The need for change, transformation, new ways of working and innovation to name just a few is never off the agenda. Yet the realities between the desire and the delivery of change are somewhat different. So what realities do you need to face up to when making change?
Reality 1: Most folks don’t like change
Sure we all have to adapt a little bit all of the time and in the main do this without thinking. On the other hand talk about any sort of significant scale change and chances are that the barriers will go up pretty quickly. We all to a greater or lesser extent thrive in consistency and stability.
Reality 2: People focus first on what they will lose
Think about a time in the past when you have had to consider making change. Chances are that people’s initial reaction was not to focus on the opportunity or challenge. They are more likely to focus on what they will lose. It is human nature and almost a sort of safety mechanism.
Reality 3: People will feel isolated
People might normally feel that they are part and parcel of a team of supportive people. Then a change comes along and it can be easy to feel isolated. This is even more likely if you are the person who is leading the team.
Reality 4: People all have a different level of readiness for change
Some people thrive on continually having new challenges thrust in their direction while for others it will feel like a huge burden. As the leader the challenge is to be aware of the fact that everyone responds differently and that you will need to test readiness for change.
Reality 5: People worry that they won’t be able to do it
One or two might be sceptical but change is still possible. On the other hand if there are many all starting to doubt the ability, skills or resources to make change then there is a potentially big problem. As the leader you have a key role in supporting people through these times of doubt.
Reality 6: People have only got so much capacity
Even the most enthusiastic can suffer from change fatigue from time to time. There is a fine balancing act between challenging people and burning them out. Be alert to the fact that people may only have so much capacity so don’t overload them with change initiatives.
Reality 7: People need to fail safe
Whenever you are considering change you are asking people to take some risk. They will only take those risks if they know that if it does not work out that they will be acknowledged for having a go. Remember without some form of risk taking nothing ever moves forward.
Bottom Line – The natural tendency is to resist change, so what are you doing as a leader to help other achieve success when it comes to making change?
Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements helps professionals to become better leaders and managers. For more information click here
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.