We all form attachments. At an early age, we become attached to physical objects, like a favourite toy or a blanket, as well as forming bonds with our family. As adults, we form attachments to all sorts of people, ideas and things, from a sports teams to a favourite jacket. At work, we may form a whole host of attachments – to our colleagues, our customers, our profession, our work space, our mobile phones or simply to the way we do things around here.
When change comes along, some attachments will inevitably be lost or weakened. This is an uncomfortable feeling and one that gives people good reason to oppose or avoid change. There is a strong temptation to keep on doing things in the way we always have done them.
To overcome this difficulty, we first need to bring the issue out into the open. Helping people to understand and discuss what they will lose, keep or gain through a given change is a great starting point as is ensures that they have a chance to voice their concerns in the open and to explore the scale of the issues, and how they can be mitigated. Sweeping things under the carpet is a bad option as is just causes hidden anxiety and potential resentment.
Once losses have been recognised and, where possible, mitigated you can then work on letting go of old attachments and begin to move forward. This can be achieved through ceremonial activity, such as publicly shredding the old procedure documents once new procedures have been brought into play…
For more on this see www.5forcesofchange.com