This morning I attended a session at the CIPD conference where HRD’s shared their experiences of organisational transformation.
One of those terms that sounds more fancy than it needs to.
Change is all it is.
A constant presence in all of the aspects of our lives.
Nothing stays the same.
I’m not going all VUCA on you. This isn’t about the so-called changing world that we live in or the digital world and all that future of work stuff, it is just life stuff.
When I hear people talk about change at work we often start from the premise that change is hard. Challenging.
Filled with emotion.
Emotion is always present. But which one?
My experience tells me that there is no linear path. You can’t map it on a curve, and you certainly can’t predict how people will react when they hear the whatever it is.
We all experience it differently. I have long given up trying to predict what someone will say or do when you sit down with them face to face whilst wearing your HR hat.
What I do know is this: Change is hard.
Sometimes it is other stuff too.
Necessary. Cathartic. Liberating. Exciting. Frightening.
Sometimes it is long overdue. A relief. Something to be thankful for.
When it comes to organisational change there are no magic wands or silver bullets. What is needed isn’t all that difficult.
Good and frequent communication. A human approach. Creating the vision of the future. A clear explanation of why and what and when. Ownership and responsibility. Help with the emotional stuff for those that need it. Quickly addressing the hygiene stuff. Answering the questions that are asked with transparency and speed. Honesty about what is known and not known. For HR specifically; the need to be present, visible, available.
We need too a recognition that change doesn’t always mean something negative. If we approach it as such then this is the reality we may create. There will always be emotion to play out, this is just how it is.
But remember that change, whatever it is, might just be the best thing that could have happened, for the individual or for the organisation.