Friday, April 3, 2009

Change & the “Inclusivity Factor”

Anyone involved in the world of managing or directing anything can appreciate how difficult effecting change can be. Think about it. This, in the ordinary events of life, affects all of us. If you’re a parent, you deal with change. Families change most. If you’re a son or daughter, you’ve definitely been impacted both positively and negatively by change.

The simple fact is change, whilst being inevitable in all areas of life, makes us insular, as we recoil from the personal impact the change requires of us. Even if we look at the Change Curve (which is somewhat reminiscent of the Kuhbler-Ross 5-stage grieving process) most of the initial impact of change is negative. Even for the person ‘installing’ the change, insularity is common.

Change management is a real science and has been for many years now. It’s so peculiar in that it’s such a difficult, enigmatic science to master--it could also be considered an art.

So, we have a situation of change, any change, but particularly a poor change. We can view the overall change--something new introduced--as a continuum where people sit in various positions from the person directly introducing the change at one end to the people the change is ‘done to’ at the other.

Picture both ends of this continuum--the extremes of a long line involving all people affected by the change--where insularity becomes especially marked. Again, both the people making the change and those most affected by the change will typically both be passionate, one positively, the other, negatively.

It seems to me that the most important thing in change is having an intimate awareness of the effects and potential effects on all stakeholders. If we’re cognisant of the impact the change is having on others, we’ll naturally become less insular. This applies to both the proponent and the detractor, though we can expect less interest from the latter.

The ultimate position here, if we make the time, is to imagine the impact on each and every person--each unique being with their own distinctive perception on the matter at hand--and attempt to cater for each one.

If we apply this focus, chances are our best effort will be more than good enough provided we have the resources and time to act on what we’ve defined the issues to be.

The end goal in change is to identify and reject insularity and be other-centred i.e. to be inclusive. This will assist change remarkably, and make the transition possibly even enjoyable (if that’s possible).

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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