Sunday, February 3, 2013

Managing Change: Managing People's Fears

Managing Change:  Managing People's Fears

 change (chanj)  v. 
1. To become different, or to ALTER
2. To make radically different, or to TRANSFORM
3. To shift in another direction, or to SWITCH sides.

change management n.
Minimizing resistance to organizational change through involvement of key players and stakeholders.

Change management is an approach to shifting/transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at helping change stakeholders to accept and embrace changes in their business environment or individuals in their personal lives. In some project management contexts, change management refers to a project management process wherein changes to a project are formally introduced and approved.
Change management uses basic structures and tools to control any organizational change effort. The goal is to maximize benefits and minimize the change impacts on workers and avoid distractions.

What the structures are, how they are presented, how they are implemented and measured...that is the ultimate challenge.  Employee "buy in" will be the difference between succcess and failure.

How the Best Organizations Make It Happen:  Per McKinsey research, "the most successful organizations, over the long term, consistently focus on “enabling” things (leadership, purpose, employee motivation) whose immediate benefits aren’t always clear. These healthy organizations, as we call them, are internally aligned around a clear vision and strategy; can execute to a high quality thanks to strong capabilities, management processes, and employee motivation; and renew themselves more effectively than their rivals do. In short, health today drives performance tomorrow."

The 3 Paradoxes for Fostering Change:
The first is that change comes about more easily and more quickly in organizations that keep critical things stable. The second is that organizations are more likely to succeed if they simultaneously control and empower their employees. And the third is that business cultures that rightly encourage consistency (say, in the quality of services and products) must also allow for the sort of variability —and even failure (the "black swan" events we talked about previously) — that goes with innovation and experimentation. 

Balancing stabilty and change is the true testament of success.  Organizational change, obviously, is often imperative in response to emerging customer demands, new regulations, and fresh competitive threats. But constant or sudden change is unsettling and destabilizing for companies and individuals alike. Just as human beings tend to freeze when confronted with too many new things in their lives—a divorce, a house move, and a change of job, for example—so will organizations overwhelmed by change resist and frustrate transformation-minded chief executives set on radically overturning the established order.

At Reign Print Solutions, we are driven to help our clients navigate operational and marketing print/communication that change can be scalable, measureable and deliberate, and not based upon fear of the unknown (which results in stagnation). 

In following posts we will examine how the healthiest organizations recognize the cultural challenges and fears, yet "enable" their employees to welcome, embrace and drive necessary change.