Change – The Only Thing Constant
Everything begins with understanding. When we do not understand a concept or lesson then anything thrown at us may make sense. Before we get into the construct of, what is Change Management Training about, let us look at the definitions.
Change is all around us and is taking place in every situation. This may be very glaring to you currently, especially if you are being impacted by the global pandemic called COVID-19 which is bringing countries to a halt.
Simply put, change is the process someone or something goes through to become different. It s moving from one state, look or feel to another.
A caterpillar becoming a butterfly is the classic visual of change.
Management – Getting Things Done
Management by definition is the controlling of resources – people, systems, things – to achieve a certain end result or state. It usually involves a group of people working together or individually along a supply chain to achieve goals and objectives that create value and meaning.
In being connected to the end results, each person has the ability to impact the quality and quantity of the work, the work flow and the outcomes.
Management may be approached individually or collectively. In my personal life, I am my own manager. At work, I may report to a manager or be a manager of a group, depending on the size of my organisation.
Change + Management At The Core
Very simply then, let us put these two constructs together to understand what Change Management is.
Change Management is the controlling of resources being used to transition something or someone from one state, form or position to another. It has become recognised as a discipline all of its own with a proliferation of approaches, methods, certifications and theories.
At the core of Change Management is the belief that you CAN change. Without a solid and grounded belief, there will be no commitment and the likelihood of any type of difference or adaptation will be very close to 100%.
More often than not, what gets us to the point of 100% belief is a sense of urgency. In most situations, this sense of urgency results from a crisis or, reaching a point of no return or, ground zero. In others words, there may be no other way to go except to change, adapt or do things differently.
How Do I Learn Change Management?
We learn Change Management the same way we would learn anything else. Through training – formal or informal. In my over 3 decades of work within the discipline of Change Management however, I believe that our life experiences provide us with the best opportunities to become schooled in Change Management.
There is one proviso: Our attitudes and behaviours must be conducive and receptive to the lessons presenting themselves. Learning happens around us constantly. Most of us are not aware and function outside of ourselves paying little attention to how we are being impacted and how we are impacting the people around us and our environment.
Perhaps the most impactful of the two, informal training is driven by a couple very powerful forces – our observations and our feelings. Human beings are animals, supposedly the highest ranked of the species. What that means is that we have the ability to analyse, think and behave differently if and when necessary.
Once we functional from a position of awareness, we know when something is not the way it should be or the outcome is not as required. Lessons are repeated until learned. When we keep behaving the same way we should understand that our results will also keep repeating themselves.
This is true for every aspect of our lives – personal and professional. Take some time to reflect on the results that you are experiencing. Are they the results you want? Have you made any attempts to change any aspect of your behaviours under your control to have a different impact or outcome?
If not, you will continue to experience more of the same.
Formally, we tend to refer to Change Management within an organisational or project context. It is, in this regard, a very organised and structured way to ensure that required changes are implemented with adequate detail and attention that achieve the long-term, permanent desired outcomes.
At the core of Formal Change Management is people. We design and manage our implementation focusing on how groups and individuals adapt from their current situation and environment to the changed one. These changes could be anything from a simple change of policy or strategy to complex, company-wide changes to the business model or culture.
As you can see, Change Management is a very broad field and Change Management Training differs depending on the scale of, and purpose for, the required change, the organisation, the nature of the project and, the people involved and impacted.
Formal Change Management Training will provide you with plans, processes, toolkits, outlines, case studies and agendas to manage your change successfully.
Lewin’s Change Model
Back in 1940, almost 100 years ago, Kurt Lewin, a Physicist and Social Scientist, used the analogy of a melting ice block to explain organisational change. His model is a simple one and has impacted almost every Change Management Model designed.
The 3-stage process is referred to as:
UNFREEZE > CHANGE > FREEZE
Simple enough, not so? Then . . .
Why Is Change So Difficult To Implement?
The most difficult aspect of change is the beginning. We all need a compelling reason to change. Without that we will be starting from the premise of a lack of ownership or involvement.
People would be disconnect from the reason that the change is required and therefore have no benefit for the change to take place. Actually, because “life as we know it” is the preferred state, you may find that from the onset, the change will be pushed back on.
Perhaps this is the reason why it is said that for real change to happen a state of urgency – do-or-die – must be created. From crisis can come critical thinking and the recognition that moving towards a new way, place, process or system would be the most ideal response.
If done effectively, people move through this first stage to start seeking new ways of doing things, either on their own or with help from tools and other resources that may be available.
Communication is key at this stage.
Once personal benefit is realised and acknowledged people (some rather slowly) start to make the new ways of doing things a habit. Habits repeated become the new norm and the organisation can now refreeze.
Remember that recognising the efforts that contributed to your successful change initiative is very important. Celebrate, not only at the end of the race, but also along the journey by providing key markers and acknowledging the achievement of small goals.
Change Is Inevitable, So Dive In
Change is constant. Many would say it is the only constant. Even if we choose to stand still, change will continue around us and will impact us.
It makes much better sense to participate and contribute to change. By doing so we will own a stake in the outcome and realise much greater benefit for ourselves.
Why sit on the sidelines watching when you can be a part of a much greater end and participate in benefits that will serve to impact lives for the better.
Never be afraid to Change The Script!
Journey with us . . .
LaMP International Limited is a boutique management and behavioural consulting firm established in New Zealand in 1996 and Trinidad & Tobago in 2000, by Cassandra Patrovani.
Our current focus is on Strategic HR Design, Change Management, Facilitation and, Leadership and Management Development.
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