The Art of Managing Change

The Art of Managing Change

There are so many expressions out there about change. Change is the only constant in life. Change is never easy. However, as humans, we are resistant to change. Change is hard for us and doesn’t come naturally. When faced with unexpected transitions or changes, we start to fill our minds with fear and doubt, because the unknown is scary. However, when planned and implemented well, change can become a valuable tool for your business to help bring positive transformations to your business.

Nothing will ever happen without a readiness to change

When you hear about success stories or how people made huge changes in their lives, you often hear about them hitting rock bottom or a failure before they rise up. However, a readiness to change doesn’t require a massive failure. Willingness to change is about recognizing and addressing the need to change and be willing to make those changes to better yourself and your business. It’s about having the cognitive agility to change as the situation changes and be open to change when it needs to happen.

Change for the better

When you ask people to talk about how they made a change in their personal life, you usually hear the excitement in their voice as they embark on this new journey. When the tables are turned, and you ask them about a change within the company they work for, it’s usually a positive reaction. Businesses who talk about transitions and change usually end with layoffs and cutbacks. Instead, focus on a change for the better. Instead of just looking for opportunities to cut your costs, look for initiatives and actions that change the way your company operates. Changes should help you work further toward your business’s goals. Approach your change from a stance of growth instead of one that involves cutting dead weight.

Teach your team members to embrace the cycle of change

There is no one size fits all solution for change. There is no timeline for when all your employees and workers will be on board with the idea. Each person has their own timeline and feelings about it. After you announce a big change within your organization, you must understand that people move through the cycle of change at different paces. Knowing and understanding your team members can help them out of feelings of doubt and discomfort and allow them to voice any concerns or questions they may have. Understand that they need to understand before you can get them excited about upcoming changes. The four stages of the cycle of change are (using the analogy of a card game):

1. Shuffle: turning inwards, healing, reflect and research,

2. Deal – There is now a clear understanding which path to take and a detailed plan on how to move forward

3. Play the Game – Moving forward towards the goal that was identified, feeling of success

4. Toss In – This is the phase where we feel we need a change and might be looking to change something on our own

Stay the course

Change doesn’t come naturally for most people, and even if you have a readiness to change, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be able to transition easily. This is where staying the course is so important! Close off the other options and focus on this change full steam ahead! Commit to this change even when hiccups or challenges come your way.

As a business leader and leader in your organization, it’s not only important to walk the talk but also create a company culture that learns to embrace change. While everyone will still have their own reactions and even doubts about change, managing change doesn’t have to be a pain point for your business if done right.

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