We suggest not to ‘sell’ change to people as a way of accelerating ‘agreement’ and implementation. ‘Selling’ change to people is not a sustainable strategy for success, unless your aim is to collapse at some time in the future when you least expect it. When people listen to a management high-up ‘selling’ them a change, decent diligent folk will generally smile and appear to accede, but quietly to themselves, they’re thinking, “Do they think this is better? Or is this downsizing etc..” (And that’s just the amenable types – the other more recalcitrant types will be well on the way to making their own particular transition from gamekeepers to poachers.)
Instead, change needs to be understood and managed in a way that people can cope effectively with it. Change can be unsettling, so the manager logically needs to be a settling influence. At CogniSoft we have given enough time to research and our experts have helped fortune 500 clients to effectively transition and create effective Change Catalysts. To check that people affected by the change agree with, or at least understand, the need for change, and have a chance to decide how the change will be managed, and to be involved in the planning and implementation of the change.
For organizational change that entails new actions, objectives and processes for a group or team of people, use workshops to achieve understanding, involvement, plans, measurable aims, actions and commitment. Encourage your management team to use workshops with their people too if they are helping you to manage the change. The employee does not have a responsibility to manage change – the employee’s responsibility is no other than to do their best, which is different for every person and depends on a wide variety of factors (health, maturity, stability, experience, personality, motivation, etc). Responsibility for managing change is with management and executives of the organisation – they must manage the change in a way that employees can cope with it. The manager has a responsibility to facilitate and enable change, and all that is implied within that statement, especially to understand the situation from an objective standpoint (to ‘step back’, and be non-judgmental), and then to help people understand reasons, aims, and ways of responding positively according to employees’ own situations and capabilities. Increasingly the manager’s role is to interpret, communicate and enable – not to instruct and impose, which nobody really responds to well.