Implementing change in an organization is never easy. Let’s face it — even when the current situation is not ideal, people often prefer the comfort of what they know rather than face the discomfort of the unknown. Which makes changing procedures or processes in your department difficult, even when your reasons for the change are sound. In such situations, one way to add momentum to your change effort is to make sure that you identify and celebrate milestones along the way. Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to workplace change, some employees come on board pretty quickly, but alas just as many seem to dig in their heels and hold on with a tight grip on the past. One of your most important roles as a leader is to be an agent of change; yet your success will be limited if you can’t get all your employees on the same page and moving forward.
If you find yourself dealing with employees who are resistant, apathetic, negative and distrustful of anything new, then I can help! Join me for just one fast-paced and content-rich hour in which you’ll not only learn not only why these negative personalities behave the way they do, but perhaps more importantly, specific and practical tactics that you can use to help them rise to new challenges, to get them to progress onward to the brave new world of opportunities.
Don’t wait! In “The Reluctant Employee – How to lead, train, and motivate the change-resistant worker”, I’ll teach you not only why these employees behave the way they do, but also specific and practical tactics that you can use to help them rise to the challenge and get them to move forward. And if you act by September 12, you can take advantage of early bird savings.
Here’s just some of what you’ll learn:
- The differences between passive, active and aggressive resistance, and how to adapt your approach to each
- Eight specific and proven actions you can take to lead and motivate the change-resistant employee
- Three different degrees of change and how they influence the level of resistance you are likely to face from your employees
- The well-known change response model and its insights into why and how people react negatively to change
- How your organizational culture impacts the success of your change efforts
Join me on September 19, 2012 at 11 AM MDT. Early bird pricing in effect ONLY until this upcoming Wednesday September 12!
Workplace change – it is stressful and frustrating to many! One of your most important roles as a leader is to be an agent of change; yet your success will be limited if you can’t get all your employees on the same page and moving forward. Fortunately some employees come on board pretty quickly, but alas just as many seem to dig in their heels and hold on with a tight grip on the past. So how do you overcome this familiar leadership challenge?
That’s exactly what I’ll be covering on Wednesday September 19 in my next live Audio Conference titled “The Reluctant Employee – How to lead, train, and motivate the change-resistant worker”. I’ll be opening the lines for questions, so I want to know – when it comes to dealing with employees who are resistant, apathetic, negative and distrustful of anything new, what is your biggest challenge? What one thing could I help you with to get these change-resistant employees moving forward? Go to www.AskMerge.com to ask your question and I’ll answer as many as I can on September 19.
And while you’re at www.AskMerge.com, be sure to download the free article – “Dealing with Change” – in which I walk through a specific example to illustrate a classic four-step model AND offer you two key things you should be aware of in order to ease the process. Just click on the link on the bottom left of the screen.
Do you find yourself dealing with employees who are resistant to change, and apathetic, negative or distrustful of anything new? Interestingly enough, despite the fact that negative change is often unpredictable, people’s reactions to it tend to follow a classic four-step model. In this article I walk through a specific example to illustrate the model AND offer you two key things you should be aware of in order to ease the process.
What have been your experiences? Do you have approaches you use that you can share with your fellow blog readers? Do tell.
– Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa in Il Gattopardo (The Leopard)
As paradoxical as this quote may sound, it’s the perfect lead-in for my latest article in CGA Magazine. In this month’s issue, I explain how employees view any change initiative from three possible degrees of transformation, and then I offer five key things that you should focus on as a leader if you want your change efforts to be successful.
Give it a quick read and then come on back to the blog and share your thoughts. Let’s get a conversation going so that we can learn from one another.
So what the heck is a QWERTYUIOP? If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s the top row on your computer keyboard. Now you might wonder why your keyboard is arranged this way; wouldn’t it make more sense to arrange the keyboard alphabetically? The answer to this enigma lies back in history in the 1800s. You see, before there were computers, typewriters ruled in the office. And when the first typewriters were developed in the mid-1800s, the keyboard was organized much more logically. But one of the problems with the early typewriters was that the keys in the type-bar system jammed up easily. To temporarily solve this problem, the inventors split up the keys for commonly-used letters into an illogical sequence so as to slow down how fast people could type. By the time a better and improved mechanism that did not seize up was developed several years later, typists everywhere had already learned the unusual sequence of keys and did not want the discomfort of “unlearning” and “relearning”. So the illogical QWERTYUIOP keyboard became the standard.
Today, QWERTYUIOP is symbolic of things in organizations that are illogical, outdated or inefficient, but that have never been challenged or changed because “that’s the way we’ve always done it.” Think about it for a few minutes – whether it’s policies, business processes and practices, reports, meetings, task forces, or anything else – there are no doubt things happening in your organization (perhaps even in your department) that drain time, money and energy and continue to be done for no other reason than it’s too much effort to change.
