• Guest Author - Tyler​ ​Craig,​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​Conarc

4​ ​Keys​ ​to​ ​Managing​ ​Change​ ​Effectively


The​ ​landscape​ ​of​ ​business​ ​is​ ​changing​ ​rapidly.​ ​Surviving​ ​in​ ​this​ ​environment​ ​demands relentless​ ​adaptation.

There’s​ ​just​ ​one​ ​problem:​ ​most​ ​people​ ​are​ ​conflicted​ ​when​ ​it​ ​comes​ ​to​ ​change.

Crowds​ ​line​ ​up​ ​to​ ​get​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​smartphone.​ ​Foodies​ ​can’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​try​ ​a​ ​new​ ​restaurant.​ ​But these​ ​same​ ​enthusiasts​ ​resist​ ​embarking​ ​on​ ​a​ ​new​ ​diet​ ​or​ ​altering​ ​trivial​ ​parts​ ​of​ ​their​ ​daily routines​ ​-​ ​even​ ​when​ ​the​ ​benefits​ ​of​ ​change​ ​are​ ​obvious.

At​ ​Conarc,​ ​we​ ​encounter​ ​this​ ​ambivalence​ ​daily.​ ​Our​ ​clients​ ​sometimes​ ​hesitate​ ​to​ ​abandon familiarity​ ​and​ ​invest​ ​in​ ​a​ ​new​ ​and​ ​different​ ​way​ ​of​ ​doing​ ​things.

From​ ​our​ ​experience,​ ​we’ve​ ​discovered​ ​some​ ​important​ ​insights​ ​about​ ​change.​ ​Keep​ ​them in​ ​mind,​ ​and​ ​you’ll​ ​make​ ​it​ ​easier​ ​for​ ​those​ ​around​ ​you​ ​to​ ​accept​ ​transition.​ ​Neglect​ ​them, and​ ​you​ ​might​ ​discover​ ​how​ ​tenaciously​ ​people​ ​cling​ ​to​ ​habit.

1.​​ Change​ ​can’t​ ​be​ ​avoided.

Most​ ​institutions​ ​tend​ ​to​ ​approach​ ​change​ ​as​ ​disruption​ ​-​ ​something​ ​that​ ​alters​ ​the​ ​rhythms of​ ​business​ ​as​ ​usual.​ ​It’s​ ​an​ ​unpredictable​ ​part​ ​of​ ​life​ ​that​ ​must​ ​be​ ​confronted.​ ​There’s​ ​even a​ ​burgeoning​ ​subdiscipline​ ​of​ ​change​ ​management​ ​to​ ​help​ ​corporate​ ​leaders​ ​navigate​ ​new realities.

In​ ​fact,​ ​business​ ​as​ ​usual​ ​involves​ ​constant​ ​change.​ ​This​ ​shouldn’t​ ​surprise​ ​anyone.​ ​Nor​ ​is there​ ​a​ ​need​ ​for​ ​unique​ ​strategies​ ​to​ ​deal​ ​with​ ​it,​ ​if​ ​a​ ​business​ ​is​ ​healthy.​ ​“All​ ​management,” points​ ​out​ ​consulting​ ​guru​ ​​Robert​ ​Schaffer​,​ ​“is​ ​the​ ​management​ ​of​ ​change.”

On​ ​this​ ​view,​ ​change​ ​isn’t​ ​an​ ​interruption​ ​requiring​ ​special​ ​techniques​ ​to​ ​address;​ ​it’s​ ​part​ ​of daily​ ​operations.​ ​The​ ​more​ ​innovation,​ ​adaptation,​ ​and​ ​growth​ ​routines​ ​become​ ​fixtures in organizational​ ​culture,​ ​the​ ​easier​ ​it​ ​is​ ​to​ ​adjust​ ​to​ ​new​ ​developments.

2.​​ There​ ​are​ ​limits​ ​to​ ​how​ ​much​ ​change​ ​people​ ​can​ ​accept.

So,​ ​if​ ​the​ ​terrain​ ​around​ ​you​ ​is​ ​constantly​ ​shifting,​ ​you​ ​should​ ​just​ ​become​ ​a​ ​cheerleader​ ​for change,​ ​right?

Not​ ​so​ ​fast.​ ​There’s​ ​a​ ​reason​ ​change​ ​has​ ​the​ ​reputation​ ​for​ ​being​ ​hard:​ ​altering​ ​behaviors that​ ​have​ ​become​ ​second​ ​nature​ ​takes​ ​effort.​ ​Lots​ ​of​ ​it.​ ​There’s​ ​only​ ​so​ ​much​ ​people​ ​can handle​ ​at​ ​once.

If​ ​you’re​ ​trying​ ​to​ ​get​ ​people​ ​to​ ​move​ ​in​ ​a​ ​different​ ​direction,​ ​it’s​ ​best​ ​to​ ​break​ ​their​ ​journey into​ ​manageable​ ​stages.​ ​Start​ ​on​ ​familiar​ ​ground,​ ​highlighting​ ​the​ ​values​ ​and​ ​capacities​ ​for change​ ​your​ ​audience​ ​may​ ​already​ ​possess.​ ​Provide​ ​them​ ​with​ ​a​ ​clear​ ​path​ ​to​ ​follow. Celebrate​ ​any​ ​landmarks​ ​of​ ​progress​ ​along​ ​the​ ​way.​ ​Above​ ​all,​ ​keep​ ​them​ ​focused​ ​on​ ​the destination.

By​ ​doing​ ​this,​ ​you’ll​ ​help​ ​those​ ​around​ ​you​ ​gradually​ ​adjust​ ​to​ ​even​ ​the​ ​most​ ​sweeping changes​ ​without​ ​pushing​ ​them​ ​beyond​ ​their​ ​capacities.

