Managing Change

Change can be big or small, significant or insignificant. People react to change in a variety of ways and may go through different emotions as the change takes place.

In order to support and manage people through periods of change within an organisation it is important to understand the ‘change cycle’ and the corresponding emotions that people can go through.

Changes you have experienced

To understand how others react to change it is useful to think about how you cope with change.

Personal Changes

Think about some of the changes you have experienced in your life:

  • Moving house
  • New job
  • Marriage
  • Leaving home
  • Redundancy

Organisational Changes

People often think organizational changes involve large changes, e.g.: re-structuring, personnel changes, introduction of new systems. However, small scale changes within organisations can also have an impact on people’s morale and performance:

  • A new Team Leader
  • New team colleague
  • An office move
  • New responsibilities
  • Moving desks
  • New processes
  • New systems

Change management is not linear – we are talking about human behaviour. Just like people are both rationally and emotionally engaged, they react both rationally and emotionally to change.

Good managers look ahead; anticipate the change and so managing change becomes part of what they do. It’s not just something we do when a big initiative comes along. They will adapt and respond quickly and efficiently.