We all have to deal constantly with plenty of changes in our life, and some changes are a bit easier to cope with than others. However, during times of rapid change, successful self-empowerment and psyche management strategies might be quite a complicated affair, challenging ordeal and seldom result in authentic self-determination. Not because it is difficult or impossible to achieve, but because we are frequently sidetracked and often derailed from our personal change priorities and values, in favour of the collective accepted expectations and social demands.
We all realize that change is an inevitable part of our life’s and we are also willing to deal with change on a fairly regular basis (e.g. the traditional new year resolutions), but despite our best intentions, most of our efforts to change, fail miserably. WHY? Because… we enthusiastically initiate a change project, but neglect to properly sustain or maintain our change efforts.
The main reason, for this unfortunate turn of events, is due to the fact that we omit to (i) accept and (ii) take the responsibility to purposefully and diligently sustain a continuous cycle of self-monitoring and self-evaluation of a change project. The purpose of a self-monitoring cycle is to identify possible derailing events and to take the necessary corrective actions in time.
In order to keep our change efforts productive and on “track“, we should realize that any type of game we play, require rules. Either written or unwritten (i.e. gentleman’s agreement) rules, to ensure that the game is “played” fairly, efficiently and successfully. Change projects or managing changes, are no exception to this, and there are specific “rules” that must be adhere to or accommodated, each and every time we are confronted with or dealing with change. Ignoring or disregarding these inherent change “rules“, will eventually result in our failure to successfully deal with and implement change.
The “inherent rules” of change provides us with guidelines, hints, ideas and processes to efficiently analyze and understand the many and diverse problems that normally accompanying change. These “rules” of dealing with change, IS NOT an attempt to establish a definite method, recipe or predefined procedure to manage change successfully. The emphasis (i.e. the purpose and meaning of) of change “rules“, is to guide and steer a self-initiated change management, self-empowerment and psyche management project to one’s advantage. WHY? Because people are unique, different and each individual experiences and/or perceives the changing circumstances quite differently and, therefore, each individual must be guided/assisted to compile his/her own unique change strategy, using the inherent “rules” of change to do so.
Therefore, the core focus – of change management rules – is on identifying basic and universal principles (or guidelines for change), which will allow anyone to compile an individualized and unique change management strategy (with the aid of coaching, facilitation, assistance and support, if necessary) that will serve or suit your circumstances, context, dynamics and expected change goals (i.e. vision) the best.
The rules, guidelines or change management principles aren’t amazing, fantastic, or ingenious… just reasonable, practical and sourcing from common sense. Actually, most people are already familiar with most of the basic techniques and methods – either on a conscious or subconscious level – of change and how to manage change projects successfully. Thus, you have to stop verbalization, arguing, speculating, hoping for a miracle, expecting divine interference …etc. and start DOING something about your present situation and circumstances… purposefully and productively!
The change management “rules” or guidelines aren’t fast, instantaneous, a quick fix, simple or easy… because the phenomenon and process of self-empowerment, psyche management, change and the accompanied obstacles, aren’t simple, always obvious and easy to identify a answer or to formulate a solution for. The key ingredient, in this case, is an acute awareness and realization that… “you cannot get a plant to grow any faster, by pulling on its leaves, you have to patiently nurture it to develop, evolve and flower“.
Inherent change management “rules” can – briefly – be listed as follows…
- Demarcation of the change arena and area (i.e. extent of the change that is required)
- Conduct a change project SWOT-analysis (i.e. understanding change dynamics and context)
- Determine change obstacles (i.e. toxic factors)
- Identify change promoters (i.e. nourishing factors)
- Initiate and sustain a self-monitoring and evaluation cycle (i.e. assessment process and procedure to evaluate change progress)
- Differentiate between and highlight change objectives and goals (i.e. a change vision and mission statement)
- Identify possible avoidance, denial and procrastination actions and activities (i.e. what could subtly impact negatively on a change attitude and eventually sabotage successful change efforts)
The above is only a couple of change management rules, but of cardinal importance to manage any change project successfully. When these “rules” are either ignored, avoided or neglected, any change will take on a self-destructive life of its own, spiral out of control and have a negative impact on you, the people around you, situations, circumstances and events.