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I don’t have a problem with change! Do you?
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I don’t have a problem with change! Do you?

Jacqui Donnelly

As adults we already have a sense of whether we welcome change or we try to avoid it.  Our personal reaction to change is exactly that, its personal.

I would like to think that I am open to change and enjoy the challenge of making the change sustainable, and yet recent events have got me thinking.

We are surrounded by change

You only need to look at the headlines and it invokes personal emotions within all of us about the changes that are happening in the world.  Whether it’s about Global Warming, Trade disputes, Brexit or to the changes taking place on our local High Streets.

I was shocked when M&S announced that it would be shutting our local store.  In fact, I would go so far as to say, I was sad and disappointed that a business with the history of M&S, that we can all associate with our local High streets, was being eroded and disappearing.  Of course, we can replace M&S with many other significant High Street chains e.g. House of Fraser etc.

On a professional level I totally get it.  The High Street and our shopping trends are changing!  Being honest with myself I couldn’t remember the last time I had shopped in the local M&S. 24hr access to buying on line, delivered to your door when you need it is something that I have also succumbed to.

So why did I feel sad and disappointed?

The answer is right there in the sentence itself.  It was all about how I felt!

My logical professional brain can tell me that this is the right business decision.  However, how I feel about it is not always based on pure logic, data, analytics. I felt sad for the staff that might be without a job, I felt sad that the High Street would have another vacant shop, I felt sad that a Company that had been there for over 80 years had come to an end.

Logic and Feelings – the whole picture

It doesn’t matter if we are thinking about the changes taking place in our High Street, or the changes in our workplace.  There is a common factor in that we will have logical/business-based emotions and there will be how we actually feel about the change itself.

The change could be about a new IT system, a new way of working, an amalgamation of teams or Companies, changing suppliers or expanding into new markets.  All of these will invoke a logical business emotion and a personal set of feelings.

When the logical thinking and feelings align it is easier. But what happens when they don’t align?  I bet you remember a time when the course of action was agreed, the changes were made and 12 months on the change had unravelled.

Achieving Change is all about aligning the logical business aspects of the change and how your people actually feel about the change.  Imagine achieving the financial benefits AND an engaged and committed culture for the future!

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