Economy and working environment are changing at a rapid pace. Classic Change-Projects therefore no longer work, up to 80 percent fail. I discuss the main reasons for this here. In a second post I will then put one Method with the help of which transformation projects succeed.

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Pioneering spirit, curiosity and a thirst for knowledge are in all of us

Every change initially means that something hitherto unknown arises, of which no one quite knows for sure know if it will be better or worse than the one before. But they always have People discard the old and dare the new.

Of course, our brain likes routines, because firstly, routines offer security and secondly Energy help save. But the discoverer gene is also in all of us: Without it, progress and evolution would not be possible.

Evolution places the pioneering spirit, curiosity and thirst for knowledge ahead of persistence and routine. Otherwise we would not be where we are today. The search for something new is one of the most important drivers of our thinking apparatus.

So the problem is not the change itself. The problem is not the stubbornness of the Employees, their inertia tendencies and unwillingness. The real problem is rather how change initiatives in the Company so far.

Change projects: the failure rate is up to 80 percent

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Large-scale change projects, often accompanied by consulting firms, are planned high up and then "rolled out" like a waterfall with a lot of fanfare over everything and everyone. Despite considerable effort, as the Mutaree Change Fitness Study found out in 2018, up to 80 percent fail.

How can you simply stubbornly maintain a procedure that fails so miserably? It is no wonder that classic change projects have long since degenerated into hate projects. In terms of their basic logic, they are reactive. They make up for change, so they are only initiated when a problem area has long been shown.

The main problem, however, is that change management is still governed by "proven" methods from times long past. They are thoughtless and unquestioned by Professoren, students and practitioners, recited in textbooks and in business Everyday life implemented.

Change methods are from times long past

What methods are involved? There is, for example, the three-phase process of “unfreeze, move, refreeze” (thaw, move, freeze again) that goes back to the sociologist Kurt Lewin in 1947 (!). That can't work because there's an icy System against the Status-quo change resists. Thawing takes time! And static states no longer exist today. Rather, permanent provisionalism is the norm.

That's what it was about in early economic times Taxes and stabilize. In our digital economy, on the other hand, extremely high speed, constant adaptability and constant innovation are required. Everyone also knows how difficult it is to get something big moving from a standstill and how easy it is to change movement when everything is flowing.

The seven-step change curve by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross from 1969 (!) Is also popular. It describes the emotional experience of people in final change processes, based on interviews with the dying and the mourning. It leads through shock and denial into the valley of tears to the eventual acceptance.

Why do you have to maneuver your employees through a “valley of tears”? Anxiety– and pain information always has priority in the brain. And bad feelings lead to an avoidance strategy. So you will object to the next changeProjects fight back Or one will demonize it. Or you sit it out.

Change Change! How change works better

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If not, then how? The best thing to do first: Delete it Term Change from the corporate vocabulary. He just scares people and leads blockages. Then: change the approach. A first continuous and second forward-looking self-renewal is needed from now on. Because change is a process, not a project with a beginning and an end.

Basically, behavioral changes can be brought about in two ways: Is a Behavior associated with good feelings, we repeat it. On the other hand, people avoid unpleasant feelings like the plague. Rejection occurs with everything that is associated with negative experiences such as pressure or coercion.

Persistence and reluctance also arise when something is prescribed from above. Consent, on the other hand, arises when you decide about a change yourself. Voluntariness is the most important ingredient for drive and successful change processes. Then you do something not because you have to, but because you really want it.

In addition, when the decisions are "small" and you are used to adjusting them over and over again, it is much easier to restructure when the circumstances demand this. However, if the decisions are "big" and if the company tends to follow preconceived plans, they will stick to them even if they turn out to be useless.

Opening yourself up to new things also means: first "learning" outdated things

Our thoughts and actions are based on what we believe in Deselect and can name. With the tried and tested feel we sure, often even think about it. Unlike children, as we get older we become increasingly suspicious of what is new. Let's allow the new, let's work on it with the thought patterns and evaluation standards that are familiar to us.

Especially when things get "tight", we fall back into automatisms and always unwind the same behavior. When solving completely new Problems that is exactly what stands in our way. It blocks ours creativity the buffer in the PC like old data. So we often have to first learn to “unlearn” what no longer serves us.

Only after we have ventilated and generously cleared out the upper room can new ones Solutions arise for both old and new problems. So, get rid of outdated practices. And: train yours Organization to break out of usual patterns. Leave the comfort zone of the beaten track.

Three things prevent us from doing this: operational blindness, complacency and ignorance. Change manifests itself very differently today than it used to. Everything is always up for grabs. Old recipes no longer work. The Success Yesterday says absolutely nothing about tomorrow's success. Unfortunately, in those with power, success breeds a dangerous belief in one's greatness: the illusion of invincibility.

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