Successfully changing organisations involves resistance, among other things. How do you prevent resistance with in change? And when is behavioural change successful? Read our tips.
Change is the new normal. In recent years, we have been faced with an increasing amount of changes and are constantly shifting gears. Think of the rise of chatGPT, skyrocketing energy prices, wars and the aftermath of COVID-19. Implementing change can be a smooth-sailing and easy process, but is often also difficult and painful.
What is it about change that is so difficult? There are 2 main obstacles:
Anthropology tells us that change is not a straight line, e.g. from point a (smoking) to b (quitting smoking). It consists of three phases that you always go through as a person, team, and also as an organisation.
1. Phase of Letting go
The first stage is about letting go. Simply because there is no room to learn something new if we are too busy with old habits and thoughts. You cannot come up with a new marketing strategy if you are too busy with old campaigns. We often skip this step; we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. As a result, we make suboptimal changes that are too similar to our old routines.
2. Phase of innovation & uncertainty
Having created the space for a change, we now enter the next phase. This one is characterised by uncertainty. Different thinking styles come in handy now. As a result, we see different solutions and opportunities for innovation and improvements.
Yet, many people often don’t share these ideas because they are afraid of coming across as ignorant, pushy, incompetent or negative. If the quality of interaction is improved, colleagues will feel safe enough to share different ideas and opinions.
3. Phase of embracing the new way of working
The time has come: you have come up with a solution and are now at the start of the final phase: embracing the new way of working. Unfortunately, this often turns out to be more difficult than you thought, as most people tend to stick to their old way of working.
Once we have successfully completed a project, we often quickly go back to business as usual. However, this has two disadvantages. Firstly, it is unclear to the group when the old way of working stops and the new way of working actually starts. Secondly, there is no space to reflect on the success and the points that still need to be worked on. Thus, the past continues to haunt your colleagues, making them less able to embrace the future.
All in all, it is important to celebrate change, paying attention to all phases of the process and ensuring a positive atmosphere and a safe environment in which ideas and opinions can and may be shared. This is how you ensure changes run as smoothly and pleasantly as possible and work towards a better future – together.
Would you like to know more about how to successfully implement change and bring your organisation along in the processes? Or do you need help with change management?
Human Insight has the tools and insights to support you during the complex change of your organisation.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 (0)85 8229827.
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