Misconceptions In Change Programs:
PART TWO (Resistance)
A widespread misconception in the organizational development field is that people lack the ability or willingness to change. This misconception is a lens by which executives and managers are approaching change. If people are approached with the misconception that they are the problem and the issue that must be dealt with to make the change succeed, they will react with a natural, negative reaction. A negative approach to change will prompt a negative reaction from people, because they are forced to participate in a change they have not thought of.
A negative view of human beings bodes poorly for organizational change. This approach robs co-workers from the opportunity to participate in the creation of the solution, and results directly in resistance! It assumes people do not want change, and need to be motivated to make changes. A communication plan based on this approach may be well-constructed, but it will be centered on the misconception that people must be actively informed about and convinced of the necessity of change. This is the wrong focus.
Worst of all, approaches to change revolving around this negative misconception that human beings neither want nor are good at change result in the sense that urgency needs to be forced upon co-workers. Executives believe that this urgency is important for achieving a successful change. It implies that members of the organization will be unwilling to change until the house is truly on fire.
Paradoxically, the reality is completely the opposite. Change is something people are very good at and even take satisfaction from accomplishing. Individuals conduct changes constantly, and almost always successfully.
Within organizations, changes will be more successful when conducted through the process of co-creation. More brainpower will be applied to the solution, resulting in a better quality result. Since the people who must implement the solution are creating it, resistance will be minimized—in many cases completely eliminated. As they participated in the creation of the change, they will automatically want to implement it through the materialization phase.
Co-Creation Inspiring and Being Inspired
These co-workers often become ambassadors for the change and will do anything to make sure it happens. Issues or flaws within the design of the solution are dealt with by the team in a harmonious state since it is their idea. They are invested in bringing their idea to life successfully. The incredible power of co-creation is that people involved in the change are automatically co-owners of the idea. It is in their full interest to make the change a success.
The concept of co-creation explains the commonly heard saying, “People are willing to change, but don’t want to be changed!”
This has been a quick look at misconceptions in change management. In Part Three, we’ll look at the power of diversity in co-creation.
Paul Brand is a management consultant working with global blue chip organizations such as Shell, Heineken, Sony, ABN AMRO Bank, Ahold, and EON. Evolving from an operations perspective, Paul’s focus moved into providing specific expertise on growing and nurturing the innate ability to change.
Paul leads organizations through the confusion of change management from “just another management methodology” to the understanding that change management is about the development of people. With his book, Change Your Mind, Change Your Business, Paul’s purpose is to dispel the common misunderstanding and even negativity surrounding change management, and how you can begin successfully applying it in your own environment.
For a free assessment of your own change management skill set, and more information about Paul’s book, Change Your Mind, Change Your Business, click here.