Interview: Bob Dignen
Do people generally react negatively to change?
It depends very much on the environment that you’re in. If you believe this is a change that has priority for you, and you see a benefit in it, then you will support it. It also depends on the organization and how conflicting the objectiveZiel(vorstellung)objectives are that come along with the change. I would say that people generally want to ask a lot of questions, but I’m not sure that this is resistance.
What are the reasons that lead to change slowing down, or even failing?
People still carry out many of these changes in an old-fashioned manner, thinking that there is only one change only one at a timejeweils nur ein(e) …at a time in a company, not realizing that there are so many different changes going on at the same time and that change is all around. Clearly, there needs to be a balance in organizations between stabilizing the system and having the agilityhier: Flexibilitätagility so that things can change.
When top management decides something, people often have serious difficulties understanding the reasons for the change and its benefits
If you try to to execute sth.etw. ausführenexecute change top down, starting with leadership alignmentAusrichtung; hier: Koordinierungalignment, mobilizing middle management and then the employees, it takes far too long. Don’t forget that top management often starts implementing change after maybe years of analysing the reasons for change with consultants. And when top management decides something, it’s often far away from the realities of employees, so people have serious difficulties understanding the reasons for the change and its benefits. So, they also become somehow a victim of the change. They don’t feel responsible for it. They feel they are being controlled and start saying things like, “You have to tell me what do to” or “You have to decide”.
Another problem is when top management doesn’t support the change — and sometimes it would be unrealistic to expect them to do so. There are always one or two who are sending conflicting messages. That creates a lot of confusion, and conflicting targets for middle management. In such a situation, they can only to wait sth. outetw. aussitzenwait it out and see which senior-management point of view wins.
Nicole Anzinger is an independent consultant in Munich. She helps organizations to ensure sth.etw. sicherstellenensure that people do what is needed to make change successful, fulfilling the new roles and responsibilities that come with new structures. Website: Change up