Six ways to manage change ineffectively

Much literature and many theories and models of change exist, and all comment in one way or another on how to be an effective change leader or manager.

P1330375They have emerged over the years because change has a permanent presence in and is such an integral part of the working of human organisations. Change is often known as the one constant and you will encounter it many times on your journey through life, let alone work.

The chances of this happening more regularly are compounded in your working situation because people find themselves in ever volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous environments. So knowing how to manage change well has become a quintessential leadership skill, especially in the modern day.

However, in this post, I want to challenge the way you think about change. I will do so by offering you six ways at managing change ineffectively. From this, I hope, you will better recognise poor change management going on in and around you. With that poor change management identified, I hope then you will have some clues as to how to make things better.

I encourage you to persist with this technique, known as ‘reversal/dereversal’, as the benefits and impact can be invaluable. So, six ways to manage change ineffectively might include:

  1. Ignore any psychological impact that change has on your staff. Do not demonstrate empathy, or provide opportunities for ‘venting’, and make sure that your staff and colleagues know that you take everything personally.
  2. Do not listen, and stick with your ‘My way or the highway’ approach. Deal quickly and mercilessly with detractors from your corporate message.
  3. Focus on the work at your level. Remember, the change has no interconnection up, down, or across your organisation.
  4. Be emotional in response to others.They don’t understand what you’re having to do and how difficult your job leading change is. When it gets too difficult, lose your nerve and revert to knee-jerk reactions.
  5. Be complacent! The change is doomed to failure, so why get that exercised about it. Meander through the process as you like and don’t be too concerned about the outcome.
  6. Look for the praise you deserve. This change stuff is hard work and recognition should be given to you regularly. What do these people know?

Once you’ve read this list, reflect on current or recent experiences of change management that you have either led or participated in. Does any of this ring any bells? It does with me.

Clearly managing change effectively requires the dereversal of each of the above six approaches. Think carefully about possible alternate approaches and perspectives you might adopt, and then go out and give them a try!

I wish you well with your continuing leadership journey and would love to hear more about your encounters with managing change better. If you need any help, please just ask.

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