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POPin Blog

How to Use Dynamic Change Management Principles

You may be wondering why you’d need good change management principles. The first answer is because the inevitable resistance your workers will feel toward change will reduce productivity and ROI. You won’t get past this resistance by ignoring it or trying to force it away. You must understand why people resist change and work with them to move beyond fear and into the future. Wouldn’t you rather have a smooth transition that motivates your company to produce more value and keep growing? The principles behind great change management are simple but very powerful, and this article will let you in on these management secrets.

Understand the Human Factor

Uncertainty rises as positions and methods change, and uncertainty is what causes the fear that leads to resistance. Without a proactive plan and change management principles, you risk lower company morale and productivity, and the transformation can take an unnecessarily long time. A reactive approach is bound to increase uncertainty, and thus resistance. Get a good understanding by collecting information, gauging people’s reactions, and encouraging constructive talk. Gather as much data as you can, analyze it and plan the implementation process accordingly. The discipline and strategic direction needed to keep uncertainty in check require integration of this data into a concise program.

Start from the Top

Change can be unsettling at all levels of any organization. Don’t under-estimate resistance from management and stakeholders, be prepared. What concerns every worker is “how does this affect me?” Middle and upper-level managers typically get hired and achieve success by fitting into the current way of things. They often have the most to lose from things changing, so why would they welcome change? When things change, people look to the higher-ups for a sense of direction. Resistant managers will create more opposition, while converted managers will lead by example and motivate others to change. To ensure that executive teams work together, it’s wise to talk and offer support to the teams as a whole and each individual in them. If they work well together and “speak with one voice,” the transition will be smooth. Company culture is self-reinforcing, so leverage it to your advantage with solid change management principles. Always target upper levels first and work your way down.

Don’t Suppress Resistance

Resisting resistance isn’t really logical, and has quite ironic results. Trying to fight it or act like it doesn’t matter will only fuel the fire. Accept resistance and work with it, invest in making workers ready for change. This is how you can implement resistance management without resistance. Many think they know what to expect and how to handle it, but still get taken by surprise once it’s in motion. You may think that ignoring resistance will make it fade, but this will only lead to a disgruntled workforce. As a result, productivity drops and the change process slows down. This means a reduced ROI. Trying to silence the resistance will never work. The question shouldn’t be how to eliminate resistance, but how to understand and manage it to manifest growth.

Don’t Try to Talk it Down

Good communication doesn’t mean trying to convince people they’re wrong to feel resistance. That’s just another form of suppression. You will never succeed in eliminating resistance through logical arguments or repeated explanations of how great the change will be. Logic doesn’t motivate people to change their stance on a matter, especially when the management logic doesn’t translate to the perspective of common employees. A real feedback loop where people can voice their opinions is key to real communication. It’s also a great way to gather useful information.

Maintain Change Management Principles

This isn’t a one-time procedure where you check things off a list. Varying levels of resistance will always remain, that’s why good change management principles must be kept in place even after the project’s been launched. POPin can help you through change projects.