Constant Change – Keeps an Organisation Change Capable
Strategic Change is not easy to implement and get right. It will always meet challenge and resistance. If you can build a Company Culture where your workforce are used to ongoing change, they will become agile and proactively capable of rowing with it, rather than against it. They will even create it. That’s how I see it.
Let’s be honest. Very few of us instantly embrace change. Most of us display initial anxiety at the very least. This is natural, normal and human. Our initial concern focuses almost exclusively on ourselves. What will this change mean for me?. How will it affect me and what’s important to me?. This typical overwhelming initial response to proposed change is to assume negative impacts. Inevitably much of these negative impacts never materialise. Rarely are they as severe as we imagine. Frequently they are actually positive when embraced.
We are creatures of habit. None of us like change, especially if we didn’t choose it and it is foisted upon us. However no development or progress can occur without change.
So, how do you go about implementing a change program to maximise the likelihood of true and lasting success on the journey of change. Here’s what I’ve learned and embraced.
Firstly you must be able to answer clearly why the change proposed is necessary and why the status quo is not an option.
Secondly you must be prepared to explain the compelling need for the change, although not necessarily the detail of the change. This leaves space for those affected to have their say and have an input.
Thirdly, respect the current status quo. It most likely has served you well until now and was the right solution for its time and circumstances. Also remember the status quo no doubt started life as new change itself.
Fourthly, be vigilant towards becoming too comfortable, too attached and too secure with the status quo. Invest in systems and processes that continually challenge it and its contribution. This is continuous improvement in action. Build into your Company Culture a desire for experimentation, a passion for constant reinvention and a dissatisfaction with remaining in the comfort zone for too long.
When people see the need to change and the imperfections in the current status quo, they will be more open to change, will embrace it and will often create it.
Building new ways of doing things regularly involves trial and error and definitely involves imperfect pathways to change. Be open to modifications along the journey. Do not seek to control all aspects of the change journey.
Finally take time to mark the change milestones and to celebrate implementations. The lifespan of the status quo is getting shorter & shorter. The change required once implemented becomes the new status quo. And the cycle starts again.
In our hectic work lives constant change is inevitable and necessary. It must become a constant. If we follow the above methodology, regular change will become normalised. The change journey will in my opinion be less difficult overtime, and should keep us away from the burning platform …… the need for drastic change.