Little Guide to Change at Work – Choices Choices, Choices

Little Guide to Change at Work – Choices, Choices, Choices

What makes you tick?

Today in part 2 of The Little Guide to Change at Work, we will look at the choices we have about how we respond to change, also how this changes as the organisation moves through the change process. Generally the time periods to consider are 1] When the change is first announced 2] During the change process and 3] After the change is in place.


Your choices and their consequences depend on which time period you are in. We shall now look at the potential choices you may make and the likely outcome of those choices, where this could be typically either positive or negative. Not all of these choices are conscious. Our unconscious has a big part to play in this too.

Before the change

Typically negative outcomes

Talk one way in public but otherwise in private

Talk negatively about the firm or people in it

Talk badly about the proposed changes with your peers or subordinates

Have secret meetings with your subordinates where the change is minimized or not taken seriously

Stop performing your current responsibilities or perform them badly

Typically positive outcomes

Encourage positive conversations

Ask how you can help

Show a positive out look – on all fronts

Be open and honest about your feedback about the change

Find out how you can prepare for the change

During the change

Typically negative outcomes

Ignore the change – pretend it isn’t happening (denial)

Talk negatively about the change in private conversations

Prevent others from participating in the design of the solution or implementation of the design

Block or sabotage the change process

Typically positive outcomes

Ask questions about the future

Provide input into the solution

Find out what new skills and ablates you will need to perform effectively after the change has taken place

Assess you own strengths and weaknesses

Identify training that will be necessary to fill skills gaps

Take advantage to develop your skills and grow professionally

After the change is in place

Typically negative outcomes

Talk negatively about the change with customers or clients

Revert to old ways of working when problems or issues arise

Tell peers or subordinates using the new processes or tools is not a big deal and shouldn’t be taken seriously

Avoid using the new work processes or tools whenever possible

Typically positive outcomes

Reinforce the change with peers and subordinates

Help solve problems arising with the new way

Avoid reverting back to old processes or ways of doing work when problems arise with the new processes or ways

Help the business achieve the objectives of the change – be results orientated

Remember there may well be consequences of not changing, depending on how business critical the change is. If you elect not to support the change the likelihood of reduced job satisfaction as you fight the organisation and the organisation fights you, is greatly increased. This doesn’t take into account potential reassignment, transfer or reduced opportunities for promotion or advancement

There are of course three key questions that usually arise and your perception can affect your choices.

  • What if they have tried before and it failed or I see the change as the latest fad?

History or culture may include some change projects that have not worked. If this is what the organisation is accustomed to, it does create an issue erasing the past. In order for the change to be successful, everyone must be prepared to accept the past as history and focus on what lies ahead.

  • What if I disagree with the change? What if I feel they are fixing the wrong problem?

Be patient and keep an open mind. Make sure you understand the true reasons for the business change. However, don’t be afraid to voice your objections or concerns. If your objections are valid, chances are good they will come to light and be resolved. If you feel strongly against a specific element of the change, let the right people know and do it in an appropriate manner.

  • What if I am forced to do more for the same money?

When your firm is undergoing change, this usually means new processes or skills will be required. Your role in the changed environment may include learning these new processes or acquiring new skills. Indeed some of your responsibilities may change.

For the old way of doing things, compensation may actually decrease as the value of that work to the firm decreases. However, compensation for new work might increase as the value for new services or products increases. This is part of the change.

Next, in the Little Guide to Change at Work, we will look at a powerful way of addressing the question:

How can I stay in control (both personally and professionally) of the change process?

 Power Tips to Empower People

Spread the word. Share this post!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>