Change or getting out of one’s “comfort zone” can really frighten employees in an organisation and yet the pace of innovation demands that organisations keep ahead of or at least keep pace with change to ensure sustainability, competitiveness and remain relevant to their customers and clients.
A great strategy that could establish a business on a projectory path of success could still fail if it is not implemented well using appropriate methodologies of Transition Management.
What does this mean? Well, the starting point is to understand people. Sounds easy? Maybe, maybe not. A lot of leaders and managers struggle to understand the human factors when it comes to our attitudes at work. We have a tendency to assume that everyone has the same values as we do and that we are all one way or another driven to behave by the same reasons. Plans, outcomes or implementing a change can all go awry if employees do not have ownership by being included in the planning stages or believe in either the idea or the plan.
It is not due to malicious behavior to jeopardise the implementation of a change, it is how people naturally behave when it comes to change. One of the greatest books that simply highlights this behavior is called, “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson.
The combination of a strategic plan with business logic and employees with emotional factors and buy in are a typical marriage forged into a transition management model. As long as the implementers of a strategic change understand this marriage, the likelihood of success increases.
To understand this concept better, try applying it on a personal level. Managing change can be tough and while we all subconsciously manage transition in our daily lives (a new home, career, partner, computer, even a new route to work) we may involuntarily resist any form of change that we do not understand or cannot see any form of benefit. Our minds are often set to perceive the current situation as the best we can achieve which can limit ideas and possibilities for improvement. We create a paradox where the result is using the transitional management skills we learnt in life to maintain the status quo.
Transition management should never be looked down upon. It should be used in cooperation of our subconscious to our conscious. As leaders of change, we must understand that people fear change however, understanding the fears that employees have can be used to enhance our focus and appreciate the resistance and convert it into motivation so that we all CAN rise to the occasion to accept and implement change.
Warm wishes Donny