I’m experiencing something interesting working with the full spectrum of Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers, and Millenials all mushed up into a thing called work. It seems that with each new generation entering the workforce, the expectations of how fast things have to happen gets faster.

…Not to be blame on the Millenials themselves, but more so perhaps on the pace at which technology innovation has evolved and improved over the past 20 years. With the pace of technology (all of which accutely impacts our personal lives) evolving so quickly, why wouldn’t those expectations bleed into the business world? Seems reasonable.

The problem here is that the business world is often weighed down by some combination of legacy systems, legacy processes, legacy ideas, and fear of change. Your company’s exact mix is dependent on decisions that were made by your predecessors as well as your co-workers today and what happened in their past lives.

In my opinion, the biggest risk to your company’s ability to evolve and meet the modern expectations of your customers as well as nurture ideation internally is this – fear of change and fear of loss.

It’s an interesting and useful exercise to discuss since everyone will have to deal with it eventually, whether you are on the delivering or receiving end of the feedback chain. So I ask you – how have you managed and encouraged change management around these fears when the pace of change on the customer expectation front is ever increasing in velocity?

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  1. For a successful change, you have to communicate, communicate and… communicate!!!

    But why? Even for the better, changing means getting out of the routine, sometimes getting out of a comfort zone and adapting to a new environment / new context, which obviously requires a minimum of flexibility to the person experiencing the change.

    In 2002 Miller and Rollnick attributes the resistance to change to 4 possible reasons:
    1. the lack of vision regarding the negative consequences of not changing
    (eg: What will happen if I do not stop eating pizza every evening? Have I been told that I may die from a heart attack in the next 10 years due to my overweight?)
    2. the benefit of not changing
    (eg: I can still enjoy my pizza-party friend every Friday and get this extra-pleasure to kick the week-end)
    3. the lack of vision about the benefit of changing
    (eg: Is there a benefit? I don’t know, I’ve been eating pizza every evening for the past 10 years and I’m happy like that! Why changing? Has everybody explained my I can win back 10 years of my life by changing this habit now?)
    4. the adequation between the change hurdles and obstacles and the available resources for changing.
    (eg: will I get support by my family and friends in this challenge or am I on my own? Can I tackle this case on my own?)

    From experience, communicating on the 4 above points at every stage of the change will help you to make it easier.

    While communicating, make sure to answer the question “so what?” as well. Indeed you need to make clear what the change will personally bring to the person experiencing it. Else, believe me, you will soon face the question: “why should I change?”

    Not only you should over-communicate but it is also key to engage directly your peers, managers and teams directly by asking to share their concerns and ideas around those 4 points. (Being involved on building the future makes things normally much more exciting for everybody…)

    As a final note; make sure to identify “quick wins” while implementing your change and act on those first. Keep in mind that there is nothing better than success in getting a change accepted…

    I hope this helps!!! (I have somewhere a draft post on that topic…)


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