20 benefits of change

Leadership Blog  |  4 minute read

Gemma Toner

Written by Gemma Toner

20 benefits of change

Change is a constant. It’s a fact. It’s always happening, we can’t stop it. And we do try to prepare people for it. As leaders we understand the impact that it can have, so we announce it as far in advance as we can to make sure everyone is aware, and we remind them at regular intervals that change is on it's way. We have meetings about it. Send emails about it. Make sure it's present in our conversation. Yet despite these measures, in many organisations we can often experience strong resistance to change. If you happen to be one of the people in your workplace directly responsible for creating or ‘managing’ change, that can be a very frustrating thing.

 

I don't want to change!

Resistance can often be manifested in anger, denial, opposition or depression. All of these are difficult to deal with and are regarded as unhelpful states of being if we are looking to change things in our organisation. The thing is, we know why change is a good idea! We often have a direct insight into why it’s necessary for future success, or to survive a tough patch in operations.  Other people? Not so much. They know it's coming - we've done a great job of signposting it, but they don't always know why. Even if we think we've told them! They can also feel as if they are not part of the change, so much as at the affect of it. So they make up unhelpful stories about the change, fueled by the concerns they have around it - that’s why they resist.

 

Resistance is futile. Or is it?

So, what if we looked at resistance in a different way? If we decided that, because of this, resistance is actually normal, ok and to be expected? That resistance is just happens as a result of the fact that there is something missing for some people.And it presents an opportunity for us, as leaders, to enroll people in change.

 

It's good to talk.

Conventionally when organizations undertake change, they transmit the information they think people need to have. They are the surprised when people are unhappy. When it all boils down, what’s missing is just a bit of information they still don’t have. In the simplest terms, all that is usually required is a conversation that helps people understand the motivation for and clear benefits of the change. You see humans conventionally like things to stay just the way they are, unless they can see a real need for change. So if, from their point of view, things have been ticking along just fine up to now, they may not immediately see the reason to do anything differently. They may feel excluded and vulnerable. And they may be afraid because of what they don't know.

 

Missings can create fear

If we are truthful, there is always an element of concern or even fear that goes along with change. Especially when we don’t have the full picture. There can be fear of failure. A fear of loss. A feeling of pressure to adapt and a fear that we may not be able to. An unsettled feeling because of the uncertainty around the outcome of change -  concern about not being able to predict the future.

 

What’s missing in words…

As a leader and a manager of people, we know that it’s part of our job not just to set a strategic direction, but to be able to show not only the reason for change, but the benefits of the change that is coming and how people are involved in these, rather than just impacted by them.

If you’re struggling to find words that encapsulate the benefits of creating change, have a look at this list and see if any of these reflect what you want to achieve:

  1. More agile decision making
  2. Talent development
  3. Skills uplift
  4. Promotion of helpful behaviors
  5. Culture shift
  6. Opportunities for growth
  7. Increased resilience
  8. Better communication
  9. Breakthroughs in innovation
  10. Enhanced trust
  11. Empowered workforce
  12. Better ways of working
  13. Increased collaboration
  14.  Improvement of morale
  15. Possibilities of promotion
  16. Increased profit
  17. Higher performing teams
  18. Opportunities for reward and recognition
  19. Inclusiveness
  20. Increased profit

There are many, many more!

But perhaps the most significant of these benefits is that change, if done well, encourages new ways of thinking - once people understand why change must come and are involved in the conversation around how to make it happen, they can also see that the unhelpful stories they may have constructed around the change are just that. Stories.

From this point, even if the size of the change presents a real challenge, people will find it easier and perhaps even exciting to get involved with the change and contribute to it, becoming change agents, committed to success rather than change blockers that resist it.

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