Organizational change is usually conceived as logical, rational, orderly, and completed on a predictable time-frame. In reality, it is usually messy, chaotic, turbulent and takes much longer than expected.
There are four basic change strategies, and most companies choose a strategy in line with their corporate belief systems. However, sometimes such strategies are chosen inadvertently because the company isn’t even aware of change strategies! The four strategies are based on how you think your employees will react to news of organizational change:
Your Best Choice
So what’s the best change strategy for you? While there is no “one best” approach, Avatar considers five factors when selecting a change strategy:
We do not agree with the change curve presented by Jim Alampi that asserts everyone feels anger and depression when first presented with the need for change. In the clever short story by Spencer Johnson, Who Moved My Cheese?, two of the mice took off on the very first day in search of new cheese. It seems that some folks just handle change better than others.
The key is to properly introduce change, well in advance, with several small doses of affective messages. These should focus on answering the un-asked question on every employee’s mind: What’s in it for me?
A pre-emptive answer to these unasked questions can also be very effective in breaking down resistance to change.
We believe that if you answer these questions up front, then change, using any strategy, goes a lot more smoothly. Most importantly, be sure to invite your employees to participate in the planning process and make contributions to the change initiative and everything will be a little easier.
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