It’s a fact. Humans resist change. Just sit in a meeting when new changes are brought up…followed by suspicious glances, eye rolls, deep sighs, and sometimes immediate verbal reluctance. The thing is, while change is tough, it is often very positive.
Executing Change That Works
Many of you have seen sweeping changes quickly executed within your organization that have failed to produce positive results. It happens all the time. A management team or executive discovers something new. They decide to implement their new strategy. They spring it on staff members and face resistance.
At that point, management can begin to do various things to get workers to “buy in” to the new initiative. These tactics may include financial incentives, threats, intimidation, or other dysfunctional methods of management. It’s no wonder many leaders fail to execute positive change! They needn’t look any further than the mirror to find out what went wrong.
Here are some leadership tips for avoiding the all-too-frequent scenario above:
- Utilize a committee or team-based approach instead of an autocratic structure for your organization.
- Get team members involved at the earliest stage possible. The earlier you do this, the better the chance that your staff will “buy in” and truly work as a team to implement the change.
- Do not construct a new idea or strategy behind closed doors and then spring it on other team members—especially if they are going to be responsible for implementing it. Sudden change is not typically met with an open mind. This will cause your team to feel alienated.
- Seek input from those outside an elite circle of decision makers. They often have more insight into what is going on with the products, services, and customers on the front lines and can point out flaws in the original methods or strategies in place.
Bottom line: you can’t trumpet teamwork and cooperation as the mantra for change in your organization when neither of the two were present during the decision making process. To do so will only breed resistance, tension, and lack of trust. Be inclusive, open, and team-oriented in your approach. This will cultivate a culture of cooperation, an emotional investment from your team, and a change that will likely be embraced and successfully implemented.
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