Changing for the better: how to achieve it?
Change is a constant in everybody’s life. Our planet is in a constant evolution, and the movements we can appreciate in continents are a proof of it. But also plants, animals, and every of our smallest cells are constantly evolving. So are companies and work life. Yet change is one of the most natural processes, some people are more reluctant to embrace change than others.
Changing and evolving is not an option, but a matter of survival. Thus, the capability of getting adapted to the environment and being competitive is crucial.
Changing is a matter of survival, but not everybody is willing to evolve. Why? And how to change it?
Why some people are more resistant to change?
1. Habits: To handle everyday’s complexity, we all rely on habits or programmed responses which make us feel safe. If we feel safe anyway, we will be more up to change.
2. Fear to the unknown: Changes replace the known context by ambiguity and uncertainty, and human being by nature does not like uncertainty. Creating a new context will help us to reduce uncertainty.
3. Inertia: Sometimes we act in a certain way “because it has always been like this” and we do not know exactly the reason.
4. Lack of good information: sometimes we don’t know why we have to do something, and the only reason is “the manager said it”.
5. Lack of resources: You want to change a specific aspect of your company. Ok. You know how to do it. Ok. But you don’t have the resources (time, people, money…) to do it. Shame.
Do you know how to help others to change?
These are just some of the main reasons why a person can be reluctant to change, but the same characteristics apply to organizations too.
So, how to implement changes and overcome resistance?
According to some experts (Schermerhorn, Hunt, or Osborn, among others) there are some tips that might help you to overcome resistance to change.
In Nextinit, users can find a space to meet communication, engagement, cultural change and innovation that everybody is willing to use.
1. Communication: Providing all the available information might help employees to understand why a certain change is needed. 1-1 meetings, presentations, mails… any format explaining the reasons and giving info and data is valid.
2. Establish a date: fixing a date (and a responsible) will help you to cope with inertia: having a deadline to meet will put some pressure on your teams which, in small quantities, is positive in order to get the work done.
3. Unity creates strength: a group of people with enough power and legitimacy will help you to lead the change, and to faster the process.
4. Generate short achievements: It’s easier, and seems more doable, to win 1 customer in 1 month, for instance, than 12 customers in 12 months. This change divided into steps refers to the Kaizen method, which we told you about here. The Kaizen method consists on, basically, changing in a very subtle, but constant way, so changes do not constitute a threat.
5. Promote initiative and proactivity: every time a colleague suggests an improvement, a change, a new method… Celebrate it!! It does not matter if the suggestion is not implemented in the end. Not everybody has the courage to suggest something!