May 09 2013
Managing and leading through change

Seven dynamics of change and the role of leadership and management:

Dynamic One
People will feel awkward, ill-at-ease and self-conscious
Role of leadership and management:
Support people through the uncertainty and unease by explaining the process of the change and the rationale for it. Take time to talk about what the change will mean, communicate the direction and the vision and involve and encourage people to approach you with questions and worries.

Dynamic Two
People will think first about what they will have to give up
Role of leadership and management:
Recognise that people need to be allowed to mourn for the way things were, or for what they are leaving behind. This is often true even when what they are leaving behind is inferior. In practice this means that people need time to let go in order to move forward and it there could be a reluctance to leave what they know. This is a normal and healthy part of the change process. It is the denial of this part of the process by management that can lead to problems.

Dynamic Three
People will feel alone, even if everyone is going through change
Role of leadership and management:
Encourage peer support. Encourage people to look outwards for support form others in their lives. Provide effective support and supervision throughout the process and encourage people to talk.

Dynamic Four
People can only handle so much change
Role of leadership and management:
Change is most effective and sustainable when it is introduced incrementally. Small steps lead to big changes. Where possible, people will need to know when they can expect the change to stop

Dynamic Five
People are at different levels of readiness for change
Role of leadership and management:
Individuals will react differently. Some of them will cope better with change than others.
You will need to assess your staff and provide clarity and reassurance as appropriate. Fear of change and the insecurities this provokes is not a weakness and it is important to avoid ‘labelling' people or scapegoating them.

Dynamic Six
People will be concerned that they don't have enough resources
Role of leadership and management:
Here your role is to encourage creative problem solving. Also, provide reassurance and morale boosting to individuals and to the group as a whole.

Dynamic Seven
If you take the pressure off, people will revert back to old behaviour
Role of leadership and management:
It is hard to bring about sustainable change. You will need to actively reinforce the change for some good while until it becomes accepted as the norm.

This article is taken from the Centre's published book Management and leadership. This book, which is aimed at middle to senior level managers, looks into communication, strategy, negotiation and the art of management to develop your management and leadership skills. Available to buy online for only £12.99 (plus p&p).

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