Monday, October 26, 2015

Can you “Move out of your Comfort Zone”

It takes courage, motivation, discipline, and persistence to get out of the comfort zone.

Change is the new normal. Change is situational. It happens when something starts or stops, or when something that used to happen in one way starts happening in another. But acceptance of change is transitional, and “moving out of your comfort zone" can be used at all levels and as a starting point for change. It might sound like a cliche, the trick is understanding that moving out of a comfort zone leads to the creation of a new comfort zone which in turn will require you to move out "of" it again. This continuous moving "out" of your comfort zone is complemented by the cycle of self-development. There is a classic fable about a lion and a gazelle to analogize such a "surviving and thriving cycles": The lion wakes up and starts running otherwise it will not catch lunch. The gazelle does the same but, in this case, to avoid becoming lunch. Either way, you have to move to survive. This principle can be applied in a physical sense as well. The human body is designed for motion and physical effort.

The most general term used in science that identifies circumstances when resistance occurs is inertia: It applies to both matter and energy everywhere in terms of movement. Resistance only - and always - manifests when the state of inertia changes. So replacing resistance with inertia helps talk about change with far less emotional contamination, including placing covert “blame.” It's more the natural way things work. In science, resistance takes different forms based on what is affected. For solid objects, it is usually friction or external force. For electricity, it is ohms. In deliberate social matters, there is always some response to shifting in the inertial state as well, but it is not always direct resistance. What people “resist” or favor or foster or encourage is based on the values we hold. What is better or worse is – barring physical threat from others – can be viewed as progress or regression. Progress is a concept that is not only conceived by humans, but it also applies only to outcomes of human (or human attribution about) behavior. The same “change” may be lauded by some and vilified by others based on how similar and deep the values they hold are.  

A highly diverse group almost always accelerates innovation dramatically as well as spurs general creativity: Variance by personality, function, industry experience, role, and audience (customers, suppliers, resellers/retailers, regulators, insurers and the like) allow for superior need discovery, ranking and business model creation, assessment, and validation. Managers are taught to manage processes and resources effectively. Often conflicting goals within the organization, for example, increase resources to accomplish goals, yet cutting costs to remain viable. A very simple way initially to improve innovation in almost any organization is to simply broaden the audience, and it's diversity for solving challenges. That's something anyone can do except in the most dysfunctional of organizations. The fact is that people's belief system on a subconscious level is slowly "adjust" to a new set of rules rather than the conscious level. In any case, behavioral change in organizations happens on a group level and a person's "resistance" is just the symptom of an "organizational allergy" to the loss of the previously set operational equilibrium. Most of the time, in fact, even while advocating change, management are the custodians - indeed the strong defenders of - the status quo. Even while advocating (certain limited) change, the reins are held tight. Is it any wonder people are resistant?

Delivering a change management training to a large group of people: It increases the group's ability to get through the denial and resistance phases easier. People exposed to several undergoing psychological stages by which they come to terms with the new situation. Although the original model of transitions was based on five stages of grief, people exposed to change undergo similar stages. When faced with change, we all go through the phases - denial, resistance, exploration. and acceptance. So it is important to try to find ways to make people feel involved in the design and implementation of the change. Change requires the management of people’s anxiety and confusion or conversely their excitement and engagement. These are emotions most managers try to deal with or address. Managing the change process and transition emotions are fundamental to the success of a change-oriented project. Many people are inherently cynical about change, many doubt there are effective means to accomplish major organizational change.

Adopt effective Change Management models and tools: The model has evolved into a change management tool with one popular version consisting of different phases of individual transition and managing transition: Identify who’s losing what, and discuss it openly. Organizational change often goes against the very values held dear by people. Resistance is a natural defense mechanism for those losing something. Accept the reality and importance of subjective losses; acknowledge the pain people will go through, openly and sympathetically. Don’t be surprised about overreaction take it in your step. Expect and accept the signs of grieving. Compensate for the losses by showing staff the benefits of the future. Give people information and do it again and again and again and again. Define what’s over and what isn’t. Mark the endings; make sure there are actions or activities that dramatize the processes, systems, cultures and that reflected the old ways. Let people take a piece of the old way with them; endings occur more easily if the people can take a bit of an old way with them. Show how endings consist of what really matters, what must end.

Applying visualization techniques for folks that resist change: That usually helps. if the person in question is resisting change you have to change his/her frame of vision. The sailboat analogy is a popular one: The ship is the company, the sea is the environment, the old world is the past, and the New World is the future. The ship or the company must get to the New World to grow. The only way to get there is to be a proponent of change. If you want the boat goes toward the right direction, you must adjust your sails with the direction of the wind to get you to the New World. You don't have many choices but to change your sails to move forward; You cannot go back to the old world as it is the ship going to the New World and the only way to get there is by using change techniques. If the ship remains idle, then the boat or the company stagnates. If you stagnate you don't grow and your company doesn't grow. For this growth to happen the whole team must ALL be on board. Change has to be anchored in and set in movement by ALL parties. The only way out would be to jump off the ship because change is happening no matter what. The art of sailing depends on knowing how to manage the wind. When very fortunate the wind is blowing in the direction you want to go. For a longer voyage, the likelihood of this happening is 1/360 of the time. The worst condition is if the wind is blowing 180 degrees opposite your intended destination. In this and all other situations, navigational skill is required.

It takes courage, motivation, discipline, and persistence to get out of comfort zone, so humanize change management and remind leaders that the people they are trying to change have hearts and minds, doubts and fears - you have to bring it back to the fact that resistance to change has root causes in fear-driven by evolutions. When someone is resisting change, it is usually because one or more of the elements is missing for them. Look at the issues from their perspective. Gaining their buy-in to the change, switch the conversation to goals- innovation, excellence flexibility, responsiveness, etc. and use analytics to support change and manage transformation.


Post a Comment