Aligning Organisational Change With The Personal Transitions

by Stephen Warrilow

I recently received this question:

"What I am currently struggling with is transition management within change management .

Change management touches aspects internally and externally. However research shows that it takes much longer for people to transition internally than to change.

Any thoughts?"

My response:

I agree that it's relatively easy for the directors of an organisation to dream up a "vision", "big idea" or "new direction", and to then announce it without paying much (if any) attention to the human side of the change.

It happens all too often - which is largely why the failure rate remains so high. In these circumstances, the internal emotional and psychological transitions do appear to take longer than the external organisational changes.

However, in my view, this apparent "time lag" or "dis-connect " is in fact largely an illusion as no organisation successfully completes a change AND realises all of the envisaged benefits UNTIL the people have transitioned.

Successful organisational change (where the envisaged benefits are fully realised) is inextricably tied to the people-side.

In my view, successful organisation change (inc the human transitions) is largely dependent on leadership that recognises and addresses the emotional dimension.

However in the current climate the rate of change is outstripping many (most?) organisations' (and their leaders') capacity to deal with it (ref John Kotter).

The only way forward in this environment is with "change ready" cultures, and this is a consequence of leaders who involve the people from the outset - and then all the way through the change.

When this happens people are better equipped and positioned to deal with their personal transitions - because they're empowered and involved.

See:- Leadership Qualities

This theme of a "people-centric" approach to change is the dominant theme of this site.

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