Problems with Change Management

There are reasons why people resist change and techniques to help them adjust. Science really can help us be more successful.

I have helped organizations – both non-profit and for profit – through change processes. I’ve helped nonprofit with toxic volunteer employee relations build a thriving volunteer program spanning several departments. I’ve helped redesign business processes for a 1/2 billion dollar company so that our acquisition team could close 8 deals a week instead of the 2 per month we had been doing. And, I’ve got a background in behavioral psychology to understand why people resist change and how to help them overcome it.

Here are 3 reasons why change processes fail and how to fix them.

1. Not understanding that change requires unlearning and unlearning follows a very predictable process.  If we are going to change something, it means that we are doing something now and we want to do it differently. That means giving up the old way and adopting the new way. For a behaviorist – this means – unlearning. All unlearning follows a pattern. Understand what that pattern is and how to trigger it  - and you can more easily control the process.

2. Not understanding that resistance to change doesn’t mean rejection of change.  Resistance to change is instinctual. We are asking people to unlearn habits and habits are hard to change, even for people who want to change. The resistance that occurs isn’t necessarily a rejection of the new processes. It’s really just an instinctual inability to let go of old habits. This manifests as all sorts of cranky behavior by the team, but it’s predicted to occur so there is no reason to get worked up about it.

3. Taking the resistance to change personally. The number of managers I’ve heard blame the employees for not understanding the brilliant ideas behind the change request  is stunning. People insert a LOT of ego into their efforts and take it personally when they experience resistance. Good managers understand how to help employees through that and the ones that succeed – get their egos out of the way and focus on helping their staff cope with the stress that is – change.

Hope this helps. I teach an online course on this. Why is Change so Hard – which discusses the behavioral dynamic playing out and how behaviorists trigger and control the process.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...