Even with Change Management Efforts, Change Takes Time

Facility management, change, resistance to change, communication, top management, green   July 29, 2010

Today's tip has to do with the importance of patience in change management.

No matter how urgent the situation, change doesn't happen overnight. Indeed, some experts contend that lasting change takes many years to implement. A slower approach to change is easier on the organization and more likely to produce lasting results, they argue.

Certainly, many facility executives have seen change efforts that aimed to achieve instant results. In most cases, these fail – but only after much disruption and wasted effort.

Of course, facility executives can't always afford to wait for years for change to take hold. The urgency of the situation requires a fast pace of change. In those cases, it is important to ensure that key steps in any change management process are still taken: gaining support from top executives, communicating the importance of change, educating those who will be affected by the change, providing support, measuring results, and so on. Indeed, many of those actions will need to be continued even after the change has been implemented, to ensure that the effort achieves its goals and that people don’t fall back into old ways of behaving.

How long should a change management effort last? There's no hard and fast answer to that question. But there is one rule of thumb to keep in mind: it will probably take a lot longer than you initially think.


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