Change Management Challenges

This post is part of our 2017 Lead Change Group Guest Blogger Series. Today we are pleased to share a post from Rebecca Henderson.

I’m facing some changes in my life, some of which I perceive as bad, but some are good.  It’s been said that the only person who likes change is a wet or soiled baby.  I must confess, I’m a fan of the status quo, even when it’s got to go.

Wet babies like change, but most of us are somewhat reluctant to accept, let alone embrace it. Being creatures of habit, we sometimes become creatures in a comfortable rut. When the rut's too comfortable, it can lead to complacency. Complacency is never good for an organization.

I’m trying to face the fact that meaningful change is difficult and usually uncomfortable, because we have a tendency to like the status quo.  Sometimes the status quo must not only change, but leave our lives entirely, without any trace of tracks.  

The potential for change increases with our participation in the process. If we want to see change within the confines of our organization, we need to be active in changing it!

It takes courage to design, implement and embrace change.  When we want to change something, we may fail at the attempt.  Be ready to face the failure, because most people usually don’t start significant change; indeed, most people shy away from lots of change, especially that of a momentous nature.

People can only handle a certain amount of change at one time; change can be exceedingly stressful for many people.  Is your organization undergoing a mere breeze of change, or is it more of a gale-force wind kind of change? What seems to be a breeze to one person feels more like a hurricane to someone else. Do the group members feel like they're feeling a breath of fresh air, or struggling to stand in a tornado? Neither is right and neither is wrong, but having their pulse will help inform the work to make changes happen, and with a minimum amount of disruption.

The culture of an organization is usually the last thing to change, because it is such a part of who the organization is. An organization can renew and transform itself through challenges, if those challenges are put into perspective and handled correctly.

Get commitment to change; then get Commitment to Change (note the capital letters). Finally, get COMMITMENT TO CHANGE. Don’t start with the all capital change, because you'll probably encounter quite a bit of resistance. It’s easier, less stressful and usually more successful to work your way into the change. Just as a house is made out of bricks put together in a systematic order, so are the building blocks of change.  Explain the change!

One step to success as a leadership level community influencer:  If you want things to change, you’ve got to change, too, by modeling the change.

Rebecca Henderson owns Strategic Priorities Consulting, specializing in strategic planning, organizational design and development, and leadership implementation. She has been honored for her work by Milligan College, which chose her to be a recipient of their “Leader in Christian Service” award. She is the author of Serving With Significance: A Guide for Leadership Level Community Influencers. You can follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn