Related posts:No related photos. What to pack in your survival kitOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Stick with it, says author and guru Ken Blanchard, as he gives somepractical answers on getting the best results when you’re dealing with hardtimes and tough people.During tough economic times, some kind of change in organisations becomesinevitable. Unfortunately, because people find change threatening, they tend to focus onthemselves, becoming concerned only about their own security, safety andwellbeing. Then, if too many people get stuck in the change process itself andcan’t see the bigger plan to move through change effectively, individuals andorganisations face a struggle for survival. Simply getting rid of people, or allowing them to stagnate, is the easy wayout. Sticking with your people and encouraging them to advance themselves inthe process is inspiring and effective. It is also a wise economic decisionwhen you consider the cost of training new people from scratch. A major study at the University of Texas, which involved Blanchard associatePat Zigarmi, isolated six stages of concern which people go through duringtimes of either planned change, or change caused by unexpected events such asthe world is facing now. To help people get through these seasons of change,leaders should familiarise themselves with these six stages. The first three are particularly important, too often forgotten by leaderswho initiate change processes by pitching only the benefits and the impact ofthe desired change. 1 Information People want to know what’s happening so you need toover-inform at the beginning of a change effort. Use voicemail, e-mail – anyway possible to tell your people what’s happening. They want to know what youhave in mind. They want any and all information. 2 Personal People are worried about themselves and how the changeeffort will impact them. Will they survive? Timely training can help peoplemove quickly through this stage. 3 Implementation What will happen first second, third, etc? Peopleneed a clear mission to help put strategies into practice. Now people are ready to hear about the benefits of the change and focus onthe last three concerns that really come to the fore in tough times! 4 Impact Is the effort worth it? Will the change make a realdifference? This is where people start selling themselves on the benefits of thechange. 5 Collaboration Who else should be involved? How can we work withothers to make this new plan successful? Again, people only think aboutcollaboration after they have taken care of other things. 6 Refinement How can we make the change even better? Can we improveon the original idea? At this point, people with refinement concerns havebought into the change and are focused on continuous improvement. You’re much better off training your people in new skills during tough timesbecause it moves people through the six stages of concern more effectively.Without learning new skills and tasks during times of change, people tend toturn inward and get stuck in the personal concern stage. Also, the positive sense of morale and loyalty you create when you invest inyour people is absolutely incredible. If everybody is wondering when they’regoing to get their P45, nobody is going to be effectively focused on the keyvalues and strategies that drive your business forward. creative One of the most creative and productive ways you can move people past theirpersonal concerns is to say, “We’re going to hang with you because you arepart of the group that got us to where we are today. If we have to redeployyou, we’ll give you the training you need to contribute to the bottom line moreeffectively”. We said in our company, “You might not have the same job you hadbefore, you might not have the same responsibilities you had before, but we’regoing to hang with you because you are part of the group that brought us to theparty. We’re going to train you in an area where you can contribute to thebottom line more effectively.” Organisations that are going to be successful during tough times are thosethat are willing to keep investing in their people, that keep moving forwardand inventing new ways to deal with the various stages of concern. Make these challenging times special. Don’t look back on them with regret.Step out in faith and redefine the bottom line in your organisation by valuingthe people who brought you to “the dance”. After all, you’re only asgood as your people. Comments are closed.