NATHALIE NGUYEN

NATHALIE NGUYEN

 

Human-Centered
Change Management

 

 

This pilot project has been dedicated to create a change in how we lead sustainable change in an organizational context. I believe that the way to do this is to include and empower the people who will carry out the change. What we know is that people will react to change, and these reactions and the energy that naturally occur in change can, if seen as valuable information, create more effective and better change. Reactions and emotions can guide us to focus on the purpose of the change, help improve the change plan, and clarify objectives and strategies, among other things – If reactions are appreciated as an expression of commitment from the individual.
“There is a short way from resistance to fruitful engagement”
Organizations devote huge amounts of time, energy and resources to their change initiatives. The plan of where they are heading, and how to get there is heavily emphasized, which is without doubt very important, but leaders often tend to focus too little on the people who will make this plan happen.

 

Strong reactions and “negative” emotions, towards change, are often labeled as resistance and we all talk about resistance to change as if it were a law of nature. True, we all have feelings about change, but when we talk about overcoming resistance, we approach it as an enemy, instead of as an ally. Resistance is raised as a result of a self-fulfilling prophecy where leaders assumptions and actions contribute to creating a resistance that was not there in the first place. What happens if we engage with resistance instead?

 

How do we productively engage with reactions and emotions? A way to begin is not to fear emotions, and be able to give space and room for honest conversations. Daring to ask into the reactions, and seeking to understand the reasons behind the reactions, both on an individual and organizational level, is key. We need to foster cultures where we deal with emotions and reactions in a valuable way. This will create more engagement and greater ownership, and therefore increase the chances for long lasting change.

 

“What does it mean to be a human and an organization in organizational change processes today?“
Leaders have been warned that it is equally important to identify “emotional data” in the organization as managing operational and numerical variables. At the same time we know that managers have little knowledge about employees’ feelings associated with change in organizations. This pilot project has had the goal to make the emotional side of change more tangible, clear and manageable to help the ones leading themselves and others through a transformation.
Managers of organizations today need an understanding of the individual and how change affects them. This understanding is about being aware and recognizing the emotional journey inside the employees, which runs parallel with its organizational change plans. This understanding will allow the managers to navigate and manage change more effectively. This is why managers should consider emotional reactions to change as valuable information, and focusing on this mindset will show the value of human centered management.

 

Professionally, what are the most important things you have learned, as a result of carrying out this project?

I have learned how to create and be an “appropriate disturbance”. With this I am referring to the skill of doing interventions that will create a change in behavior.

How we look at our relationships might limit the opportunities’ of creating something stronger together. I believe that the fruitful way is to build stronger relationships and more partnerships rather than being each other’s customers and clients.
I have practiced the art of taking theory down to a practical and useful level, offering that as a solution to a need I see.

 

What are the most important things that you have learned, about yourself, as a result of carrying out this project?

With this project I have discovered how the contrast between overview and strategy work, and low level practical and detail oriented work breaths new energy into my motivation. In other words, I have learned that for me personally, getting into flow lies in the change of rhythm and that I am both a dreamer and a doer.

 
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