“Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything“
George Bernard Shaw
Who are you? A Change Agent, (who is open to change) OR a Change Resistor,(who doesn’t like change)? You can’t stop the change but you can prepare yourself for it.
Change, most of the time to a lot of you is hard to come by. One of the biggest barriers in accepting the change is your inability to understand why is the change needed and what is it bringing with itself.
Among many factors that are clear about a change, there are some hidden aspects, which creates the Fear of Unknown in people, leading them to resist change. As Dan Brown says in The Lost Symbol, “We all fear what we do not understand.”
Generally, what people do is Rational – lies, than Rationalize the change. In other words, instead of finding ‘how to’, they focus on ‘how not to’ accept change. They react with ‘Why’ (resistance and blockage of mind) and not ‘Why not’ (open-minded, let us give a try).
While you train yourselves to handle change, it is pivotal that change communication is robust. If not communicated well, change leave people oblivious and confused. Encouraging a two-way communication, participation and opinion sharing, builds a conducive environment for change acceptance.
Jim Rohn, a business philosopher, said,
” Your life doesn’t get better with chance, it gets better with change”
Change is what you perceive it to be, it is as difficult or as easy as you make it. People often carry a perception that change has a negative effect, hence they develop reasons to resist it, known as Change Resistors/Blockers. These blockers make them reluctant and less open to change
Ponder over that one change, where if you could have managed yourself differently, you would have been better placed, than at present. What may have limited you at that point could be any/all the common Change Resistors:
- Is the change is real or superficial? (Seek Answers)
- Lack of Readiness (not trusting yourself, untrained mind)
- Unknown Rationale (lack of strong belief or clarity)
- Fear – scared of the transition, not the idea (fear of unknown, failure)
- Discomfort – losing on routine, comfort zone (play of emotions)
- Rewards – no value add or rewards with the change (benefits)
- Non-inclusion – not been asked for inputs
Ask – Determine – Implement (A-D-I) approach
ASK – Questions and Outcomes
- Is the Change – Real (change of goals, up-skilling) or superficial (change of business name)? Cultural (related to the work approach or work environment) or structural (change of organization structure)? Offered (invited to work on the change) or imposed (forced to accept change)?
- Ask Why (The Need/Reason)?What (The Gains/Results)? Where (personal/professional)? Who (control/lead)? How (approach/process)?
- Knowing the answers to such questions will make you feel engaged, motivated and ready for the change
DETERMINE – Capabilities and Overcome Shortcomings
- Change is not about negatives. List all possible positives and the exciting opportunities it can bring
- This exercise will help you compare – a) potential benefits Vs. drawbacks, b) Your Strengths Vs. Your limitations, c) Skills you know Vs. Skills you can learn
- All of us are afraid of something. With information, exploration, and counter-questioning eliminate most or all of such blockers/fears
- Plan the Change Path by describing how you will undertake the change journey.
- Ascertain the benefits the change will bring to you (‘What’s In It For Me‘ principle) and to the ones involved
- Decide on the timelines and milestones, keep them as real as possible
IMPLEMENT – plans and realize benefits
- To begin implementing the change, know what to –
- Once you have the list from point #1 ready, convert ownership to authorship, which means, you act like an architect who designs the approach to managing change, wherever possible
- If the seniors lead the change, make them
aware of your approach so that you get the necessary support
- Rewards are motivators. So, celebrate wins/success once you meet your plans and review the misses made during the change journey
A-D-I approach can fit in any change situation as it focuses on the basic aspects of change from the beginning to the end.
The approach leaves enough scope to add or drop steps from it to suit the nature of the change.
Always remember –
‘You don’t have to manage change, you have to manage yourselves during the change’
Take a minute or two, read it again, think about it, if you know how to handle yourselves in different change situations, most of the time such situations are automatically managed.
So Believe in yourself, Be Positive through the change, Practice the approach.
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