Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Resistance Mind: How to Crack it and Manage Change Successfully

Behavior is a manifestation of attitude, attitude results from the thoughts and mind.

Change is the only constant, even change itself has been accelerated, however, more than 70% of corporate change management effort fails to achieve the expected result. Digital means flow, perhaps the root cause of change failure is due to such a static mind, resistant to change, but what is the cause of such a resistance mind which is the other anti-digital thinking pattern (besides silo, noncritical thinking, extreme thinking), how to crack it and manage change successfully.

Behavior is a manifestation of attitude, attitude results from the thoughts and mind: Behavior can be changed either through operational adjustment (small things you do as you are introduced to skills or information) or through transformation (adaptive shifts in thoughts or beliefs that result from looking inward and reflecting). Change Management intends to change employees’ behavior. It is a manifestation of attitude. Attitude results from thoughts, assumptions, and preferences. Those are the result of years of habits and reinforcement.

People change for a reason, it is a mind which manipulates the reasoning and logic behind the change. Think of behavior change as acting into a new way of thinking and believing. The question to be asked is why are you wanting the change? What do you expect to gain from adopting the change? You can certainly change behaviors with the right push, however, bigger changes come with inspiring the mind and challenging winning attitudes. You can't change anyone's attitude or behavior. THEY have to be the ones that change. And most WON'T in the long run. (Short term changes are common under pressure to change, but it breeds discontent and, in the long run, people revert to their original habits...most of the time). So What you can do is well-defined expectations of behavior. Attitude is dependent whether or not they agree with the direction that they need to go. If it's good...then good attitude will follow. If they disagree, then such resistant mind can lead negative attitude and destructive behaviors.

Corporate culture is collective mind, and the culture of inertia is the collective resistance mindsets. More often culture is the very reason to stifle the business change and innovation. If the attitudes and actions of employees are widespread, it may be best to look at the cultures and values of the entire organization. Behaviors are easiest to change, but attitude brings on lasting effects and can impact more than one negative behavior. As a leader for an organization that really emphasizes five core values of Caring, Integrity, Empathy, Respect, and Responsibility, it has always been easier to address an employee's attitude. The spirit of business comes from the top, leaders need to constantly ask themselves if their minds are open and professional, and if their attitudes and actions display these values.

The change agents or champions have such a “learning wheel” in their mind: BEHAVIOR as a symptom of ATTITUDE and ATTITUDE is the reflection of your MIND. Your attitudes are a function of you "total being" which includes your mind and your behaviors.  And for each person in your team, you, the project and the job are only a part of their "total being." Effective leaders/managers have the ability to understand and appreciate that fact. In the case of long-term relationships, you are able to detect changes in an employee's situation signaled by changes in behavior. In cases like projects where you have shorter-term exposure to individuals, you do not always have the references to see these changes. In the end, measuring attitude is difficult. Covey hit a home-run when he said, "Seek first to understand and then seek to be understood." It's harder to say it than doing it. It's a "Learning Wheel."

A resistance mind can be cracked if you apply the right mind, systematic methodology and take the effective approach, for example, use the U-shape curve to explain to the staffs the stages that they will go through in the process of adapting to changes: Curiosity, Frustration, Contempt, Illumination, and Expertise. There is a learning curve even in the most proactive mind, once people know the game, they are more willing to accept it since it becomes an intellectual mind crafting, heart to heart communication and hands-to-hands collaboration.


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