To accomplish successful change requires an ability to manage the dynamics and tensions that are a natural part of the process. This involves interplay between a range of factors – past, present and future – including:
The expectations of people based on their past experiences of change
The impact of present demands on resources and the capacity to undergo change
The level of agreement with the change
The level of confidence in leaders to successfully navigate the path from the present to future state
Peoples’ perceptions about
- the impact of change
- their confidence in the way change is being managed, and
- their sense of self-competence about change
have a contagion effect that ultimately determines the direction any change initiative will take.
Managers need to be mindful of their own subjective experience as well as be able to anticipate, recognize and respond to the experience and reactions of others. Ignoring or misinterpreting these factors can result in managers operating “in the dark”, forming inaccurate conclusions about the progress of change.
Leaders of change need to be able to:
o Understand what is important and what to look for
o Apply problem-focused strategies that address the real issues
o Adopt an insight-based, flexible approach to managing change