Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How to Apply Simplicity Principle in Change Management

Change is simply a shift from the “Old Way - Chaos - New Way.”

Simplicity is a behavioral attitude to see things as and what and where they are and be content and cool as it is. Philosophically, simplicity is the source of complication, and complications are the source of simplicity. Often human cannot live life with simplicity and keep making it complicated. So does Change Management. Can we make change simpler? A successful change requires three things; dissatisfaction with the current state, clear vision and clear process for getting towards the vision. How to apply the simplicity principle in Change Management?

Helping people cope with the experience of change is fundamental to the process.  Acknowledging that something needs to change is the first step. And sometimes that is a very hard one to take for some people. Because often management is overly focused on the technical element of change, they are lacking in how to think about and do this. The most difficult part is the first step of getting others in the group/team to acknowledge there's a problem - that behavior and attitudes are negatively affecting business objectives and growth. That involves people being open and honest about ignoring the problem and/or how they are reacting to those unhelpful behaviors and attitudes. Changing behaviors that are negatively affecting the company's ability to make a profit and continuous growth.

Change is simply a shift from the “Old Way - Chaos - New Way.” People never ever look for a simple way rather they will rely on some popular models developed by a change guru. Having a model is great but without the buy-in from the individuals that are impacted, change won’t happen. All too often, the management heard the phrases "but we have done it this way for 20 years" or "that's it then jobs will be next," such reaction is driven by fear but can be eliminated by simple and regular communication face to face.  There are lots of models that act as guidebooks for change practitioners trying to work the way through the chaos. As we might expect of what is still a relatively new discipline and one that has only recently become super trendy, new complexities are being discovered and different institutions/people are trying to get in on the game. Consequently, more complex models and a focus on selling them as the solution. Practically, do not make change process overly rigid, Change Management needs to be changed when necessary.

As for changing culture, that is a little more than DNA at work. People are hardwired to resist that which seems dangerous to us. Make sure the changes are talked about and explained as part of a two-way conversation are so important. In addition, we often don't want to change things that serve us. For example, if the change seems like it will make most of my experience and knowledge obsolete, I will naturally resist it. That is until I am shown or can see how that actually isn't the case. And we know from studies that if the effort required to change is perceived to be greater than the reward, we aren't going to do it no matter how great the reward on the other side. So, is it a part of human DNA. Does that make change impossible - No! It just means we need to keep that in mind as we navigate and strategize any changes we want to make in organizations. Change is a part of our daily life yet how we approach it is quite complicated sometimes. Staying positive is certainly critical as you move through change. Continue to brainstorm what they are happy about as a result of the changes going on. there is no growth without change. Many humans have an autonomic reaction to environmental change that can range from skepticism to much worse. Is this part of human DNA? A culture is created and recreated each and every day by all the actions individuals within that culture take. To change a culture you need to change those actions, and change enough of them to cause a shift in the culture. Organizationally that is why culture change is so hard. And often when people talk about the need for culture change they are really talking about the need for climate change, not the weather but the atmosphere in a company.

Simplicity has a multitude of perspectives. Elegance is such a word to convey “just right” simplicity. To make the change as simple as possible, not simpler. Simplicity is an aspect of “appropriate” abstraction. There is a relationship between simplicity and clarity. With simplicity, what we are adding is clarity and purpose. In the core of simplicity lies complexity,..more simple one perceives in any system, problem or living being is inherently more complex....Externally simplicity is directly proportional to internal complexity. Apply simplicity as a management principle to manage change effectively.


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