Successful transformations rarely occur only by the discovery and commercialization of new ideas, technologies, and products. The most successful businesses know that reinvention is an ongoing process. The ecosystems in which business occurs are rarely static. They are living organisms and, as such, organizations have to adapt to survive. Leaders know that failure in adaptation leads to extinction.
Change is constant in most organizations today. But it is also one of the most difficult factors to carry out. Even when there is a clear need for change, resistance, fear, uncertainty and ambivalence are common reactions.
We are instinctively programmed to resist change. It triggers our instinct for escape / struggle in the face of the unknown, giving rise to feelings of fear when asked to leave the familiar and comfortable world.
We know today that there are two sides to change:
- The leaders side – who want a successful change and need to be committed to managing, guiding and supporting the process of change with a Shared Vision about the common future of all.
- The employees side – usually resistant to change, because they do not understand it, or because they do not feel prepared for it, or even because they do not accept who manages it.
As such, trust becomes the key word in the process of change. Confidence in the leaders who carry out the change, and trust in the employees and in their commitment to the process.
Leaders must also be able to deal with change themselves. It is important to understand the reasons for resisting change, to understand the benefits of change, and to use methods to reduce stress caused by change.
However, 70% of companies manage change through ineffective top-down approaches.