Dealing with change used to be a big problem for people and organizations. Change would overtake them, and sometimes overwhelm them.
Now that technology has helped us notice the only constant about change is that it’s accelerating, most are aware that if you’re not engaged in change, you may be an endangered species.
Change is happening all the time. Our role is to identify useful change and amplify it. – Gregory Bateson
Still, many view change as something that happens to them, and that it’s fraught with danger. To dramatize the point, whether they are trying to turn back the clock Tea Party-like, or angrily protesting fracking in the energy sector these protesters have one thing in common – they hate change that they don’t like. They self-appoint themselves to resist the change. And still things will change.
A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. – Winston Churchill
Driven by fear, they mostly want to prevent change. The things they do want are often not doable, ineffective, and sometimes damaging.
These folks also work in organizations!
How do we help people in organizations overcome their fear of change?
When is the change not a problem? Even the smallest change?
How did we manage to get there? What else?
When we dealt with change in the past, what worked?
Establish the know-how, skills and resources that are present to deal with the change.
Define the outcomes that are sought (instead of the problem). Ask:
What are you aiming to achieve?
How will you know you’ve achieved it?
What will be the first signs that you’re getting better?
How will other people notice this improvement?
You don’t need to have all the answers – people will learn for themselves. Enable them to realize that they have choices by working on the useful change. And, don’t worry if they don’t hear you at first. Slow down to their pace of change in order to help them speed things up.
Solution focus sometimes can seem counterintuitive. But, that’s how the world works.