Fear of change – is it holding business back?

Prashanta Mishra (Country Manager India & APAC) works with a range of international clients of all sizes. Some have an inherent fear of change; in this blog he shares his experiences of how he helps ardent clients overcome their fears.

All authentic change goes through four stages:

1) Anticipation – the exciting stage of change where we anticipate the benefits and make our transformational plans

2) Regression – when things get worse before they get better

3) Breakthrough – seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel

4) Consolidation – turning the benefits of change into business as usual

Understanding these changes and predicting them, helps all business manage the process of change more effectively and efficiently. If a business anticipates the issues it is better equipped to manage them. There are key behaviours that help a business leadership team manage change internally.

Be compassionate.

Build a bottom up consensus: Implementing change today relies on building bottom up consensus rather than top down executive force.

Have a plan for getting initial buy-in: Make sure the plan or proposal takes into account all the legitimate concerns and potential dangers surrounding change.

Minimize risks : Find a department or project to act as a test environment on where the variables are controllable, the investment is reduced, and results are easily measured. Keep “rebooting” if necessary until the team “get it right” then let the success of the experiment become contagious. Other departments will start saying: “Who are those guys? How can we get results like that?”

Measure results with hard data: This is critical: If results cannot be measured don’t expect understanding from anyone. No-one cares how theoretically “worthwhile” the transformation is, it is imperative to link efforts to the mission of the company.

Feedback: Make sure you there is a good reporting process in place before starting the project. Use this reporting process to give everyone the positive feedback needed to keep the faith when things get challenging.