It is no secret that everyone goes through change, but what is often missed is that everyone follows a similar path. While some may be more adaptable and willing to change than others, they will all follow the same roadmap on their journey through change.
As continuous improvement project leaders, it is our job to recognize the journey that everyone goes through and respect that they go through this process at different speeds. How people respond to change is seen by where they naturally gravitate towards on the change curve. Some people may be inherently weary of change and will gravitate towards denial. Others may be initially excited. Then we all know people who detest change, will dig their heels in and stay stuck in resistance, otherwise known as The Valley of Despair. Regardless of where people naturally land, a good continuous improvement project leader will help people along in their journey.
It’s important to recognize that people’s movement through change is fluid. Just because you initially gravitated towards denial doesn’t mean you will be resistant to the entire process. Likewise, people who may initially be excited may find that after learning more about the change initiative they fall deeper than others into the Valley of Despair. Remember it is a fluid movement and a well-equipped Change Practitioner will be able to limit the depth of the valley, and reduce the width of the curve ultimately helping the change initiative to take place in less time with less pain.
The Change Curve is a tool that helps you to understand change visually and allows you to plot people as they are going through their change journey. It is the first step in recognition of change. The second step is to formulate strategies to help move people along the change curve. Acuity Institute’s Change Management Professional course can help you learn a number of different tools and techniques to ensure you can get everyone to the ultimate goal of commitment when change has thrown you a curve ball.