Change is never easy. A reasonable person can attest to this widely accepted philosophy outside of reading the lesson commentary, or textbook. Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “change is the only constant in life.” As the world becomes smaller, change is occurring at a more rapid pace than in the past; the manner in which global leaders manage change will have an impact on whether the change is well implemented and becomes the new norm.
In my current work capacity, I deal with planned change on a regular basis and easily recognized Schein’s planned change theories. I support the implementation of information technology engineering tools and processes utilized by U.S. and overseas workgroups. I have found that the obstacle most difficult to overcome and critical to the success of the project is the transition from unfreezing to the changing stage. It is at this point that leadership savvy plays an important role. Often the catalyst to unfreezing processes/tools a is a directive from senior leadership that aligns with overall corporate goals and improvements targets and not negotiable. However, the implementation is left to those with their “boots on the ground” to make it happen.
In doing so, it is imperative for the implementation team to put forth a united front. In other words, we all have to know where we’re going and have a plan to get there before we can begin to impose a change on the individual[s]. If the team does not put forth this united front the attitude of those needing to change is undermined and resistance increased. When they observe that leadership is behind the initiative, and it’s clearly and often communicated this transition is easier.
One of the tool I utilize is a form of subliminal messages. Once the plan is solidified and funding approved I begin putting the “buzz” out there. I put flyers on the communication boards, a tag line just above my e-mail signature (coming soon…), things like this. It’s most effective when dealing with a complaint regarding the current process/tool. I respond with “well you know we’re working on upgrading that tool/process. Send me a note and I’ll see if your concerns are included in the upgrade.” In doing this, I try to make the end user more of a stakeholder and another champion for the upcoming change. This also helps reduce the “I didn’t know…I don’t want…I don’t like… factor because the “buzz” has been going on for several months. Those times when a complaint or concern become a fix during the change, that individual seems to be eager to express other concerns in the hope the that next change will address their specific issue. This also helps to offset unmotivated peers whose negativity can infect others as we strive for a win-win solution.
Heraclitus of Ephesus. Retrieved from: http://www.ancient.eu/Heraclitus_of_Ephesos/
OLEAD 410, 001, SP14, Lesson 5: Learning and Change in a Global Setting. Retrieved from: https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1826457/modules/items/21654116