One of the key pieces of my business and personal philosophy that I share with every client is that “all change is personal.” I alter it slightly when working with an organization, saying instead, “all organizational change is personal change.” Though many have challenged me, it proves true time and time again that unless the people in an organization are willing to change themselves or are willing to accept change, changing policies, structures, rules, methodologies, strategies, etc. will meet certain failure. Change is so fragile that often just by ignoring the changes those that are asked to implement the change can stop change in its tracks.
So, if all change is personal, why is the focus on the things of change? I believe control has something to do with it. People are messy but things can more easily be analyzed, organized and forced into a new order. People on the other hand have to be won over. Even if you initially can force people to change, unless they embrace the change, people can subtly sabotage things… Often without conscious intent.
To help change get a foothold that can win the day, try focusing on two words: inclusion and trust. Inclusion implies listening and actively seeking out feedback. Trust is about credibility, reliability, emotional connections and most importantly unselfishness. When people feel included to the point of having a sense of belonging, and they come to trust that management wants what’s in their best interest, change can be accepted. The tipping point of progress can be reached.
Is your organization change ready?