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Change - we all think we embrace it...

Embracing change? How do you react?

Most people think that they react well, but, of course, it has to make sense to them!

I believed the same thing - then I came up against the changes in my drive to the office.  It has been a long process, at least 18 months, and is still ongoing.

There has been a huge amount of work.   There is change in the road structure without change in the signage.   Note the two photos taken this morning.   Not so much as a white directional line in the road.

The middle and left lane go straight.  The right lane also goes straight, but is fed into a walled road that is a right only turn.   Every morning drivers realise this too late, and aim for the middle lane, without taking into account that there is already a vehicle in the middle lane – MINE!

On Monday, the taxi in the left lane was blocked by an illegally stopped taxi in front of him.   My car was the ham in the sandwich as both vehicles veered into the middle lane without signalling.

Our brains works in mysterious ways  - well, mine does, anyway.

The problem is that I like the middle lane.  I believe it will get me to work a nano second faster than if I use the left lane.  Yesterday I realised how genuinely stubborn and illogical I was being.  I knew that the car to my right was going to move to the centre, just as I knew it on Friday and every other day since this new structure has been in place, but resistant to the end, I keep setting myself up.

So I decided that, from today, I will be in the left lane, all the way down Katherine Street.  The result - the two cars on my right simply ignored me and each took a lane one left of their position.   It was close!  

My Point?
It’s not that we necessarily resist change, we just ignore it if it doesn’t suit us.   Or simply don’t notice it, at all.   We continue on our merry way taking for granted that, if the status quo is no longer quo, somebody will tell us.  Otherwise it’s business as usual.

Passive resistance?   Maybe, but mostly there is so much going on, it is easier to simply “continue to continue”.
We hear that without change there is no growth (or safety, in the case of the drivers), but believe that somebody has to get on with the routine stuff or all hell will break loose, so we see ourselves as the voice of reason. We are not really resisting, just ensuring stability.   Of course, sometimes we are right.   It’s knowing the difference between digging our heels in and being practical that is crucial to successful change management.

Steering Change
Strategy sessions tend to be at top management level, then rolled out to large groups.   Great ideas often die in large groups.  Why are senior management more engaged?   It’s not just the money!   It’s because they are involved in the decision making process.  
Include every level in the change management process.   Give purpose to the changes. 
  • ·         Why are we doing this?
  • ·         How will we know if it’s successful?
  • ·         What’s in it for me?
  • ·         Make the successes along the way visible.
  • ·         Clarify if the change is strategic
  • ·         Make it clear if it is a long or short term objective
  • ·         Ensure that there is a sustainability process and that it doesn’t fizzle out or the next change will not gain traction

In order for our brains to embrace change, we need to know why we are doing it.   From driving in the wrong lane to using outdated processes, we unknowingly make strategic decisions without thinking about the consequences.

Good leaders know that understanding the thinking as well as appreciating the consequences move people to actively follow a new path.

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Links, References and Notes

Accsys provides people management solutions ie Payroll, Human Resources (HR), Time and Attendance as well as Access Control/Visitor Management.

The company develops, implements, trains and services our solutions.  We provide readers, turnstiles, booms and CCTV.

We run both on premise and in the cloud, as well as mobile options for ESS.  Recruitment, online education and Outsourcing are part of our offering, too.

http://www.accsys.co.za/accsys-peopleplace-talent-management
email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za
twitter:   @TerylSchroenn

Note:   Thank you for reading my blog.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source.

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