Schlagwort-Archive: Change

Change is always – and different

When experts examine systematically, facts dissolve into incredibly subtle components, whereby our view of the whole gets lost. Thus, we see the most filigree extracts and their variability but cannot see the consequences and cope with the tasks. By looking at the details, the connections and dependencies are lost on all upper levels. In the past, additionally applied measures under the heading Change Management offered a way out. Cost and time pressure, as well as the lack of decisiveness, lead decision-makers to shy away from such supporting activities. For these reasons, it is time to reframe change. It is always – and different.

For those who think this is exaggerated, it is worth looking at the following change degrees.

  • Insight
    Change begins in the mind of the observer. Everything that attracts attention has somehow changed. A sensory stimulus in the context that does not match the unconscious expectations activates consciousness – an irregularity in the field of vision, an unexpected sound, a surprising gut feeling, an inappropriate smell. Mindful people respond early to stimuli of all kinds. The resulting aha-experience fuel readiness to take the initiative in teams, departments, divisions, parts of a company, and an enterprise.
  • Balance
    Every action, no matter how small, variegates the conditions. When the current state is threatened, employees respond with fine-tuning to avoid difficulties. For this purpose, individuals have a baseline in mind to smoothen the deviations. Just like a vehicle’s cruise control maintains the desired speed, this ensures the interaction of the units. A prerequisite for stabilization is the establishing of the boundaries at which the individual units orient themselves. The deviations occur at every involved workplace. The sum of all readjustments results in a background noise that happens continuously and can surprisingly build up to a first-order change at any time and any place.
  • Improvement and Cutback
    First-order changes are the small deviations that we prepare for or react to in the context of the traditional Continuous Improvement. Here, we are not talking about stabilization but about persistent, small changes that accumulate over a long time into extensive transformation. They can lead at best to an increase in performance and at worst to a decrease in performance. The countermeasures take care of avoiding or correcting weaknesses without questioning and changing the basic conditions and assumptions. This constant learning process, which continually improves the existing business, should also take place everywhere and always to be fit for the disruptions, the second-order changes.
  • Alteration and discontinuation
    The second-order changes occur in the wake of societal and technological advances – when entering the machine, mobility, and information ages. The radical upheavals that have occurred question actions, services, and organizations and generate at the same time new paradigms and business models. In the meantime, hardware, software, and global networking achieve under the flag of digitalization the tasks that were predicted years ago. The impact lets disappear manual tasks in favor of intelligent robots. Even simple decisions can be automated, which results in winding-up administrative and managerial bodies. These revolutions compel at least the replacement, if not elimination, of entire units. It requires active change management, as we know it, to mitigate the staff resistance against the initiatives and thereby ensure the company’s task fulfillment.
  • No change
    With panta rei (πάντα ῥεῖ) Heraclitus already understood 2,500 years ago that everything flows. To what extent it is the fear of change or merely the inability of those responsible that keeps them from caring about change makes no difference. The crucial factor is the tendency of decision-makers to ignore dangers. This means that inevitably arising difficulties are not prevented by taking appropriate measures and adequately preparing the employees. The enterprise’s viability needs to understand that there is no such thing as No change – take care of it.

Bottom line: The fact that we are continually changing seems to be unpleasant because the responsible people like to look away. Yet, with our activities, we initiate many changes ourselves – e.g., raw materials become products, skills become services, tasks become processes. Many deviations are not home-made, but external influences – of the customers, suppliers, competitors, the market, politics, the economic situation, the society, technology, and nature. The question is not whether a change is significant enough to deal with (see above), but only how to deal with it – no matter how big it is. This requires leadership that has rarely been taught before. Employees at all levels need to be mindful, curious, imaginative, and pro-active in mastering transformation. New Work needs this reorientation because change is always – and different.


Finding your own rhythm

How much change requires respect from somebody is different for everyone. It begins with the small fluctuations which deflect the internalized routine. The desk that somebody cleaned up. The daily way to work that is blocked by a construction site. It is the modifications that make accustomed habits impossible. The introduction of a new IT system or the reallocation of tasks that require another approach, because the old ones are no longer valid. And then there are the fundamental upheavals which affect all aspects of life. The withdrawal from the current life, when one emigrates or leaves a previous career path. Notwithstanding of how strong the upheavals are, everyone has to react to the flux with a personal rhythm.

Since you get constantly challenged with different intensity, it is helpful to develop a routine that maintains the momentum of change until you get used to the new routine. You can use the following approaches and celebrate each with something special.

  • The first step
    Change only begins when you actually set yourself in motion. The first step towards the new is crucial in order to start the change. Even if this first step seems small and insignificant, this quantum leap is the beginning, no matter how long the path is.
  • The first day
    It is worthwhile to celebrate the first day you have got through after the first step. Not having given up the ghost makes the first day an important step towards change. When you then recognize the first results, the continuation on the following day is guaranteed.
  • The first week
    After a week the first signs of the new routine arise. The new one has already been applied several times, even though it has not yet become second nature. The devil is often in the detail that is subsequently recognized and mastered.
  • The first month
    Depending on the scope, many aspects of the change are already known after one month. The road blocks of the first day are forgotten. A lot has been practiced, which can be recognized by the fact that the acquired abilities are no longer consciously perceived.
  • The first quarter
    After three months one is already in the everyday flow. The tasks are carried out routinely. The consistency of earlier procedures is replaced by the new skills and conclusions that now are available.
  • The first half-year
    After half a year one is completely acquainted. The own values and beliefs have been adjusted. The surprises that now appear out of nowhere, take place in any case, no matter how well prepared somebody is. Prior approaches become difficult to handle, because you can no longer get into the old shoes.
  • The first year
    After a year, the memories of the old have faded away. Old processes are difficult to reconstruct. The memories create an unpleasant feeling, because the new has proven itself. The next change is already apparent on the horizon.

Everyone has its own personal approach to transformation. This goes from just doing nothing differently, to any change is welcome. The rituals that you come up with to cope with change determine the difficulties you have to deal with. Since change takes primarily place in the mind, it is sufficient just to change your perspective. If one does not manage this, then the transition costs more energy than if one openly accepts the new.

Bottom line: The implementation of changes creates resistance by nature. Especially when those affected do not have the opportunity to engage mentally. It is helpful for individual patients to celebrate the metamorphosis. And not just once, but over and over again. In order to anchor the innovations in your mind in an appealing way, it is best to find you’re your rhythm: the first step; the first day; the first week; the first month; the first quarter; the first half-year; the first year. Over time, deviations become normal.