A couple of weeks ago we wrote about change and the adverse reactions it often creates in people. We tend to fear change as it disrupts the ways we do things or think they should be done.
As we noted then, it is important to involve people in the change process. Hearing the ideas of workers about the issues in the workplace, the changes that need to be made, and the options available can produce a better process. People involved in change are more likely to support the new ways of doing things than those who have change forced on them.
Remember no significant or lasting workplace change is possible without changes in the work system. Without making real systemic changes we are only making surface level changes, and they will be unlikely to last or be effective. Failure to make changes in the work system itself can only mask problems and serve to do further harm to the organization.
Systemic change is not easy. It takes work to study the current system, gather and analyze data, and consider all available options for modifying the system. We must also evaluate the effectiveness of the new process and look for ways to continuously improve what we do. Systemic change requires the commitment of everyone, especially those who control the existing process.
Recently, I saw an article that described how to become “a master of change,” outlining five steps in the process:
- Inaction and Resistance Carries Bigger Consequences
- Focus on the Desired End Result
- Rationalize Your Fear
- Break it into Manageable Pieces
- Celebrate Your Victories.
Keeping these steps in mind can help us build a planned change process that can produce positive results. With experience, we can also overcome the initial fear of change as we see the positive outcomes it can create. Above all, maintain your commitment to planned systemic change and, in the words of Nike, “Just Do It.”