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Leading Organizational Change Inside Out

In today's fast-paced world, change is inevitable, especially for organizations facing technological advances, shifting consumer behavior, and other unpredictable events. To stay competitive, organizations must adapt, requiring all employees to participate in this transformation.

In this article, we’ll dig into how external company changes affect individuals, understand why change is inevitable, and help you form your roadmap to lead organizational change inside out.

Lead through organizational change
Why Change is Inevitable

There are four main reasons why change is fundamental within organizations:

  • Survival: Organizations, like living organisms, must evolve to survive.

  • Innovation: Staying current with market trends positions organizations as visionary leaders.

  • Competence: Organizations that adapt to develop competitive advantages stay ahead of the curve.

  • Sustainability: Companies that avoid change will struggle to sustain long-term growth and project high-quality development.

Understanding the Change Cycle

Leading through change involves understanding the overall cycles within organizations, but also identifying how employees navigate these changes. When combined, the ADKAR Change Model and the Kubler-Ross Change Curve can offer insights into both collective and individual experiences of change.

Change from the Organization’s Perspective: The ADKAR Change Model

The ADKAR model provides a holistic view of organizational change through its stages:

  • Awareness: Recognizing the need for change and identifying opportunities for innovation.

  • Desire: Building excitement and encouraging the team with a strategic communication plan.

  • Knowledge: Training the team and explaining the steps necessary to implement change.

  • Ability: Applying the knowledge and training to alter old behavior patterns.

  • Reinforcement: Ensuring the change is maintained, such as verifying the use of a new system.

How Employees Perceive Change: The Kubler-Ross Change Curve

Understanding individual responses to change is crucial. The Kubler-Ross Change Curve, inspired by the stages of grief, outlines these phases:

  1. Denial: Resistance to change, often occurring during the awareness phase.

  2. Anger: Frustration and complaints about the change.

  3. Bargaining: Attempts to negotiate the implementation of change once it is seen as inevitable.

  4. Depression: Low energy levels and discomfort as employees adjust.

  5. Acceptance: Acknowledgment of change, typically during the training phase.

  6. Commitment: Full implementation of the change in daily activities.

Navigating organizational change requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both macro and micro levels of transformation. By understanding why change is inevitable, leaders can emphasize its importance. Combining models like ADKAR and the Kubler-Ross Change Curve aids in managing change from both organizational and individual perspectives. Embracing these frameworks fosters a culture of adaptability, ensuring that all employees are equipped to handle transitions effectively and thoroughly.

Find more about Micaela Di Julio here.

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