Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reaction to change

Its easy for me to say that I've found myself following this exact pattern...

I read a book a couple of years back (just the one!) and one section stuck in my mind, I found a similar extract earlier today. Armed with this, I now find it easier to suggest and provide solutions to management and clients.
Understanding how people will react to, even potential, change helps you to soften the impact of any change.

Peoples reactions to change.

1: Shock

Similar to grief people may need time to access what has just occurred... people can find this period difficult to understand the reasons for and why the change has happened.

2: Avoidance or denial

A common reaction is to deny the impact of a change... "Well this does affect me, we don't need to use it". Setting a date for the change and celebrating its instigation sometimes helps.

3: Anger

People are naturally going to be angry towards anything that will shake them out of their comfort zone, it is important to avoid any anger from spreading as this will delay the progress of change. Explain to them the change and why it is needed to the initial few and allowing them to engage with the project.

4: General Acceptance

"I've got to use it, i might as well get on with it!"

5: Exploration

A willingness to learn the new system and engagement in progressing the project on, perhaps a suggestion box exercise would further involve the users and make them feel a part of a positive movement forward with the company.

6: Next steps and continued momentum

Implementing further changes to build or improve on the recent success and further advance the company towards a smoother work flow.

Relate this to any changes you have faced and I'm sure that it will be familiar.

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