The longer I work with organizations, teams, boards, individual leaders and whoever I’ve missed in the previous line, I’m more and more convinced that change is not what people fear. What they fear is change that is missing certain supportive elements that help to metabolize it. Everyone knows change is inevitable. And yes, there are those who are so entrenched in their own normalcy that they fight change at every turn. However, I don’t believe the rigid bunch represents most of humanity. Most of us “get it” that change is inevitable. What freaks people out, and makes change hard to metabolize, are a number of optional but critical missing elements that would make the change far more digestible-at a faster rate.
Let’s just think about one of these missing elements. This one is a no-brainer leaders know to do, but often still fail to work into the change process. Leaders don’t tell people about the change before it happens and let them be a part of the change process to the degree that is possible.
Sounds simple; so is exercising 5 times a week–but….
We have so many metaphoric phrases for this idea that you’d think we’d get it:
On the same page
Bring you in the loop
Sing off the same sheet of music
You get the picture (oh that’s another one)
I’m going to write a book someday and the title is simply going to be, Talk. Of course, that title would have to be qualified. Because both the quality and the scope of the “talking” has to be understood. But, in so many cases, change could be metabolized so much faster if leaders would create space for meaningful conversation BEFORE the announcement of the change. I’ve written on this before. If you’re interested, just type into my search window the word, STREAM. Bring people in early and you’ll metabolize much faster.
We’ll look next at letting people appropriately be part of the decision making process. Stay tuned.