Change and the power of time…

Change fills some people with horror and some with delight. Some embrace it with open arms, others reluctantly shuffle towards it. But change is essential. We cannot jump in the same river twice. We cannot apply laws from centuries ago to the modern world of today. We are not passive, we do not stand still. We are living, growing, flourishing people in a rapidly changing world. The pace of change may to some feel relentless, leaving them breathless and rattled. To others it might seem right, necessary, desirable even.
Change management is an approach to transition individuals or organisations to a future desired state. Good change management is essential for preventing people from running around with their hands over their eyes in horror at the idea of change. Change management can be as simple as preparing people for a forthcoming change, simply informing your staff that you will be changing something at some point in the future, can be enough to nudge them in the right direction. Change in organisations can be challenging, as they are large cumbersome things that require forethought in steering them towards calmer waters. Individuals can be turned quickly and redirected but larger objects have more power of resistance. And here is the magic key – time. Give people time to process the idea of change and they will move from denial to acceptance.
ISO 9001, the world’s leading quality management standard, is being changed in an elegantly controlled way. It is known that it is to be reviewed every 5 years, so no surprises there. It is understood that it has to be reviewed to ensure that it is current and relevant, to be sure that it continues to deliver “confidence in the organization’s ability to consistently provide product that meets customer and applicable statutory and regulatory requirements.” Companies are being given three years to transfer across to the updated version, so a transition period has been accepted and implemented.
ISO understood that the magic key was time. They allowed people to move through the stages of change; denial, anger, confusion, depression, crisis, to the calm waters of acceptance and onwards to new confidence. While we sometimes struggle in our reactive society, it is good to remember that people are in general flexible and adaptable, just give them a little time…
Happy marketing!