Monday, August 24, 2020

Continuous Improvement: Navigating the Change Process

From Angela Knobloch, FST Change Management & Continuous Improvement Workstream Lead

Navigating change, no matter how worthwhile it is, always includes some discomfort. In the current state of things, we have a measure of certainty. We know what to expect; we understand the steps in our processes, even if they aren’t the most effective. 

When a triggering event occurs (not necessarily THE change itself, but something that indicates change is coming) it drops us into a period that feels chaotic. Unexpected and expected triggers both have this effect. Well planned projects with effective change management and project management processes still ask us to trade certainty for uncertainty, at least for a while. Knowing about this change process and partnering with others to navigate change can help mitigate the depth of the sense of chaos and keep ourselves and others from falling too deeply into the Valley of Despair.

When we get to the other side of the chaos, we build from caution to confidence and finally competence when we reach the future state. The journey isn’t as neat and linear as it looks here. We may slip back and forth between stages. Understanding this process helps us know that the positive aspects of change are on the horizon; it also helps us to have empathy for ourselves and others while we process the disruptive elements of change and continuous improvement.   

What can you do to help yourself and others bridge the Valley of Despair with change?

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