There’s no shortcut to change

For leaders and managers, change can be a bitch. People tend to be reluctant to change, and it is frustrating trying to get everyone on board.

Communicators are often bombarded by managers who want a simple and effective communication solution. Something to convince all stubborn naysayers to embrace change and all the possibilities it can bring.

Well, I have bad news for you: Such a solution does not exist.

Managing change is about managing people, and that requires a lot of dialogue. In a change process, a leader’s most important task is to help people make sense of things. Help them understand how the change will affect them personally. Alleviate their fears.

In order to do that, leaders first need to make sense of it all for themselves. That is not something that communications could do for them.

Becoming more sustainable entails all kinds of change. And because our brains are wired to be suspicious of change, many are suspicious about sustainability by association.

Like in any situation that requires change, there are no shortcuts to getting people to embrace sustainability. Unfortunately we will have to get there the hard way. With persistence, patience and a whole lot of dialogue.

In coming posts I will look more closely at why change is so difficult and how we can help people get past the difficulty. Stay tuned!