How to Get Ahead of the Change Curve

People dread change for a variety of reasons. Mostly, it’s fear of the unknown that draws people to stick to current processes. The mistake managers often make is viewing change as an end goal instead of a process. Pearl Zhu of calls this process the change curve, and the downward slope of this curve often impacts productivity.

Zhu says the first step in flattening the change curve is understanding it. Is the resistance coming from individuals or is it the result of a group mentality? Does the problem perhaps lie with the organization itself and its corporate culture? Also, keep in mind that change is a multi-step process. It’s not just about what you do, but also how you do it.

Finally, focus on people. Feeling valued fuels productivity. Likewise emotions are very important as change is a personal thing. Before telling someone what is going to change, advise them on what is going to stay the same. People will be more agreeable if you don’t completely remove them from their comfort zones. Remember that change might come as a curve, but you can use the ups and downs to gain momentum.  

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