Sometimes it is hard to admit we were wrong when something we have worked hard to create later is not working as well as it should.
Maybe that what we had achieved was not appropriate for the audience we were aiming at or, such as computers no longer fit for purpose. Circumstances in house or the market may have headed down a different path. Whatever the reason, this is where change comes into its own.
A while ago, I looked at my very wordy web site and although a lot of work went into creating the message initially, I realised that today’s market demands quick gratification and immediate response. With this in mind, I set on working to ‘Change’ the existing layout (and this is what we produced, hope you like it’s more simple and direct approach!).
Change Management is not an easy subject to broach as we are often emotionally attached to a situation, circumstance or, for example my web site, something we have poured a lot of energy into.
Thoughts of failure may arise. This can be associated with levels of confidence, or the reluctance to let go. But holding onto something, is not always the wisest thing to do.
There are generally 5 stages to work through to insure a more efficient streamlined and timely change-over. Consider the following when implementing change as conflict will naturally arise. Remember, these same areas apply to you as well, even if you are the only person dealing with change:
- Consider the shock this will have on those affected. What will change mean to their otherwise normal behaviour emotionally or to their work pattern?
- Deliberate the feeling of coping. Will those involved feel capable of managing the situation?
- Help! What information needs to be given and at what stage(s)? How can you include those who will be affected and insure they have a sense of input? Two-way communication is the key
WHO & HOW WILL IT AFFECT PEOPLE
- Who will be affected and how do you keep them abreast of the situation insuring they know it will have an impact on them
- Make the time-frame very clear with no room for ambiguity
- Clarity that this is not a whimsical adventure that will be soon brushed under the carpet. This will happen and business will change
- Even when the old computer system rarely functions well, we still have familiarity with all the quirky habits. This same sense of attachment applies to whatever needs to be changed. Become aware of how powerful this emotion is.
- Avoidance (It won’t affect me!) – Excuses as to why it won’t work and continuation on how the old way of doing things did will occur. Frequently check steps towards the end result are made while promoting the positive actions
- Anxiety could step in here. Be conscious of peoples’ concerns and regularly converse (not electronically) to relay/receive vital information to help the transition
- Questions of motives and reasons will arise. Reinforce the new positives over the old ways whilst re-stating benefits of the changes
- Treat confusion and elements of chaos during the early stages as small hurdles to obtain the bigger rewards
- Encourage exploration to support change in new ways as positive ideas otherwise not considered in the first place. Gives a sense of involvement, participation in the greater scheme
- Look for the beginnings of enthusiasm and use these as the fuel to ignite other areas as yet to find the benefits. In larger organisations, use those who embrace change to be the stewards of positive
- Once the positive ways can be seen, fuel any visible increase in energy towards the new way or system
- Fully support and encourage motivated people to share and help one another
- Publish or share the positive affirmations
- Encourage conversations but re-iterate you are looking for reasons for this to work, not excuses why it isn’
This is but a simplistic overview on what to expect when change is to be made. Change is not easy but it need not be painful or too onerous either. Planning, communicating, positive affirmations and finding support are key to the success
Coaching to Success specialise in Change-management so no matter how big or how small the next change you are looking to undergo, contact Neil on 07761 187238 or email email@example.com where you’ll be assured a warm welcome to discuss how we can help.
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