Vail Valley: Are you tired of change?
August 18, 2010
Many people are struggling these days with something called “change fatigue.” What’s that?
In a meeting I had this week with a corporate client, they connected the term with the growing dissatisfaction and low morale within the organization due to all of the changes that have taken place over the past two years.
Budget cuts, reorganizing of a company or department, staffing changes, shifts in benefits, and what seems like an ever-moving and elusive set of goals and objectives, top the list that is driving change fatigue. Sound familiar?
You already know what I am about to say next – “Change happens, change has always happened, and change will happen again.” Without change there would be no significant growth.
But change is happening now with greater frequency due to drivers such as an economy in flux, technology, and access to information, and the need for speed. What we need to do as agents of change is understand that we are participants, not merely spectators. This means we have to set realistic expectations for ourselves, our teams, our customers, and our companies.
I know, I get it – some of us just don’t like change. It is bothersome and disruptive to the status quo we so dearly hang on to and the comfort zone that dictates our existence. But remember what Will Rogers said: “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just stand there.”
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To combat change fatigue organizations look to training programs with a title or heading that sounds like “Change Management.” The thinking here is that they need to help their employees, peers, and associates somehow manage the change that has already happened. The problem is that this is a reactive strategy, not a proactive approach that mirrors the pace of change. Nor does it actually get ahead of the change that would prepare a team to capitalize on the best that is yet to come.
The best thing we can do when it comes to change is set the expectation as a part of who we are and what we do as individuals and organizations. We need to give the people in our lives the “why” behind the change and the benefit and reason for the change before it actually happens.
What if the training program that addresses change sounded something more like “Change Readiness?” When we give people the “why” before, and not after, the change has already occurred we gain their buy-in, even when they sometimes resist and do not agree with us because they feel like they are part of the team. This furthers the relationship and the trust creating a solid winning relationship.
Whether you are suffering from change fatigue or would like to share how you embrace change, send me an e-mail to email@example.com and let’s make it a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of http://www.candogo.com. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.