Change must be managed! If not, you might find that the reaction to change is often quite negative and vehement. Ineffective change management leads to a breakdown of strategy which in turn impacts negatively on the outcome. From a leadership perspective, the specific circumstances that go along with change need to be identified, understood and effectively addressed.
I'm pretty sure most of you are familiar with the following adage:
Mr. Frog had hopped into a nice roomy-sized pot of cold water. It seemed the perfect habitat in which to live and included baby insects floating around on the surface of the water - yummy, dinner on tap! As time progressed however, the water started to heat up &- very gently at first, but it made sufficient difference for the insect 'mommies' to think twice about laying their eggs in a place that facilitated their hatchlings, using the surface of the pot as their preferred nursery school. (I have no knowledge of insect reproduction - so please grant me lots of poetic license!)
As the days passed the water grew ever warmer until the frog was starting to feel uncomfortable. He was also rather hungry owing to there being less available food. But, he simply accepted the status quo, and so his capacity for discomfort grew to compensate.
The water continued to heat up - to a level of serious discomfit. This sapped the frog's ability to think clearly and realise that now would be a good time to vacate these premises.
Eventually the water reached boiling point and...you guessed it, Mr. Frog was well and truly cooked!
Does this scenario ring any bells for you? It certainly should for many of us.
Let's put this scenario into a more realistic, professional context...
Our situation at work becomes ever more difficult as the ageing computer system grows less and less effective. Our productivity is decreasing
because this system wasn't designed for the volume it was now required to handle, nor does it 'speak' to systems in other departments, necessitating information be capture manually numerous times in order to update all the separate systems. We moan and whinge and keep on keeping on
Our IT person however, doesn't like the water heating up, so she starts investigating a replacement
, up to date, customised IT system that can meet the need of all the departments. She's super excited to present her research and recommendations at the Board meeting.
By the time the Board members have got through with tearing her idea apart, totally decimating it, she is deflated and leaves the meeting, resolving to go somewhere where her common sense and initiative will be appreciated.
On the surface, it would appear
that the Board members were unaware of the problems being experienced and how it was impacting productivity negatively. But that can't be the case, because she gave them a clearly detailed picture of just how their 'water was starting to heat up' and the serious issues which were already resulting.
It's far more likely that the Board members themselves had developed a capacity for discomfort which allowed them to avoid change
at any costs. If it worked for 10 years, why shouldn't we just nurse it along?
Imagine the logistics and costs involved in implementing a new system?? Complete madness - the youth of today have no idea how to 'make do' - they just want to upgrade and change at the slightest sign of difficulty.
I'm pretty sure most of you who are reading this have been in this type of a situation or are currently experiencing it
. Regardless of age, skill level, gender etc. most of us adopt the "frog" approach. Until it kills us or our business that is!!
Don't get boiled alive - embrace necessary, well thought through and beneficial change
. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
We run a two-day Leading Change
workshop which covers all aspects of managing change comprehensively and which will provide you with the tools
to implement and manage change within your organisation. It's not just for managers, it's for anyone who is involved in the change process and it's a must for your organisation!
is a South African soft skills training provider with more than 60 workshops on offer.
Email us at info@StaffTraining.co.za
for more info or give us a call at 0861 996 660