How to implement change with your team

Case Study: Change Management

“I don’t know how to tell my team to change” and “I don’t know how to implement change with my team” were both comments on a recent Change Management training course at STL

By the end of the day they were much more positive and confident. What helped?

As often happens on this course, one of the oldest, most tried and tested change tools which still always makes sense, helped them to understand things differently.

The name of this model? The change curve.

If you are not so sure what this is, here is one easy to watch, short and amusing way to get familiar – it’s Homer Simpson going through all the steps

The change curve is sometimes known as the Kubler-Ross curve. Initially it related to the stages of grief following bereavement before it became known in a wider context.

And here’s the thing; One person’s change can be another person’s loss.

When we introduce (impose) change on our team, although we might see the benefit or the advantages, initially, for your team, it can just feel like they are losing. It’s not a gain for them at all. And often, we don’t realise this, or pretend it’s not true, as life would be so much simpler if the change curve didn’t happen!

change management
So what’s they key? How can we make sense of this use it to our advantage?

Here’s the thing – we all go at a different pace.

Often, when we need to implement change with our team, our own boss has told us about what is needed, the reason why and the timescale.

We are ahead of the team, and although we still feel shock, anger, denial and so on, by the time we get to the team it’s likely we are further ahead of them on the curve. We might be at the accepting or letting go stage, maybe even new possibilities.

But your team is still at the shock stage. Just like Homer in the video. And it can be hard watching them go through this, get angry, bargain, depressed. Your patience can be tested.

It can feel like it goes on for a long time before they reach letting go, acceptance and new possibilities too.

What can you do to:
  1. Look after yourself as you all go through the change curve at different rates
  2. Help your team move through the change curve as fast as is practicable.

Education like this can help you look after yourself. Simply knowing about the change curve and the fact that you will most likely be at a different place from your team can help you stop you feeling that you are going mad, too fast or lacking in patience.

Communication can help your team move through the change curve at the optimum rate. The more time we have with each other to discuss and process what is happening, the more we can deal with our emotions legitimately. From this we can shift our perspective to see that there are positives from the change too.

At the end of the recent training day, participants were able to see that it really was their job to take their team on the change journey, and using the change curve, were able to see the steps.

To sum up: what more could you do the next time you have to implement change with your team?