I’ve spent the last two weeks studying change management and reduction in force (RIF) or was it RIP?
There are over 700 books written on this topic and countless theories. The way organizations manage change and people manage change are closely linked for obvious reasons. Most Managers are on a constant learning curve. They are forever learning how to master the process of change. Navigating the change process while keeping staff loyal and motivated during turbulent times is a fine art and most managers unsurprisingly struggle in this area.
The thought leaders in this arena are John Kotter, Peter Senge, Charles Handy, Spencer Johnson to name a few. They have looked at mostly larger companies and organizations and have neglected to look at mid size and smaller independent companies. This is a shame because in my view if time was taken to study some medium sized and smaller enterprises researchers would find some interesting creativity and strong strategies that could be successfully applied to larger organizations.
Kurt Lewin introduced a simple model that describes the change process in three stages: Unfreeze – this is the thawing out of the old habits and ways of doing things so the ground is ready to accept the changes necessary. Phase II Change – this is the stage to implement the necessary changes and create some momentum and wins and solidify new habits before embarking on Phase III. Re freeze – This step is necessary to solidify the new habits and make sure the new changes take hold.
John Kotter took this model to the next level and added more steps to the change process.
- Increase Urgency – Inspire people to want to change.
- Build a Guiding Team – Get the right people in place who are committed and have the influence in the organization to make the change.
- Provide the Vision – create a vision that people can easily get behind to foster the change
- Communicate the Vision – make sure everyone sees what the future will look like
- Empower Action – Remove obstacles and give loads of support while recognizing and rewarding achievements during the change process.
- Generate short –term wins – Set goals that are easy to achieve and finish and recognize small gains before proceeding to the next stage
- Keep the Drive Alive – Don’t let up, keep persistence in the forefront of your daily management and measure the success of the new work habits and processes.
- Solidify – Make sure the change gets weaved into the culture and stays there.
Most people view change that we put upon ourselves as Positive and change that is thrust upon us without our consent or foresight as Negative. In my own life I’ve discovered that many changes which at first seemed negative ended up turning into a huge positive and vice versa.
The bottom line is that change is all around us and we live in an ever-changing world and always have. Our ability to adapt and adjust and move with the new challenges will determine our ultimate success on a longer-term basis.
We should all strive to embrace change and try not to have a fixed opinion. Possibly learn to ride it out and paying close attention to our attitude. Strive to resist the temptation to condemn new changes in our life and businesses. Be a pioneer of change and enjoy the journey.
Business and life is all about change and our ability to deal with it and make the best of our situations.
So, head out there with a great attitude and never look back on what was but look at the now and focus your attention on the present moment. Keep you minds eye on your vision of the future while you navigate your way through your present circumstances.
On a more personal note my most recent life change allowed me the time to write my first book, which has been a distant goal for most of my adult life. The last 6 months has seen this goal come to fruition. So Change I salute you!
Ahh Change … you are my blessing in disguise.
Bring it on 2014! Are you with me? Let’s Be the Change we want to see in our lives! Our Worlds will follow.
Let me know about your big life changes. Especially the ones which turned into a better situation then you could have ever imagined?
Dominic Kotarski is author of “The Making” and Founder of Sales Success Academy
Dominic Kotarski | International Consultant | Author | Coach Speaker
Dominic Kotarski writes, speaks, inspires, motivates and teaches on the most important aspects of your business including Sales, Coaching, Team building, People Management and Business Development. Get weekly access to his blog & training videos FREE by subscribing BELOW