Dynamics of Change
This book is based on many years of working practically with various types of change processes in a range of industries and organisations. It is primarily intended for managers and their teams who are responsible for leading and implementing organisational changes and who want to balance and improve their ability to lead from a more human point of view.
We hope to inspire you as a leader to work with your employees and thereby create greater awareness of and acceptance for the changes you are facing. This can be accomplished by giving copies of this compendium to your team to be read and then selecting and completing some of the exercises. Most of these exercises could also be done successfully on a virtual level.
This book is based on a psychological approach in order to provide a better understanding of what motivates and gives energy to the change process. We use this as our basis for those concepts and theories that we have found valuable in our consultancy activities. These are then merged to create a practical foundation for our work. We ask questions and suggest exercises to help managers and their teams, which we have found valuable, when implementing changes.
Our experience tells us that it is vital to establish a common language to clarify underlying forces and processes during periods of change – to make the invisible visible and to realise the key difference between change and transformation. We hope this book will give you this language.
We recommend a reflective reading approach, i.e., read small sections or one chapter at a time, reflect on what you have read, compare with your own experiences and, ideally, discuss this with your colleagues and employees. Finally, this book is not only about change, it is about life!
To download any of the following chapters, please click on the title.
"We welcome or resist change depending on the types of change. Change comes from the outside - Transformation takes place inside of us."
Change is constant. Change is both progressive and educational and can be both good and bad, depending on who observes the change.
"Management and leadership require different skills."
Leading people in change is a multi-dimensional process that involves opportunities, conflicts and challenges. It is usually not a question of either or, it is a question of both.
"Create a dialogue built on trust. Learn to learn from what you and your employees go through."
Learning and change go hand in hand. When we learn, we change. Learning can in itself be a process for the organisation that generates resources.
"Need to allocate more time and availability. 'Why' is a crucial question to answer. A clear, understood and shared picture of the present situation and vision is the key. Employees need to feel included in the information flow."
Drive and determination are essential when working with change, but reality is often the opposite. It is difficult to gather around what is best for the business if it involves a diffuse or uncertain future for many people in which areas of responsibility are affected or altered significantly.
"Times of change call for more communication. Employees will want to be involved."
Your ability to communicate with others in conjunction with changes is very often the deciding factor in terms of whether the change is successful. It is through dialogue and understanding that you create an acceptance for the change and it is through communication you can capture the apprehension and uncertainty that the people facing the change may feel.
6.) Human Reactions
"People react different to different types of losses. Our reaction pattern is quite predictable."
We all react differently to organisational changes, they can be positive as well as negative. When the change is seen as a loss, then it can be viewed as a threat or crisis.
"Change and stress often go hand-in-hand. Hormones and adrenaline are mobilized regardless if the situation is real or imagined. Stress could come from own demands or external factors. Wears down physical and mental wellbeing - need time to recover."
Stress wears down relationships and organisation is accomplished through relationships. So what are the consequences of stress? Changes, both desired and undesired, trigger many different reactions.
8.) Firm Leadership
"Provide clarity and stability. Emotions are important. Participation, mental support and arenas for dialogue are important. Deal with and talk about your own emotions. Show respect by listening and being human."
In a leadership role you want to create understanding and acceptance. Fear and insecurity spread in times of uncertainty, when organisational change generates a sense of loss.
"Need to enhance flexibility and learning. Allow time to switch from 'do' to 'be'. Help your employees to internalize your vision and mission. Value based leadership is the foundation."
Changes in the world around us occur more often, more forcefully and are more difficult to predict than before.
Your ability to identify, initiate and create the dialogue that will help your employees transform their mindset, values and beliefs into new behaviour patterns is a critical factor for success.