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Powerful Team Development Programme in Africa

Change alone is unchanging

In his book, The Age of Unreason, Charles Handy states that changes are no longer part of some ongoing pattern of development. Consistent with chaos theory from the world of science, change in all facets of our lives is continually faster and less predictable – more discontinuous

This is not something to fear: instead it presents human society with a real opportunity to advance, provided we “learn to look for and embrace it”.

But this is almost always easier said than done. Consider the so-called D.R.E.C. model and what it tells us about managing change.

> D = Denial: It is not happening… past ways of working need to be entrenched.

> R = Resistance: Stop it, slow it down, it won’t work, it’s not that different.

> E = Exploration: Perhaps it could work… I can see some benefits.

> C = Commitment: Together we can make it work… It’s the only way forward.

Too often we expect a blind leap of faith from ‘denial’ to ‘commitment’. This rarely happens, and the organisation continues to flounder. Instead we need to give individuals sound reasons for moving cautiously but steadily from ‘denial’ through ‘resistance’, onto ‘exploration’ and then final ‘commitment’.

In order to do this successfully it is important to recognise and understand the particular ‘DREC’ stage that any person, irrespective of seniority, is at. Now some practical steps can be taken to assist that person in moving on.

These practical steps can be readily implemented once you know how the individual concerned prefers to contribute to achieving goals and getting things done.

Thus, a manager in ‘denial’ who has a preference for Driving Onward needs to listen to the evidence and then to turn the perceived threat into an opportunity.

And an employee ‘resisting’ change with a preference for Planning Ahead could be encouraged to talk about the realities and obstacles to be overcome.

The Achievement Profile offers these special insights and practical applications.

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