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Monday, November 02, 2009

Why Is Change So Hard? Part I

Many people don't like change. It creates uncertainty. People may instinctively feel that what's familiar is safe, and that change is risky - even when the opposite is true.

Change can make even strong people feel insecure.

Change, sustainable change is not easy to achieve.

Change requires leadership -- at every level of the organization. First, it starts with recognition of why change is needed. Next, the leader (typically the CEO) must clearly articulate a vision of the goal and how to reach it. Then it is time to move from theory to action, from strategy to execution.

This always requires making difficult decisions, which highlight the human factors barrier to change: the conflict between the way things have been in the past, and the way they must be in the future.

Companies that take on a complete program for sustainable execution begin with these best practices:

  • A clear framework to understand the change process
  • Access to a robust set of tools (an activity management system), along with coaching as needed
  • A program that reinforces and rewards the desired mindsets and change behaviors (habits)
  • Continual communication, reinforcement, and service in the areas where change is most challenging

BOTTOMLINE: "If you keep doing things the way you've always done them, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."

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