Recently I was asked to facilitate a workshop for a client regarding ‘Managing Change’. Rather than focus on a well known ‘model for change management’ (like a template for planning change using a project management approach) I decided to introduce the participants to the various ways staff in the organisation view change, why they might view and react to change differently and how to plan for this in order to minimise triggering threat reactions in staff.

In preparation for the workshop, I reached into my deeply stacked bookshelf and found ‘Who moved my cheese?’ by Dr Spencer Johnson. I remember reading this quick and simple book about 15 years ago. It is tagged as ‘One of the most successful business books ever’ and as ‘a motivational book to help you deal with change in your life’. The book certainly helped me to reflect on change from a personal view point.

However for the business workshop, I really wanted to stress that change at work is not about changing at a personal level. Change at work is not about having to change who we are. It’s only about changing what we do.

Change in life is optional. Change at work is not (unless you choose the option to resign and work elsewhere). Change at work is about how we might complete a task differently or be required to tend to new tasks in order to achieve the outcomes set by the business.

If ‘change is the new constant’ then creating a culture that embraces ‘change as normal’ is the basis of any change management program. Change as a series of discrete events leads to employees feeling ‘change weary’ but change as a continuous evolution makes change barely noticeable.

While change at work is not about taking large leaps of faith, leaving behind something known to embark on an unknown journey that will make us stronger or change our personal beliefs and values… it is about changing the way we think.

Changing the way we think sounds simple but it’s not that easy for some. If you are looking for some insights about change, read the book (and find out how Sniff, Scurry, Hem and Haw faired). And if you want to develop it further, call us (1300 141 643) to build upon that story with research based on neuroscience and some practical leadership strategies that will successfully scaffold the change management model your organisation is looking to use.

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