and more. Change is everywhere! Can we get rid of the awful feeling that it comes with? Must we comply? Resist? Run? Or simply give in?
My friend’s father was scheduled to do surgery on his leg. While in the hospital he was told that it was beyond surgery and they had to immediately amputate or fear the worse would happen. In no time the decision was made and my friend’s life was turned upside down, or inside out depending on how you look at it.
Immediately the ripple effects at work, among her own children, and in her own personal life could not be missed. Someone had to jump in and smooth the process…and that she did.
Change is constant. Whether it is in our professional life as entrepreneurs or in our personal life. We can’t get out of it. Some bring joy, some sorrow, pain, regret, or disappointment.
Organizations are no different. As professionals we spend most of our professional lives on the job in organizations. So here is a brief discussion on its effects and some tips on how to deal with the pains of change while at work. Our goal is to strengthen commitment as opposed to force compliance on others.
We said it before but will say it again…resistance to change can have devastating effects in organizations, politics, and in our own lives. It can result in:
- Reduced performance
- Increased turnover
- Increased arguments and controversy
We resist change. Here’s why:
- Parochial self-interest
- Lack of trust
- Different assessments
- Low tolerance for change
Here’s how we show it:
Active resistance: Lack of cooperation together with disputes, threat of strikes, and sabotage.
Opposition : Delay, not meeting deadlines or having resources ready when they are needed, and forming coalitions to overturn the change.
Conditional acceptance : Accepting the essence of change while working on its modification.
False acceptance: Pretending to accept the job while doing nothing to implement it.
Acquiescence: Accepting the change while reducing commitment to the organization.
Withdrawal: People simply leave the organization or transfer to another job within the organization that is not affected by the change.
4 Successful Change Management Tactics
We can successfully manage change through persuasion, intervention, edict, and participation. Of the four … persuasion, intervention and participation will more often result in commitment to change, rather than compliance.
- Persuasion. The manager articulates the needs and opportunities and then an expert sells the plan to other managers and subordinates.
- Intervention. Identify deficiencies, state new objectives and illustrate how these will be met through members of the organization.
- Participation. The manager states the problem, delegates responsibility for deriving solution to a planning group, and then provide for implementation of the planned solution.
- Edict is less effective because it operates under the dictatorial mode through ordering everyone to follow the stated change plan. This leads to compliance rather than resistance.
To better manage the natural resistance to change in order to sustain performance in an environment of constant change it is best to:
- Personalize the benefits of change;
- Lead, sponsor and communicate throughout the change process;
- Support people through the difficult points of the change journey;
- Focus on new behaviors not new attitudes.
Essentially, we can never hide from change. It is inevitable. The traditional form of managing change may be adequate in a slow moving world. However, in our pop Tart rapidly changing social media environment, the traditional forms of management makes implementing change more difficult. Therefore adapting the tactics mentioned will go a long way to fuel lasting commitment that will promote business success in the long term.
If you are not in business, you can still apply the same tactics to your own personal life, career, and relationships. Change impacts us all but it is important to remember… when it hits.. no matter what it is
Change the plan but not the Goal