Managing Change

Managing Change

Change. It is an inevitable part of business and life. Any effort to improve is accompanied hand in hand with some form of change. To make improvements more effective and efficient, consideration should be given to the psychology of managing change.

Most individuals are creatures of habit and prefer to keep things the same. Change can create stress and concern for "what will happen to me?" Those individuals may act out with uncharacteristic behavior in the form of denial and resistance to the change. They may show fear, get angry, cry, become depressed or rally support against the change.

Understanding this, leaders can choose to communicate and paint a colorful picture of the current state, how the change will occur and what the future looks like. This approach effectively establishes the vision of how it will affect and help both individuals and the organization as a whole. It also creates the opportunity to let the team be involved, ask clarifying questions or provide input that may improve the path of change. In doing so, a common need can be developed that makes the upcoming change less scary and ultimately more successful.

With a recent client, we employed this approach. After painting the picture, the first significant change was met with a hint of resistance, but ultimately the change was put in place. The issue being addressed historically occurred 8-10 times per week. Immediately following implementation of the new process, the issue did not occur again for well over 90 days! As continuous improvement efforts have gained momentum, this team has begun to anticipate and be excited about what is next.

Brian Van de Water | CEO - SPL Consulting, LLC