Thursday, February 12, 2015

Digital Master Tuning XXXVIII: Do People Like or Hate Change?

The challenge for change leaders is to ensure any change is presented in a way that the end users understand it in terms of "what's in it for me."

People love to change if they are involved and/or take the initiative, but they hate being changed by someone else without having an effect on the situation. But Change is the only constant, and the speed of change is accelerating, how to adapt to change is the very quality to grow as a Digital Master.

People love changes only if they are pioneers in introducing the change, and always look forward to something different and new thus constantly on learning graph. The person with change inertia is adverse to any change and want to continue with same old routine. But the overwhelming majority of people love and continue to love the change. If the negative impact of change on people is managed well in the change process (and it can be through inclusion, training, etc.), then most of that relatively small group jumps on the change wagon too.

The differentiator is that people embrace change if they understand the value adding to them. Innovations and changes that deliver improvements in their lives (both work and personal) are easier to embrace and love. The challenge for change leaders is to ensure any change is presented in a way that the end users understand it in terms of "what's in it for me." Then and only then, will they love the change and not resist it. People only like the comfort zone if they have been given no reason to consider going someplace better --or don't even know there is a "new and improved" zone they could go to. If change is going to make them feel more comfortable, they accept it. If not, they resist. The bottom line, people love comfort zone and dislike anything that will take them away from that zone. That said, no matter how well a change is led, there may always be a few people who resist because of their personalities and rigid belief systems--or because the change has a negative impact on them personally that can not be avoided. The resistances to this particular change were.
- It's been tried many times before and all before failed (predisposition to doom).
- The driver of the change, in this case, had questionable ability for the job involved.

People neither love nor hate "change." It is people’s understanding of the result of the change that will drive one to behave in one way or another. Understanding change doesn't guarantee support. If one’s understanding of the result of a change is negative, you will naturally resist it. The only trust will embolden one to support a change that undermines his/her comfort zone. In other words, it was the impact of the change on them personally they did not like--not the change itself. If they had been "pulled" into the change many/most would have had an opportunity to develop new skills and take on leadership roles in leaping to the next level of development and growth.

Leadership makes all the difference in how those you lead accept, support, or resist changes you are trying to make. It seems that the more a person will like the result of the change the less leadership is required to get them take the actions needed to achieve what they want. Isn't strong leadership needed because, with most changes, there are those that benefit directly and those that lose something? Leadership is needed to get both groups to work to the common end regardless of how the result will impact them. The very purpose of any change is to make continuous improvement and focus on the long-term prosperity for both employees and business.


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