Managing ChangeGet one step ahead of your competition.
There has been much written about various approaches to managing change. Most of these approaches emanate from systemic or practical thinking, and often gloss over or disregard the ways in which people react, respond, and need to adjust emotionally and mentally to what is happening or about to happen.
Bill Bridges in his seminal work “Managing the Transitions of Change” outlines some of the transition points that people must work through, in order to move forward, And, to adjust to, sustain and endure in the presence of accelerating personal, professional, technological, governmental, environmental and business change!
He has a wonderful way of simplifying the complexity of change environments into three fundamental phases:
- 1- Letting Go,
- 2- Being in the Neutral Zone (… and dealing with it),
- 3- The New Beginning
Experiencing and working through these three phases involves mental, physical, sometimes geographical and technological realignment, … as well as experiencing and processing both expected and unexpected emotional reactions or responses.
These “emotions of change” in response to letting go, being in a neutral zone and coping with a “new beginning” are very similar, if not identical to those experienced by someone dealing with death, or the death of a relationship.
To help people process this inarticulate speech of the heart involving a degree of grief, and in some cases sorrow, we need to be:
- aware of,
- empathic with, and …
- fully appreciative of …
… an individuals clarity or confusion, their connection with all the things they believe that they “should,” “must”, “ought”, “need” or “have” to do, that they may need to be letting go of, right now and in the immediate future!
One of the best and most emotionally intelligent ways of walking people through, and assisting them with, the transitions of change, is to be vitally aware of their:
- Thinking styles, skills, blindspots,
- Values and workplace motivators, and their …
- Behaviour & communication needs & preferences.
When a Business-owner, CEO, Executive or Team Leader is aware of, knowledgeable and skilled with these specific things, it accelerates and makes change simple and effective.
There are two biases that tend express themselves in projects involving change.
One is judging, the other is caring.
Caring and generating empathy, trust, and the committed collaborative spirit and attitude that insures that change is timely, sometimes innovative, effective and profitable, is the result of awareness , knowledge and skill in connecting change to the values, vision, mission and purpose … and the individual needs of those participants of the entire value chain.
It’s “a bloody hard slog” to move people through the transitions of change, if you don’t have a good and clear understanding of your people’s thinking styles, values, motivators, behaviour and communication preferences.
It’s just common sense to get on top of these things and become skilled, right now. Your future depends on it … and so do your profits!
Feel free to have a discussion with us about how you and your key people can become skilled, experienced and exercise good judgement in these areas as soon as possible!