The biggest impediment to improvement is our resistance to change.
We do not necessarily fear change, but we do fear the stress that comes with it. At best, we find change inconvenient and at worst, we find it frustrating and painful. Even seemingly positive change can be stressful.
For example, most people would consider getting married a positive and significant life event. Many, however, struggle to cope with the numerous initial changes that are required for two people to effectively live together.
We find change easiest when we are personally invested in the outcomes of change. According to Dr Rodger Dean Duncan, author of ‘Change-Friendly Leadership: How to Transform Good Intentions into Great Performance‘, “people perform in a certain way when they feel the heat, but the change becomes permanent only when they see the light. In other words, we are more likely to engage in meaningful and sustainable change if we feel connected to vision and purpose. For leaders, it is important to note that “you can rent people’s hands and backs, but you must earn their hearts and minds.”
Being change-friendly is creating an environment where change is welcomed, and in which change leaders appeal to hearts, minds and souls.
Fortunately, a lot has been written about the principles of change management, and my favourite take is John Kotter’s eight steps, which can be found in his book, ‘Leading Change‘.
I share my thoughts on the need for change, and to find better ways, on this article initially posted on BridgeBuilders.
BridgeBuilders is an exciting new project aimed at “building links for the future; connecting people, building trust and facilitating relationships – key components of successful collaboration – so that our future leaders will be able to lead together.”
According to its founder, Dr Edwin Kruys, BridgeBuilders encourages everyone, especially those in leadership positions, to reach out and cross organisational boundaries.
I encourage you to have a look at the BridgeBuilders website and consider how you might contribute to a better and more connected future.
You might also like to read more about my thoughts regarding the difference between Compliance and Commitment, and how organisations can go about institutionalising change.