Among all the factors that contribute to the success or failure of transformation initiatives, the attitude of staff towards change is absolutely decisive. How can you convince them to engage in the effort towards transformation?
Instilling a culture of service, implementing new digital and robotic tools, adopting a more agile work organization… Companies must constantly change to remain competitive. But it has been observed repeatedly that successfully achieving transformation initiatives is a challenge. In most situations, the outcome is disappointing given the effort made.
The reasons behind these failures are varied: an ever more changeable economic environment that disrupts the best-laid plans, technologies that are difficult to master, and so on. But statements made by executives also point, repeatedly, to the human factor. The staff’s natural preference for the status quo and the inertia of organizations seem to be the main obstacles faced by those proposing change.
Indeed, changing habits is a behavior that does not come naturally to humans. Our cognitive functioning predisposes us to reproduce known patterns, even when they are not optimal. Furthermore, we struggle to anticipate an abstract, uncertain and potentially threatening future. Unconsciously, our present circumstance almost always seems preferable to us—with its well identified advantages and drawbacks. Constraints also arise at a collective level, which inevitably brings a certain degree of rigidity to organizations. Structures developed over time on subtle balances: official hierarchies as well as influence networks and informal information circuits. Change almost always involves a renegotiation of these balances and thus, friction. It is the sum of these personal and social biases that produces the famous “resistance to change”. This in turn translates into seemingly inexplicable slowness, into oppositions that are passive or active, hidden or ostensible, into deliberate sabotage or, more banally, into a return to the previous situation.
These reactions are deeply frustrating for transformation leaders, believing themselves to be working in the best interests of the organization. Ignoring these responses or forcing through them generally only aggravates the issues in play. We should instead integrate psychological and social mechanisms in our approach to change management and show diplomacy.
In this synopsis:
- Tactics for transforming without upsetting
- Overcoming inertia in the face of change
- Making an impact to instill a change dynamic
the synopse (8 p.)
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this synopsis (8 p.)
Adapting to unsolicited change
We are subjected to change more often than we trigger it, which can cause a significant psychological burden. What process can we adopt to handle the feeling of loss that inevitably accompanies change?
Neuroscience and change
Our brain likes habits. To the extent of being opposed to any change? In reality, neuroscience demonstrates that we can adapt our practices in change management to the functioning of our brain.
Leading transformationNathan Furr, Kyle Nel, Thomas Zoëga Ramsøy
Novel ideas to overcome obstacles to change.
Leading change: Why transformation efforts failJohn P. Kotter
Eight classic errors that explain the high proportion of failed change projects.
Using Digital Communication to Drive Digital ChangePatti Sanchez
Relying on digital tools to support change.
Thinking, Fast and SlowDaniel Kahneman
Written by a Nobel Prize recipient in Economics, this work of reference about intuitive thinking's strengths and dangers is a must read.
Employees First, Customers SecondVineet Nayar
From the CEO of the indian multinational HCL Technologies, a testimony on how releasing the pent-up energy in the organization is a key factor to effective change.