September 13, 2009

Change management is resistance management. Most change management programs fail not because people don't see merit in them but because people fear about the impact of change on their lives and put up resistance.

The first and the foremost job of a leader leading a change program is to communicate and generate confidence. There is a catch here. If the communication is focused at the group, chances of eliminating resistance is low. Communication has to be at an individual level to assuage fear, explain the change, its positive impact on the individual, and sell the concept to bring the individual on the board!

Human nature is such that majority of people think about their own welfare before they think about their group or organization. Only when welfare of self is achieved do they think of welfare of others. A leader of a change management program has to keep this in mind. If he wants the change program to succeed, he has to take change management to individual level to win confidence and participation.

Once an individual is convinced about the merits of a change program, not only will he overwhelmingly participate in it but will also sell its virtues to others in his peer group. A positive word of mouth can go a long way in helping a change program succeed. While a negative word of mouth can simply halt it.

The mantra to successfully lead change management is to engage the people at an individual level so that the change actually flows from the bottom up which is owned by the people themselves. Any thing forced is likely to be stalled with even greater force!

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