Does change hurt?Change - 1/3
- 25. January 2017
- Posted by: Ralf Juhre
- Category: Expert articles
It is hard to imagine today’s fast-moving world without change because it is vital for companies to survive. However, change projects often underestimate those affected – they are the key to success. From the point of view of those responsible, change is something positive and necessary – but why does the majority of those involved regard this change as a threat?
Changes tear down what gave us security and what has proven itself. The employees are happy in their old system, they have the feeling to make progress – and now they should give it all up? The defense system starts automatically because we are afraid of insecurity and above all of the new situation, which we cannot assess.
Change hurts because you have to leave your comfort zone. But the question to what extent the change hurts and whether it is not even a “positive” pain lies in the hands of those responsible for the project and their communication and empathy towards those affected.
The mammoth task of the project managers and the external consultant is to take the fears and defensive attitude seriously and at the same time drive the change project forward. This is only possible when those affected leave their comfort zone in order to enter the learning zone. But beware: this takes time. Supervisors have the urge to push employees according to the motto: “That’s how it is now”, “That’s how it has to be done”. This behavior catapults those affected directly into the panic zone because too much pressure leads to insecurity and failure! There is no patent recipe as to how those affected can best take the step out of the comfort zone. It is clear that mindset plays a decisive role. Only those who understand why change is necessary are prepared to change their working habits. It is important that during the change project people are offered a certain degree of security and continuity in order to remain able to act.