By​ ​doing​ ​this,​ ​you’ll​ ​help​ ​those​ ​around​ ​you​ ​gradually​ ​adjust​ ​to​ ​even​ ​the​ ​most​ ​sweeping changes​ ​without​ ​pushing​ ​them​ ​beyond​ ​their​ ​capacities.

3.​​ Embracing​ ​change​ ​requires​ ​both​ ​hearts​ ​and​ ​minds.

In​ ​their​ ​invaluable​ ​study​ ​​Switch:​ ​How​ ​to​ ​Change​ ​Things​ ​When​ ​Change​ ​Is​ ​Hard​,​ ​Chip​ ​and​ ​Dan Heath​ ​chalk​ ​up​ ​ambivalence​ ​about​ ​change​ ​to​ ​the​ ​divided​ ​mind.​ ​Each​ ​individual​ ​operates partly​ ​by​ ​reason,​ ​partly​ ​by​ ​feeling.​ ​To​ ​adopt​ ​new​ ​behaviors,​ ​reason​ ​needs​ ​to​ ​be​ ​aligned​ ​with feeling.

Think​ ​about​ ​convincing​ ​someone​ ​to​ ​quit​ ​smoking.​ ​Simply​ ​ticking​ ​off​ ​the​ ​health​ ​risks associated​ ​with​ ​this​ ​behavior​ ​and​ ​listing​ ​the​ ​benefits​ ​of​ ​giving​ ​it​ ​up​ ​are​ ​rarely​ ​enough​ ​to overturn​ ​a​ ​long-standing​ ​habit.​ ​At​ ​the​ ​same​ ​time,​ ​playing​ ​to​ ​the​ ​emotions without discussing​ ​the​ ​advantages​ ​of​ ​a​ ​healthier​ ​lifestyle​ ​can​ ​come​ ​across​ ​as​ ​manipulative​ ​and browbeating.

A​ ​divided​ ​mind​ ​will​ ​rarely​ ​change.​ ​If​ ​you​ ​want​ ​to​ ​give​ ​people​ ​the​ ​best​ ​chance​ ​at​ ​doing things​ ​differently,​ ​help​ ​them​ ​reconcile​ ​their​ ​motives​ ​with​ ​their​ ​logic.

4.​​ Environment​ ​shapes​ ​acceptance.

Cognitive​ ​scientists​ ​have​ ​discovered​ ​that,​ ​in​ ​addition​ ​to​ ​the​ ​role​ ​habits​ ​and​ ​their​ ​perceived rewards​ ​create,​ ​environmental​ ​cues​ ​play​ ​a​ ​powerful​ ​role​ ​in​ ​conditioning​ ​behavior.

Business​ ​journalist​ ​​Charles​ ​Duhigg​​ ​uses​ ​the​ ​difference​ ​between​ ​being​ ​at​ ​home​ ​and​ ​being on​ ​vacation​ ​to​ ​illustrate​ ​how​ ​context​ ​promotes​ ​habit.​ ​At​ ​home,​ ​you​ ​get​ ​used​ ​to​ ​performing the​ ​same​ ​task​ ​the​ ​same​ ​way​ ​with​ ​little​ ​variation.​ ​You​ ​operate​ ​automatically​ ​because​ ​familiar surroundings​ ​nurture​ ​stability.​ ​But​ ​go​ ​on​ ​vacation,​ ​and​ ​you​ ​just​ ​might​ ​find​ ​yourself​ ​doing things​ ​differently,​ ​“because​ ​once​ ​the​ ​cues​ ​change,​ ​the​ ​patterns​ ​are​ ​broken​ ​up.”

Remember:​ ​focusing​ ​on​ ​patterns​ ​of​ ​behavior​ ​and​ ​the​ ​incentives​ ​they​ ​create​ ​won’t​ ​always​ ​be enough.​ ​Changing​ ​deeply-ingrained​ ​habits​ ​often​ ​requires​ ​changing​ ​the​ ​surrounding environment​ ​as​ ​well​ ​so​ ​the​ ​spell​ ​routine​ ​casts​ ​can​ ​be​ ​broken.

None​ ​of​ ​this​ ​makes​ ​change​ ​easy.​ ​But​ ​seeing​ ​change​ ​as​ ​normal,​ ​recognizing​ ​the​ ​limits​ ​of altering​ ​habit,​ ​aligning​ ​motivations​ ​with​ ​reasoning,​ ​and​ ​paying​ ​attention​ ​to​ ​how surroundings​ ​structure​ ​behavior​ ​will​ ​make​ ​it​ ​easier​ ​for​ ​you​ ​and​ ​your​ ​team​ ​to​ ​adapt.​ ​In today’s​ ​business​ ​environment,​ ​that​ ​could​ ​mean​ ​the​ ​difference​ ​between​ ​struggle​ ​and success.

--

Tyler​ ​Craig​ ​is​ ​CEO​ ​of​ ​​Conarc​,​ ​a​ ​provider​ ​that​ ​designs​ ​and​ ​develops​ ​the​ ​iChannel​ ​solution​ ​for businesses’​ ​document,​ ​data,​ ​relationship,​ ​and​ ​workflow​ ​management.​ ​A​ ​passionate​ ​advocate of​ ​innovation,​ ​Tyler​ ​spent​ ​time​ ​in​ ​both​ ​the​ ​aerospace​ ​and​ ​IT​ ​industries​ ​before​ ​taking​ ​the​ ​helm​ ​of Conarc​ ​in​ ​2016.

Need more details?

We are here to assist. 

Contact Us        Services       CPE Information     Make A Payment

© 2020 by Boomer Consulting, Inc. All rights reserved

Overland Park, Kansas

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Twitter Icon
  • Black LinkedIn Icon

Created by Boomer Consulting, Inc.