When we talk about managing change, it’s useful to differentiate between change and adaptation. Change is the new situation we’re facing, while adaptation is the individuals’ capacity and ability to adapt to the external factors. Research into the change processes shows that the effect of a change management initiative depends largely on in what degree one can generate acceptance and consensus for the change among those affected. The propsed changes can look perfect on paper, but without getting the people on board, it’s exceedingly difficult to achieve.
Effective change processes demand that the change is seen as important. Human beings prefer predictability and stability, change requires energy and effort. We need to understand why a given change is to be made. It needs to be seen as appropriate, i.e. the right solution to the problem. Additionally, the change process itself needs to be experienced as something positive.
These three points – important, appropriate and a positive process - have combined consequences for the outcome of change processes. In order to achieve successful change and adaptation, it’s necessary to ensure buy-in and acceptance among those involved. In other words, the way change is implemented, matters!
Human beings are naturally extremely adaptable. It’s no coincidence that we’ve managed to inhabit the globe, from the extremes of Alaska to the Sahara. We have an inherent ability to adapt and change. Challenges arise when change isn’t something we choose ourselves. Change which we don’t feel a certain ownership to or is unwelcome, can feel extra challenging. The greater a threat an individual experiences a change to be, the stronger a reaction one can expect. Because of that, leaders need to follow change programmes closely in order to monitor and understand employee reactions.
Thanks to Bjørnson’s expertise in human factors, you’ll get the help you need to implement successful change processes.
Would you like to know more about how we can help with successful change and restructuring? Contact us.