On Getting Change to Stick
The most difficult thing to achieve is change. This is due to many things and I had cause to experience the impacts of it over the past couple of months.
My gorgeous wife uses a website to enter information associated with her work and, over the Christmas break, they changed the format and structure of the site to “make it better”.
Unfortunately, the government department (now THERE’s a surprise!) had not let anyone know about the changes or what it would mean to them let alone how it would impact on their work. Must have seemed like a terribly good idea to someone at the time.
We’ve been dealing with change in our business too – new technology, systems and processes are being introduced (and will continue to be introduced) to enable us to be more effective in what and how we do what we do.
This change can be embraced or it can be pushed back against or, worse still, you get the “passive aggressive” response.
I love the line by Tancredi Falconeri from “The Leopard”:
If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.
To embrace change, we need to ensure that the processes and planning around the change is well communicated to all concerned. I can’t remember who stated the line, but I love it:
People don’t resent change – they resent being changed
For change to stick, we need to bring everyone who will be impacted on board early to enable them to contribute to the planning and rationale behind the changes being proposed. Yep, this is time consuming, but it will help maximise your chances of successful implementation.
Depending on the particular personality/approach of your people, they will eagerly embrace the change, put up with it or actively (or passively) rebel against it. This is where you need to understand their approaches and preferred styles when dealing with stuff.
It’s your responsibility as a leader to be effective in communicating the issues to your people and listening to them (not just hearing them!)
For change to stick, communicate, communicate, communicate.