Why Change Is So Hard and How to Make It Easier!

Screen Shot 6AS A COACH to ambitious, pro-active leaders, I often find they quickly embrace change themselves but don’t know how to bring along their staff,. Therefore, how do you get everyone on board the change train that is gaining speed and heading out of the station?

In  Truths About Change to Lead and Live, Rosebeth Moss Kanter, presents “Change Agent Bumper Stickers”. These are sayings which act as guides for leaders engaged in the effort of setting a new direction, orchestrating innovation, establishing a different culture or simply changing SOP’s.

 Four of Those Truths 

  1. “Change is a threat when done to me, but an opportunity when done by me.”
    Resistance to any change effort is always greatest when that change is inflicted on people without their involvement. When people understand the reasons for the change and see the benefits, they are more likely to be enthusiastic and committed.

ChangeTactic: Let people see the advantages of the change. Answer the key questions on their mind: What do I gain? What does this mean to me and for me? How can I make a difference? Then get them involved. Although the decision about the specific change has been made, those who are affected can have input in its implementation.

  1. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
    A clear destination is necessary to guide the journey of change. Many change efforts falter because of confusion over where we’re going and why we’re going there. If people don’t understand where they’re headed then any change will seem dangerous. It’s like walking off a cliff blindfolded.

Tactic: People don’t mind changes in the game if they just know where they are going, what the new rules are and how to score points. Provide them with a road map. It must be like a lighthouse – a bright and focused beacon that guides everyone’s work. If people don’t understand precisely where they are headed and how to get here, then it’s only sheer luck that they will succeed.

  1. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
    Big goals can seem overwhelming. The magnitude of the problem, the difficulty of the solutions, the length of the time horizon and the number of action items can make change feel so complex that people feel paralyzed and nothing happens.

Tactic: By dividing a big change into small steps, change will seem less risky. People can then focus on one step at a time and feel they’re not being asked to take that big leap off a real or imagined cliff. Also, shoot for some quick wins – low hanging fruit so that people can experience success. Momentum will build and the journey is underway

  1. “Be the change you seek to make in the world.”
    Leaders must embody the values and principles they want other people to adopt. This famous Gandhi quote reminds us all — that one of the most important tasks is personal: to be a role model, exemplifying the best of what the change is all about

Tactic: Go inside before you go outside. Answer these questions: How is this change initiative a leadership opportunity for you?” In other words, how can I show the way or help others in this time of turmoil?

Smart Moves Tip

Remember, people are being moved from their comfort zone to a new place. While some may zealously embrace the change, most get very uncomfortable when things start to feel different. Therefore, people must understand the reason for change; the process of change; and their role in change. If not, anxiety mounts, trust declines and rumors fly. The next thing you see is morale plummeting and work not getting done.

Are you a leader who is also wearing the hat of a change agent? If so, would you like to avoid the speed bumps of initiating and managing change in your organization? Take a look at another of my posts, Change Management: Lessons From Dr Seuss. Want to know more, let’s talk.

Marcia Zidle, a Board Certified Coach, Business Management Consultant and Keynote Speaker, guides entrepreneurial ventures, small to medium size enterprises and NGO’s to grow their organizations AND make a difference in their world. Sign up for Marcia’s monthly newsletter “Authentic Leadership” with added insights, inspiration and intelligence to build Profound Performance.

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Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle
Marcia Zidle, The Smart Moves Coach, is a national known board certified coach and keynote leadership speaker who guides organizations that are planning, or in the midst of, ambitious growth and change. As a career strategist, she works with professionals, managers and executives who want to build • shape • brand • change • vitalize their careers. She’s been selected by LinkedIn’s ProFinder as one of the best coaches for 2016!Her clients range from private owned businesses to mid-market companies to professional service firms to NGO’s. With 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience, she brings an expertise in executive and team leadership; employee engagement and innovation; personal and organization change; career building and development; emotional and social intelligence. Your Future Starts Now With Marcia!

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