“Change in the workplace!” For many, the mere thought of a workplace change evokes fear, stress, and even anger.
This is unfortunate because if there is one thing that is certain, it’s that things – the world, the economy, technology, your life, and yes, your workplace – are going to change.
Whether you are tasked with leading your entire organization through change, leading your team through change, or simply managing your own activities through change, your ability to be successful is directly tied to your ability to adapt to change in the workplace.
Resistance to Change in the Workplace – Where Does it Come From?
Simply put, resistance to change in the workplace comes from fear. Specifically the fear of:
- Uncertainty – Many people don’t like not being in control. They need to know what exactly is going to happen to them and around them. Change throws that certainty out the window.
- Inefficiency – Once you are in a stable routine, you probably have things humming along nicely. Changes at work will almost certainly force you out of routine, and many of the habits and systems that make your life easy will be useless. As a result, your life may become much more inefficient.
- Things Becoming Worse – For some reason, most think about change in terms of what might be worse: Is my new boss going to be bad, is my new team going to be a pain, is my new commute going to be more stressful, etc. The mind naturally moves to worrying about all the negatives that change in the workplace may bring.
To effectively deal with change in the workplace, people must push past these fears (and leaders must help their people push past them).
Dealing with Change in the Workplace Using Improv Comedy
My entire business is based on showing organizations and individuals how to use the power of improv comedy to deal with change in the workplace.
Sounds like an odd approach, right?
It really isn’t. Think about it: an improv comedian’s life is about stepping into uncertainty. Things change from second to second in an improv comedy show, and the only way a performer can be successful is by accepting and taking advantage of that change.
Improv forces people to embrace uncertainty, look for the positive instead of the negative in the face of change (an idea called, “yes, and!”) and use their creativity to make the new reality even better than the old, pre-change reality.
You may assume I am biased about this (I am!) but you don’t just have to take my word for it. Harvard Business Review and Fast Company Magazine both understand the power of improv comedy in business:
- Improv comedy and change in the workplace on Harvard Business Review
- Improv comedy and change in the workplace on Fast Company
Managing Change in the Workplace: How Do I Lead Others?
If you are tasked with leading others through change in the workplace, here are six things you can do to help your team manage change:
- Be Accepting of Change in the Workplace Yourself – Lead by example. If you walk around complaining about upcoming change, of course everyone around you will resist it.
- Be Understanding – Resisting change is natural. Don’t beat your people up over it, demanding that they “get on board!”
- Direct Focus – Use your role as leader to get people to focus on what might be better, not worse, after the change.
- Embrace Creativity – One of the key reasons people struggle with change is that they try to keep doing the same things in the same way as before, even though things are different. Encourage your team to think creatively about how they can take advantage of the new environment.
- Keep Things Fun – A sense of fun is the first thing that goes out the window when fear of change in the workplace rears its ugly head. Find ways of bringing fun to work to keep people positive and productive.
- Create a “Yes, And” Environment – “Yes, but” is the language of resisting change. Get your team focused on using, “yes, and” instead – and make sure you use “yes, and” yourself! For more info, check out this video.
How Improv, Ding Happens, and Avish can Help
Avish has a process that uses improv comedy tools, ideas, and principles to help people accept, manage, and take advantage of change. His interactive programs are fun, engaging, and highly relevant.
Avish can help you increase the adaptability in your workplace in several ways:
Speaking at Your Annual Meetings
Presenting ideas around improv and change to a large group of people in a short period of time (45-90 minutes). Avish’s presentations are fun, engaging, interactive, motivational, and designed to open-minds and get people started down the path of adaptability and innovation.
Training at your Workplace
Working hands-on with a smaller group of people for a longer time where the focus is on skills-transfer. Giving your team the skills and practice to implement these ideas in the real word.
Facilitation at Your Next Leadership Retreat
Taking your leadership team through a process that helps them create a plan of their own to increase creativity and innovation throughout the entire organization.
Contact us now to book Avish to help your team respond to, embrace, and take advantage of change in the workplace!