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Jul 5Dave Sheehan

Random Thoughts on Stress and Change

Jul 5Dave Sheehan
Picture Of Stressed Woman Holding Her Head

I normally look for current articles that are of interest, and add some thoughts for my blogs. Today I have chosen to free-lance my content based on experience that I have gathered along the way. My subject of interest is stress and change …what do they have in common? I have observed that stress for a person has similar characteristics as change for an organization.

Often times we see people attempting to eliminate stress from their lives and resist change in an organization. The simple truth is that the absence of stress for an individual equates to death and in comparison, the absence of change for an organization leads to eventual demise. Base on the outcome of both efforts, it is not logical for any of us to adopt the concept of eliminating stress or resisting the need for change in our organization.

So what am I suggesting? Embrace the idea of managing both processes. With stress, even good events in our life can be stressful. Promotions, weddings, and new homes are all positives in one’s life, but if endured at the same time can be overwhelming. The attached link provides a brief recap on managing stress.

http://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/6-easy-ways-to-reduce-stress.html

For me, organizational change can be more difficult to manage. Given that it usually requires acceptance from several people with competing agendas, the nature of the process is challenging by design. To simplify my approach, I break it down into the three steps. First, to get buy-in, it is important to address the intellectual appeal for change. I refer to this as the training phase. If after getting everyone trained on the reason to change and there is intellectual buy-in, you can move to the second phase of the process; changing assumptions. The most challenging assumption that needs to change, is for everyone to recognize “they” need to change, not everyone but them. Now that you have successfully changed the intellect and assumptions that need change, we are ready for the third (and most challenging) phase. We need to change behavior. This is where most initiatives fail. Time and money are spent on driving for improvement, but too often there are little or no consequences for not changing our behavior. Rather than address the breakdown with execution, we allow people to dismiss it as a bad idea. I content that failure to achieve desired change is most often poor and ineffective execution. and not the implementation of a flawed idea.

In closing, I would suggest that people behave in accordance with how they are measured. If you are planning to be successful with organizational changes, you will need to make changes to what gets measured

photo credit: Migraine Day via photopin (license)

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