“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”, wrote Victor Frankl ,the philosopher, Holocaust survivor, and author of Man’s Search for Meaning.
But changing who we are is enormously challenging and something we resist instinctively. Our habits, possessions, appearance, possessions, relationships, beliefs and values are who we are. They distinguish us from others. It’s no wonder we have an impulse to resist change when it threatens out very identity.
In previous articles, I have discuss how changing our mindset allows us to alter deep-rooted habits and behaviours, yielding a step change in results. Part of the difficulty in doing this is challenge of leaving the old relationships, practices, interests and beliefs behind us. It feels like we are leaving a part of ourselves behind, and so the desire to maintain the status quo runs deep.
One of the keys to success in organisational change is to get everything out on the table collective, by identify publicly discuss what we will Keep, Lose and Gain in the process of making significant change. Bringing our sense of loss into the daylight means recognizing and acknowledging it rather than sweeping it under the carpet – out of sight, but not out of mind. A little daylight can also diminish the scale of the loss and magnify the gains.
Finally, we can use ceremony to draw a line in the sand to help us jump into a new world without regressing back to our old habits.
For more on leading people through change, see the ‘The Leading Successful Change‘ eLearning course or the two books: ‘The 5 Forces of Change – a blueprint for leading successful change’ and ‘5 Tales of Change – how people have wrestled with change and one’, available in paperback and Kindle editions.