Whether change comes about by, choice, chance, consequence or crisis the envisaged benefit is always improvement. Yet the very process of change – leaving the known and venturing – or being forced – into the unknown, rarely delivers the envisaged improvement, or at best only some of what was anticipated.
By its very nature change is chaotic. The more people involved and impacted upon, the more potential there is for chaos.
Within any organisation contemplating change there will be people – about 20% who are change oriented, for them the new, the challenge, the opportunities, the chance to talk and explore – is all stimulating and exciting. At the other extreme are the change resistant – they can remember all the ‘bad’ changes from the past, the things that didn’t work, for them there is mostly confusion, doubt and resistance.
“Don’t look back, we aren’t going there!”. In the middle there are the ambivalent. This is where most of the effort of change gets absorbed.
Currently New Zealand is experiencing a further period of lay-offs. Lay-offs create a downward spiral, that can boost financial results in the short term, but create a need for multiple successive lay-offs to maintain those results. Sometimes described as ‘organisational anorexia’ – lay-offs firstly deplete the organsiation of fat, then muscle and finally brain power.
The reactive need for change management and facilitation will continue for some time to come, and the proactive use of change occurs at specific periods in the organisation’s growth cycle. These points when leveraged effectively take a successful venture on to even greater success.
Introducing senior level management change also needs particularly skillful management and facilitation. The challenges for a new leader, especially in times of organisational or business change include: a greater degree of anxiety and distrust, competition amongst subordinates and peers, resentment, and potential sabotage from the unsuccessful.
Whether you are struggling with a change initiative, seeking to drive a new initiative, or have several options facing you and the organisation, the international change experience of Elliott Consultancy will be a great asset to any organisational change project.