It’s always about why, what, when, how and who! I feel the world is moving around these ‘Wh’ words. Be the unlimited hidden answers or secrets to sit on the lap of luxury, the answers to everything is right here within these questions. If not discovered, it’s like a treasure you are leaving for someone else to discover? I believe we wouldn’t want that.
In simple words, why do the barriers exist? There could be many answers to this. However, I trust the best answer is "People". After all, we are the most complex species, responsible or involved with just about everything in this world, including "Changes". Our behavior, approach, beliefs (genuine or fanciful), values (good or bad), Vision, dreams - each one of these elements affect change in any group or container. And nothing can become known without our support, interest and choice.
We all know some of the answers somehow, yet don't give careful consideration. Before going into organizational perspective, how about we find more on individual premise.
Personally, the change manifestation takes a toll on the human psyche. People can change. Yes, they really do change. I have absolute trust on this. But change is not easy, not at all. So does that mean we should say our “Goodbyes” since we don’t like the things that are NOT Easy and have No Shortcuts? In scenarios like this, I mostly recommend to myself “Let’s go for the Change.” I have many crazy, freaky reasons behind my choice. But the main purpose would be the fear of being stagnant.
Short time seems too long. A long period passes by, yet nothing changes. People move forward, gain something, live life. What are you living for? The everyday’s routine doesn’t make you feel anything. In some years, you realize -- even if I stop what I am doing, it doesn’t put much impact on my life or the lives of people around me. So, for what reasons have I been playing this unsatisfied “Not Heroic” character until now?
Let’s consider a group of people named William, Marianne, Ermine (took the initials my favorite TV characters :-)) Have a look on the dialogues to know how people really react when a change is declared.
William: No way! I am happy as long as I am getting a stable income in doing the same thing years after years. Why to bother for something so new and troublesome.
Ermine: This is a great plan but I don’t think it’s achievable. At least, not by us. I mean, we are not ready for this. If we try implementing and it fails, won’t I lose my job? Or won’t I lose my influence?
Marianne: The higher-ups just push anything. They have no idea how difficult it is to fulfill the expectations. And I have no confidence in learning something new and implementing. Will I able to do it? Does it have a good impact on my future? How will it enhance my values in my organization?
There are many other things but main ingredients of “Threat” is negligence, self-interest, and doubt (lack of trust). The scenarios are very natural, can be seen in any organization. There are different types of people and their form of fears are different:
As I have mentioned, everyone has hesitance in sacrificing to get something that is most likely to be unknown. This temperamental and faulty mentality emerges the long negative emotions. And most people try to maintain a strategic distance from the things that cause insecurity. Insecurity triggers the search of excuses, escapes, and denials to refuse the truth. In organizations, the people being in this mindset often ignore things. They act like there are no problems. Everything is going admirably and there was no conversation happened regarding a “Change”. When they are constrained, they put their insignificant endeavors on the work accomplishment. Which is why change fails.
Social exposure or Communication is a vital part of “Transforming Enterprise”. But being used in the wrong direction, it can be fatal. A single word has the ability to impact our physical mind and subconscious emotions. It can put influence do anything, yet a negative word coming out of mouth can also bring the calamities in action. That’s why a person’s social gathering matters a lot. Because he/she can get affected by other’s views. The matter becomes worse if more than average in a group believe on the disbeliefs and unconsciously try to put others on the same page.
In many, the past never dies. In professional or personal space, some people bear the strong scar being defeated by a change. When any new thing is introduced, these people show the most rejections. They can’t help it. Bad past experiences, speeds up the human psychology deterioration. The real disturbing thing is, these encounters eat self-confidence and disable most human abilities to cope with the changes.
It’s tragic. Nothing seems to be more dangerous than this. So when and how can we prevent this? In my coming blog (How to make your organization ready for Transformation??), let’s shift into more organizational context and see who can actually remove transformational barriers in organizations with shared cultures.