2 Roadblocks to Kick Start Change
Over the last few weeks I have run into so many people struggling to either initiate a change or maintain one. People’s struggles with change range from implementing a new system at work to adopting a new regimen of diet and daily exercise in their personal lives. Those responsible for initiating change will see changes fall to the wayside without addressing two important levels of concern. What are the roadblocks preventing people from initiating and maintaining change?
The first obstacle for change is a matter of explaining all informational concerns centered on the change. The old popular saying, “If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” often resonates with most people since they do not see what benefits the change will bring. People are creatures of habit and in order to break those habits a clear persuasive purpose for the change needs to be explained. Early adopters can be developed when people see a clear picture of what the change looks like, how it is implemented, and what impact it will have on the company or the longevity of their life. The leaders initiating a change can gain trust and respect through full disclosure of all informational reasons for the change and what outcomes they hope to see from it.
The second obstacle holding up a change (and most common) is a matter of personal concerns. People want to know how they will be involved in the change and what demands will be placed on their everyday work schedule. Two common questions that pop up are “Will I have enough time?” and “Am I capable of executing the change?”. Without these questions immediately being addressed the change will fail. People will push their tasks involved in the change to the bottom of their priority lists and procrastinate with the fear of failure.
“Tipping Point” to Change Adaptation
In an organization, a change leader must find the people who are most susceptible to become early adopters of the change. Once these people are identified, and their informational and personal concerns are addressed, they can be dispersed throughout the organization to advocate for the change. This method is especially critical for company-wide change in larger corporations. One person is not as strong as a team of people, who share a common vision and purpose.
As for individuals, changing eating habits or daily exercise routines are great personal challenges that are often difficult to tackle alone. Human beings are naturally social beings. People thrive to connect and find comfort being included with others who share common interests. Changing ones way of living is incredibly difficult when approaching it alone. People should find a support group through their family and friends to help progress through their life change, when it seems too difficult. Collaborating with others and seeking their feedback, helps to reemphasize the purpose for the change and could surface new ideas on how to implement it.
“Most of us are about as eager to be changed as we were to be born, and go through our changes in a similar state of shock.”
– James Baldwin