CHANGE MANAGEMENT EQUATION

Change = Desire x Vision x First Steps > Resistance
Desire for Change

People work to create what they want in their lives, whether it be wealth, spiritual satisfaction, and/or to make a difference. Many change initiatives fail because leaders assume that organizational members will neither recognize - nor accept - changes the leader considers necessary. In order to change, people need to first see and understand the reason for change, and most importantly what it will mean to them.

Vision

At its simplest, a vision is the answer to the question "what do we want to create or achieve?" When people desire change but cannot identify or describe a preferred future, the result is often frustration, anger, depression, anxiety and/or apathy. Although it is not particularly important where in the organization the desired future originated, it is critical that the vision be communicated in such a way that people are encouraged - not mandated - to share the vision.

First Steps/Action

While a change initiative without a clear vision often leads to despair, a desired future without action is no more than a great idea without a roadmap. This too can result in frustration, helplessness, and apathy. People in organizations undergoing change should be given opportunities to participate in developing plans to achieve the vision. They likely know their part of the organization better than the leaders do, and real involvement builds commitment to outcomes.

Resistance

Resistance to change is natural. However, organizations do not resist change. People do. And people resist change for highly personal and unique reasons.

The most common are:
  • lack of information about the proposed change and its implications;
  • fear that they won’t be able to adapt to the change;
  • belief that the change is not in the best interests of the organization;
  • lack of additional time and energy to commit to the change.

In most situations, the most effective way to deal with resistance is to adopt a collaborative approach. Involving multiple stakeholders in the change process will ensure that outcomes are richer in innovation and passion, while also providing a forum where potential concerns will be addressed.