Using this approach, a ground swelling of support can be achieved, increasing the probability of a successful change. As Keith Morrow, 7-Eleven CIO at the time, said, Youve got to get people involved, excited, and energized to where the change is something theyre a part of, something they make happen as opposed to something that happens to them. Oversimplification, a perceived need for immediacy, or a lack of understanding of the change process often results in management ignoring the critically important human element while instead focusing solely on cost, quality and time. The reality is that people are deeply influenced by their perceptions and beliefs; the emotional inertia behind resisting change amplifies the need for those impacted to understand and accept the reasons driving change. Remember, change involves a transition from a comfort level to the new and unknown. Communication, collaboration, championing, team strategies and training have all been shown to facilitate acceptance. Having the tools to adapt empowers employees to innovate and solve instead of depend upon established processes. More importantly, enduring change requires that individuals understand how the new behavior contributes in some significant manner to them personally. The emotional connection to a new behavior that comes from the belief that personal growth and satisfaction will result drives employees to embrace the change willingly, and pursue it with a passion that is likely to be sustained over time. The question of effective change management is one that faces organizations and leaders every day, whether dealing with hidden agendas, long-tenured staff or market fluctuations. The ability to effectively maneuver through organizational transformations to new levels of performance is a cherished leadership commodity. As Peter Drucker, famed management guru, was known to point out, It is easier for companies to come up with new ideas than to change old ones. Tapping into emotions, creating a sense of urgency, and inspiring action through participation all drive organizations forward towards success. Before your company builds its next metaphorical rocket engine, make sure age-old practices based on obsolete logic are not limiting the solutions. Whether limited by legacy systems, ingrained procedures or subjective beliefs unsupported by current facts, the well-trodden tracks of the past must be challenged in order to make a difference. Take a moment to look objectively and make sure that the tracks you lay today are not merely the continuation of ancient practices.
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