Change is hard for anyone, but it's something we all have to deal with, personally and professionally. In our Managing Change webinar last month, we polled 230 attendees and 96% of those reported a fair to significant amount of change within their organization in the last 3-5 years. So when you feel like your world is getting turned upside down, know that you're not alone.
So how do you manage change? Whether you're the one leading the charge or as a participant being asked to change, there are strategies that can help you navigate the tides of change.
Our Professional Development presenter last month, Bill Sanford, is a world renowned speaker with the Bell Leadership Institute. Bill presented a condensed workshop on Managing Change. In the webinar Bill explained to attendees that all behaviors is patterned, in other words, we tend to behave the same way over time. And while people can change their behavior tendencies, it takes work and time.
To draw out strategies to manage change, he asked webinar attendees to think about a personal change that was unsuccessful, and challenged the group to answer characteristics about the unsuccessful change attempt.
75% of respondents said they wanted to change and understood the need for change, yet only 33% responded that they were committed to making the change.
As the poll results indicate, wanting change and understanding change is different than committing to the change.
So what is a strategy to get people committed to making a change?
There's no silver bullet. But a lot of thought and consideration can help increase the odds of successful change management.
One strategy Bill discussed was to ask people to think of both sides of a change. Ask the questions: What are the costs of changing? Now, on the flip side, what are the costs of not changing?
There are going to be costs on either way, but if you can get someone to realize the cost of not changing outweighs the cost of changing, it increases their buy-in and commitment to change.