Here’s the reality, Leaders need employee support and trust if their change is going to stand any chance of success. Our contributors underscore this. If people are cynical about a change, pessimism will set in, and failure is assured. Our contributors show that there are no simple remedies, no sound bites or grizzly 7 step plans. Yet, at its core there are fundamental values that, if believed in, will offer a sound basis for planning and executing successful change. Change failures have left their mark on our contributors over the last eight years. Through their eyes, resistance is a brownfield site where change is synonymous with downsizing, doing more for less, and treating people poorly.
Accelerated change demands more of everyone. Such change has major consequences for employees. Accelerated change failure creates cultural toxicity. Crucially, leaders need to separate the symptoms of change resistance from the stress that causes it. If they don’t, they are just like bad sales people trying to overcome objections and not realizing 60% of those objections are of the salesperson’s own creation. These contributors, they are saying that change resistance is natural, but you don’t need to make it more difficult if you do some things profoundly well. The chart below gives a sense of the avoidable.
Once you recognize that Change Resistance causes stress then you can be more effective in reducing it. Our contributors say that, if leaders create clear and consistent frameworks, you help most people make informed decisions about committing to a change or not.
Here’s what our contributors are saying:
- Align Expectations between leaders and people
- Set Clear Direction: Leaders clarify their change’s What, Why, How and WIIFMs (What’s In It For Me) for different groups and people.
- Develop Accountabilities: by developing the rewards and consequences that assure expectations of both leaders and their people are met.
These are sound practices for reducing and managing people’s stress, but only if leaders realize the importance of Walking Their Own Talk.
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