Learn why creating external change is different than internal adoption. It's easy to make change happen externally. It's much more challenging to inspire the internal personal transition that is required for lasting change.
- What I've observed is that most leaders have a higher tolerance for change. In fact, they thrive on making change. What they don't understand is there are two types of change, external, deciding to make a change, and internal, what each person goes through to accept or adopt a change. So let's talk about the difference between what happens externally versus internally during change. Imagine that you were part of Zappos when they announced they were making an organizational change.
They implemented a self-management system known as Holacracy and got rid of all manager roles. This is the external part. The change, which is that you are not a manager with a team, you are a lead link who oversees circles, happens whether you're ready for it or not. The internal change is your response and adjustment to the external change. Back to the Zappos example. Are you ready to give up your manager position? Do you understand how to work in this new way? You feel uncertain, but you decide to stay.
That is the start of your change process. The objective of change management is to address the internal transition process. It's about helping each individual impacted by the change deal with it for him or herself. And remember, the way people deal with change is unique. Your responsibility as a manager is to help them through the process. You can do that by asking questions and then taking time to listen deeply. Here are five questions you can use to check in with your team about their change process.
One, is there anything confusing or unclear about the change that I can help you better understand? Two, what will this change take away from your work? What does the change add to your work? Three, how do you see this change supporting our values and our strategy? Four, on a scale of one to 10, how agreeable are you to this change? And five, what needs to happen to increase that number? If you wanna learn more about the internal and external change process, I recommend Making Sense of Life's Changes by William Bridges.
Externally, change can happen quickly. Internally, making peace with a change and working through the internal transition takes time. Making time for transition is essential to every successful change.
- Internal vs. external change
- Change saturation
- Encouraging change
- Reinforcing and rewarding change
- Dealing with resistance
- Using the MOVE model
- Communicating change