Positive change is one of the most feared words in some organizations, but also in everyone’s life.
Let’s face it.
We want to change something, we have ideas to do it, but in the end, we procrastinate to put them into action and make them new habits.
The three main unconscious reasons that stop us from making a positive change are …
- The fear of making sacrifices to change, because every change in position requires efforts to change old habits;
- The fear of making mistakes, as we do not accept to fail and fear the criticism of others;
- Fear of the unknown, since we do not have enough information about the new state after positive change, we worry that it may be worse or negative.
For a leader or aspiring leader, who must lead others, the ability to lead positive change successfully is one of the fundamental prerequisites for effective leadership.
Anticipate interruption in communication
When the change is announced for the first time, people will have information problems. Often leaders want to explain why the organization is moving in a certain direction and why change is a good idea. This is a mistake. People do not want to be told that change is good until they understand it. Instead, leaders should share information as clearly and completely as possible. In the absence of clear communication, people tend to create their own information about change and the voices become facts.
Once the information problems are met, people will want to know how the change will affect them personally. People with personal concerns want to know how change will evolve for them. They wonder if they have the skills and resources to implement change for OKR. It is important to remember that when the organization changes, people may think that their personal and organizational commitments are threatened. It is normal for people to focus on what they are about to lose, before considering what they could gain with change. If you do not allow people to discuss their feelings about what is happening, those feelings remain in the air. When people share their concerns openly, they often dissipate.
Plan your actions
If leaders effectively address the first two concerns, people will be ready to receive information on the details of implementing the change. At this point, they will be interested in hearing what is the philosophy behind the change and the solutions to problems that may arise.
Sell the change
After answering questions about implementing change, people tend to raise concerns about the impact that change will have. People who look at impact problems are interested in the relevance and profit of change. If the leaders have done a good job up to this point, this is the phase in which people will sell themselves the benefits of the change based on the merits related to the results already achieved. Prepare to share your first victories and show that change is making a positive difference. If change does not have a positive impact on results, or people do not know how to measure success, it will be more difficult to keep the change initiative going forward.
With even little evidence that change is moving the organization in the right direction, the impulse starts to grow. Leaders can expect questions and ideas focused on coordination and cooperation with others. A solid core of people in the company would like to involve everyone because they are convinced that change is making a difference.
Once the change effort is well on its way to full adoption, leaders can expect to hear others start asking about how change can be refined. The training questions are a good sign and show that the people in the organization are focused on continuous improvement. During the course of any organizational change, a learning path usually occurs. Take advantage of the new opportunities for organizational improvement that often emerge on this path.