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M & M Associates
by Matt Minahan
Funny thing about change. It always looks good on paper, but when it gets into the hands of real people to implement, somehow, something, and sometimes, everything goes wrong. Often, leaders and CEOs blame the staff for being lazy or resistant to change, saying, "They just don't get it." And often, they're right. But why? Why don't the worker bees "get it," when it's so clear and simple to those at the top?
Most often, the problem is not with the lazy or resistant staff, or even the HR staff who collude to maintain the status quo. Most often, the problem has more to do with the change plan itself. No doubt, it covers the new strategy and organizational structures of the change; it might even identify key leaders in the new scenario. But most often, it is missing any consideration of how people respond to change, and without that, even the best designs are going to encounter trouble.
William Bridges has been thinking and writing about this for years. In "Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes -- Strategies for Coping with the Difficult, Painful, and Confusing Times in Your Life" (1980), he outlines three stages that occur during times of transition: