For those that have read some of my previous change management articles, or have studied John Kotter’s writings, then you will know that urgency is key to success. Martin Webster sums it up very well in his recent article ‘Sense of Urgency’.
Martin highlights some key factors that impact change and their connection to urgency, one aspect is the stages of stage: denial, resistance, exploration, commitment – which some of you may recognise from the bereavement curve.
“Leaders need to understand what needs to be done to move people on. The different stages of change—denial, resistance, exploration, commitment—all require different strategies. At the denial stage you need to engage with all of your stakeholders in order to explain your vision and how you intend to carry out the strategy. Balance urgency with the need to allow enough time to explain this information and decide what action to take.
When you reach the resistance stage accept it and respond with encouragement and influence. Focus on the big picture and the benefits change brings—take time to listen to what people have to say and gauge how they feel.
When the inevitability of change is gradually accepted—exploration—communicate your plan, set priorities and put in place training and other supporting frameworks.
By the time you reach the commitment stage people will see that the change can work and will be moving forward. This is the time to concentrate on team building, setting objectives, and recognising or rewarding team and individual contributions.”
Wise advice on how to balance the need for urgency against the different stages of the change.
To read the full article go to Martin Webster’s blog, Leadership Thoughts.
Change Management (Part 1) – Cracking the Code of Change
Change Management (Part 2) – Step Models of Change
Change Management (Part 3a) – Change Capability
Change Management (Part 3b) – Success with IT Change
Change Management – What’s in a Name?
Why are IT projects Change Management time bombs?
The Importance of Change Leadership – Beyond “Step Models of Change”