Change Management – Is it Rocket Science?

August 27, 2019Kim Congleton

“I hear and I forget.  I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” – Confucius

While change management is not rocket science, there is a fair amount of science that supports how people learn and how they embrace change.  In 1885, Hermann Ebbinghaus defined a mathematical formula that depicts the rate at which information is forgotten over time if there is no attempt to retain it.  People will rapidly lose memory of learned knowledge in a matter of days or weeks unless information is reviewed. Some studies suggest that we forget approximately 50% of new information within an hour of learning it.  It goes up to 70% within 24 hours. 

Things to keep in mind to make it easier for people to change:

  1. WIIFM – Most people want to know what’s in it for them.  Communicate frequently and often about the change.  What does the change mean for people?  How will they be impacted by it and how will they be helped to make the change?
  2. Training needs to be meaningful, interactive and varied. Mix things up with different types of training strategies.
    • Videos
    • Images
    • Hands on
    • Webinars
  3. In order to maintain change, do the following:
    • Pace.  Stay Excited
    • Priorities. Competing Tasks
    • Engage. Listen First – Talk Second
    • Security. Make it about them
    • Champions. Natural Leaders and Influencers
    • Success. Define It and Show the Data
  4. Change must come from the top down.  If management is not on board with change it makes accepting it at the different levels much harder.

Remember when it comes to change management -  “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got” – Anonymous

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