Attempts to implement change often meet
with resistance. Despite the effort invested in new ideas,
they don’t always work out. To identify what can go
wrong and to help ensure future success, consider the following
myths that defeat change.
Myth 1: It’s not a big
change. Change affects everyone in different
ways. Those attempting to implement it may be more comfortable
with change in general; they may also be less affected by
the specific plans. However, even seemingly minor changes
can impact group dynamics, personal scheduling, and other
concerns, and thus create negative responses. By involving
people in the process from the start, one can understand
the potential impact and smooth the path toward success.
Myth 2: This isn’t personal.
This myth allows people to see things in black and white;
however, all change is ultimately personal. To get people
to invest personally in change, listen to their concerns,
respect others’ feelings and contributions, and help
them adapt successfully.
Myth 3: We don’t have
to involve them; they can figure this out.
Not including others in planning change can adversely affect
the outcome. Communicating can be difficult, as can opening
an idea up to criticism and input. Nevertheless, people
more readily support changes they develop, and respond more
positively to guidance. Bringing people in early and presenting
information to them pays off down the road, with fewer delays
and problems; they adapt more readily. Make a plan to present
the change, lay out the options, and explain the conclusions.
Ask those involved to invest in the plan’s success
and to continue to communicate.
Myth 4: We will figure it out
as we go. Although many things must be figured
out along the way, the fewer the better. The lack of a plan
means rework and frustration. Create an inclusive plan at
the outset to avoid difficulties later.
Myth 5: People should just get
on board. We all have habits that resist change,
even positive change. Those leading change can help by understanding
that changes do not necessarily garner instant support.
Expect resistance, and learn from it.
Myth 6: They understand why
we are doing this. People react to constantly
shifting realities. An agreement one day doesn’t mean
someone will support you later. Follow up on communication.
Keep others informed about progress. Ask for advice when
you need it.