Is change always a good thing?
Every organisation goes through its fair share of change each year. Whether it’s small changes or big adjustments, change is something that every organisation should be prepared for — adapting is all about moving forward, after all. But, is all change good? Or can it sometimes be more frustrating than helpful?
It’s common for most teams to resist change when they’re faced with it. After all, as humans we tend to rely heavily on stability and comfort — two things that change can jeopardise. Still, there are certain types of change that are more welcomed than others. Here are five different kinds of change an organisation can go through:
Evolutionary change is slow and incremental, happening over large spans of time.
Developmental change is improving something (a system, procedure, product) to make it better.
Transitional change is change that requires introducing something new and different.
Sweeping or dramatic change is immediate change, often imposed upon an organisation.
Transformational change is a complete alteration, conversion or renovation
You can see how some change has the potential to be abrasive within an organisation, unplanned change that happens without warning can see teams feeling negative towards the change. It is important to remember that most change is implemented because it’s believed to be a positive step forward for the organisation or team. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be a human impact — stress, budget cuts and potential redundancies to name just a few — but if change is implemented properly, leaders can keep them at a minimum.
How can you make sure change works?
Change management is a tricky area to wade into but it doesn’t mean that teams and organisations can’t effectively implement change with little resistance.
Plan — unplanned change can leave people unsure of the purpose, unsure of their own position and unsure of their future. Extensive planning and communication of the plan means that the change will be purposeful and tackled in the most effective way.
Lead — those at the top of an organisation and at the top of teams must lead the way with change. Leaders need to embrace the change first, both to challenge and to motivate the rest of the team. After all, if leaders aren’t bothering with adapting to the change, why should anyone else?
Humanise — remember the human side of change. Think back to a time when you were facing change and how you felt. There are plenty of emotions that come along with change in an organisation as roles and responsibilities shift, so make sure you address the emotions your team will be feeling and do everything you can to reassure.
Support — don’t leave your team wondering how they’ll deal with the change. Have advocates for the change within your organisation and make sure you are supporting the entire team as they go through a potentially tumultuous time. Advocates and leaders alike can help the team to understand the change, accept it and follow it to success.
Cultivate — resistance to change is natural but leaders can help ready their teams for change, long before the change actually happens. Cultivate a change mindset in your team and when change happens, there will be less resilience and abrasion and more collaboration, stability, understanding and positive results.
With the right steps, you can make sure change is implemented in your organisation smoothly and positively — it doesn’t have to be such a scary thing for teams to face!
Looking to implement change in your organisation soon? People Make the Difference can help. To find out more, visit www.pmtd.com.au or call us on 0412 333 415. Try our online leadership training videos – $99 for complete access. Great value if you’re committed to growing your leadership potential.