Three things to consider in a change process

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To make a change is not so remarkable in theory, but in reality it can be quite laborious. Many companies and organisations have fought to make everyone  ”go in the same direction”, ”get on the train” or ”work towards the same goal”. The expressions that are connected to a change process are many, but to reach success the way to approach is always more or less the same.

Change processes for survival

The keywords are dialogue, understanding, commitment and above all safety. It takes time and there are no shortcuts. But one thing is for certain – it can be the difference between winning or disappearing in the longer perspective. When Charles Darwin lay the foundation for his theory of evolution he concluded that those individuals who did the best and thereby were able to perpetuate their genes weren’t the strongest, wisest or even the most good-looking – but the ones who were most able to adapt to change. One may think that today’s human being who has been bred through thousands of years by this principle of selection would be well-prepared for change. But it’s not quite so easy. In line with society changing faster and faster, higher demands are placed on the individual’s ability to change.

1.   Reflect on human nature

A basic need for every human being is safety, and it’s easy to understand that change in particular can be perceived as a threat against this. Especially if the change comes from ”above” and you don’t really understand why or what is expected from you. Maybe you are also afraid of loosing some advantage because you haven’t understood keeping at the front in the right way, or that there’s a hidden agenda. Leading up to change many people get a feeling of reluctance and uncertainty. This can be observed in openly expressed dissatisfaction or quiet opposition. The most important thing for the person who initiates the change will be to take into account human nature and create as much safety as is possible in the process.

2.   Define the process and draw a map

But maybe it’s not so easy to create security in a change process that you don’t completely grasp. That’s why it’s a good investment to put time and energy on gathering information, analysing it and creating target images. With this material you can go on and define the process and draw a map of it. This platform should then be communicated and established in the organisation. There is a lot to gain on becoming as clear and concrete as possible. When everyone understands why and gets as clear an image as possible of what is about to happen, you create security and also good conditions for the change to happen. Next step is about implementing the target images, which often mean that everyone involved gets the chance to make these images their own.

 3.   Make use of pedagogical methods and tools

The methods for this are many, but their common factor is being built on participation. When individuals feel involved and get the chance to shape the goals based on their own realities, the chances increase considerably that this will really happen.  At the core is a dialogue that can happen in different forms for example in workshops, meetings, study visits, social events, digitally in the form of e-learning, computer games and on the intranet. Asking questions, turning and twisting things, trying out arguments and discussions are important elements for a common view and for the individual to take the step to becoming an active part of the process. It’s important to give space also for negative views and to discuss these, but holding the main course of direction focused on solutions and possibilities. Creating security and a positive, inspiring atmosphere give a lot of energy that can be used to come closer to the goal.

Stop the addiction to change

Some companies and organisations are constantly trying to make changes, but fail. The reasons for this are of course varied, but there is a great danger here. When a change process is initiated and management don’t have enough knowledge, power or commitment to realise it in a good way, change fatigue can arise in the organisation.

niclas_sv-14Contact us

If you would like to know more about how Navigator work in a change process, you are very welcome to get in touch.

Niclas Bergenblad
Creative Director
Digital and innovation strategy
Tel +46 40 631 62 13
niclas.bergenblad@navigator.se