We are very ambivalent when it comes to change. We constantly ask our surrounding environment (spouse, colleagues, children, politicians, bosses, etc.) to change. But as soon as this very environment asks us to, we become “resistant”, our defense mechanisms kick in, we argue in order to maintain status quo. We are used to our “routines” and it is hard for us to get out of them. This change subjects us to stress, reviving from the depths of the reptilian brain a sense of insecurity, which pushes us to mobilize our strengths to fight the menace and ensure our survival.
Change forces us to see a new way of doing, to adapt, to adopt new circumstances and conditions.
It’s clear that any organization/team/individual which wishes to impose change has the responsibility of implementing an efficient change process.
- Every change process relies on a legitimate diagnostic, based on the answer to the questions “Why change?”.
- Then follows a strategy set-up which leads, lists and defines the desired actions. It answers the question “What to change and how should it be done?” and helps eliminate uncertainty and ambiguity created by the change.
- The strategy is followed by the application phase, which covers the transition from the present situation to the desired situation. It includes two steps: the disintegration of the existent habits and the reconstruction of new ones. At this stage, the familiar markers tend to disappear, and the new ones remain to be defined and concretized.
- Finally comes the execution phase where we get up-to-speed. We now refer to the phenomenon as the operating procedure rather than change.
However, even the best of processes cannot guarantee success. It will be necessary that every individual involved with the change own up to it for the change to be successful. Owning up to change is essentially an individual development affair. It relies just as much, if not more, on the perceptions coming from the individuals living the change than the reality of the current situation.
The same change can provoke very different reactions from one individual to another, based on the perception they have of it. Every change processed as a problem will operate under suffering.