What are your QWERTYUIOPs? Perhaps it’s time to take a closer look and see what needs to be changed … even if it makes you or other people exceedingly uncomfortable. What do you think?
If there’s one thing that is constant in our world of work, it’s change. Which means that one of your responsibilities as a leader is to be an agent of change. But as you’ve probably realized first-hand, not all your employees are comfortable with how quickly things are shifting in the workplace. And that can be frustrating! But I often find that supervisors and managers focus on the few individuals who are digging in their heels and clinging with their fingernails to the “way things were”. It would be far more effective for these managers to focus their energy on the early converters. Just as there are always a few who would much rather reminisce about “the good old days”, there are also always one or two on your team who are ready and raring to get rolling on the new initiative. By concentrating on these few, you can create momentum. Let’s face it … peer pressure can be far more effective than anything you can say as the boss. So let these early converters help you create energy and excitement about what’s new. As the impetus builds, your holdbacks will find it harder not to participate.
What do you think? Are there other things that you are doing to facilitate change in your organization?
If you’ve ever had to pitch an idea or persuade others of your point of view, then you know all about the natural reaction that bubbles up from within when you hear the word “no”, or when others begin to question or criticize your perspective. Instinctively, we tend to get defensive, and we try to immediately fight back and defend our position or project. But in my experience, it’s actually far more effective to take a completely different approach – to ask questions.
The next time you face opposition or resistance, hold yourself back from verbalizing all the reasons why you are right or why your project should get the go-ahead. Instead, ask a few well-chosen questions. “Why do you think that?” or “What led you to that conclusion?” will force others to articulate their assumptions, and will not only give you a useful insight into where they are coming from, but may also cause them to re-evaluate their position. I have found that asking questions not only helps me keep my defensiveness in check, but perhaps more importantly, takes my conversations to a deeper level. It allows you to get beyond the immediate disagreement and find out more about what the motivations are on all sides.
So have you found this to be true as well? Please … share your experiences, positive or negative.
Earlier this week, I blogged about how change is the only constant in today’s business world, and I offered you two specific ideas to bring people on board when they resist change. Here are three more.
- Proactively address the objections. Every change effort has its disadvantages and your opponents will be sure to put them on parade. Pre-empt them by anticipating and acknowledging their doubts, and then respond to their concerns with your own compelling argument AND offer solutions that will at least attempt to mitigate their fears and worries.
- Find ways to build momentum. Just as there is always a fraction of those who oppose change, there is also a small group of people who are the front-line change adopters. You can recognize these folks right away – these are the ones who jump up and say “Let me at them!” Use these people to build momentum. You don’t have to carry the entire load of the change effort on your shoulders; let these people help you spread the good word.
- Be a broken record. Stay on message, repeat your compelling arguments, persist with those who are against the change. Don’t let your nay-sayers off the hook, particularly if they are your staff members; hold them accountable to achieving the department’s or organization’s goals.
Any change effort will come up against dissenters. It’s up to you to find a way to break through the opposition and bring the cynics and resisters on board. These five ideas (three today and two from Monday April 22) are guaranteed to help. What other ideas do you have?
Nothing endures but change
– from Lives of the Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius
Laertius may have penned these famous words circa 3rd century, but they are just as true today as they were eighteen centuries ago. If you’re a manager or supervisor in an organization, then you know that one of your primary responsibilities (and one of your challenges) is implementing change. Whether it’s revising work processes to fit today’s environment, learning about new technologies that impact your business, or simply implementing a new version of existing software, not only is change all around you, but the rate of change is growing exponentially. And unfortunately, any change effort will come up against a small fraction of people who will resist it. Change is inevitable, but unless you actively manage the opposition, your change effort can lose momentum and fall off the rails. So what can you do to deliberately and purposefully bring your resistors on board? I’ll give you two specific ideas today, and later this week, I’ll give you three more.
- Give people the “big picture”. One of employees’ biggest frustrations about change is that sometimes it feels like it’s done just for the sake of doing something in the short-term, and not necessarily with an overall long-term objective in mind. When that happens, people view the change simply as an inconvenience to them as individuals. Instead, take the time to show people that what they view as a hassle is actually beneficial some place else, and to the organization as a whole. Tie the change to an overall advantage. Which leads me right into the second strategy.
- Give factual information. Offer evidence that shows that the change is valuable for the company. If you have hard data, share it. If there are other individuals who have gone through similar change efforts, hold them up as examples of success.
Check in on Thursday and I’ll offer you three more specific suggestions for how you can get your people to stop fighting change and perhaps even help you implement it! In the meantime, do you have any suggestions?