Organisational Change Starts with the Individual – Part 2
Author: Melisa Perkins, Consultant, Open Windows
Many organisations do not invest in properly understanding and developing strategies to manage the impact of change, for this reason many business transformations fail. Organisations need to recognise that change is dependent on the individual, and therefore requires an understanding of how the change impacts the individual.
In Part 1, Organisational Change Starts with the Individual we reviewed how to mitigate the ‘denial’ phase, using techniques that encouraged open communication and involvement of stakeholders to increase support. We will now discuss the last two stages of the Kubler-Ross change model, and strategies to counter individual resistance to change.
‘Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up’ James Belasco & Ralph Stayer
Managing Stages 3 & 4 of the Individual Change Process
During the later stages the individual is starting to experiment or engage with the new process or system and will begin to learn how to work with the change. At this stage the organisation should be providing support and guidance to ensure the users engagement is positive and in-line with the businesses expectations. At this stage support could take the form of workshops, information/training sessions in which the individuals are shown how to operate in a controlled environment. Maintaining control over how the individual is fully exposed to the change (new system/process etc) allows the organisation to plan and present this change in a manner that is best suited to the audience and also gain critical feedback to understand the general perception and potential success of the roll-out. At this stage the organisation should aim to develop the individuals knowledge and skills to ensure they are feeling capable, positive and accepting of the change.
Acknowledging that a process of change is experienced at the individual level is an important factor to consider when developing a change management strategy. By understanding the critical stages an individual will experience during a change process the organisation can pre-empt the individuals reactions and pro-actively develop strategies to encourage progress through each stage to reach acceptance more easily.