Change is hard

“Just remember that no one likes change away from what’s familiar. If you can, show them how what you want to change is just another way of accomplishing the familiar. Show them with little things first. It only seems to take longer.”

“Sir … it only seems…?”

“When you fight to change people’s minds, they resist. When people resist, it takes longer.”

– L.E. Modesitt Jr., Scholar

When changing an organization into a new way of working, focus on making the change seem familiar to the people actually changing. Make them feel like they own it and they know what is happening. And of course don’t forget why you are changing. Based in the FIRO theory the three biggest needs of people working in a group is to feel significant, competent and liked. And their fears are the reverse: being ignored, humiliated, or rejected. A good focus for change management is to help fulfill these three needs:

  • Significance – Inform people about what is happening and why you are doing the change.
  • Competence – Help people understand what their new role will be and listen to the feedback they give on their new roles.
  • Liked – Listen to their fears and give of your time to individuals even if you are stressed.

This will not solve all problems but it will help a bit.