The Joy of Managing Change

We often think that managing change has to be a struggle. People talk about managers “Driving Change” or “Pushing Through Change”, these anticipate resistance and don’t sound much fun at all.

It doesn’t have to be like this! There is a much better way. Instead of the old “Problem Solving” approach, “Find out what is broken and fix it”, you can use Appreciative Inquiry (Ai). With this, you start by finding out what is already working. Something always is. Even in the direst circumstances, people will have called on unexpected resources of resilience, courage, compassion and community spirit to pull themselves through.

When you tell stories about what is working or how you came through difficulties, you feel uplifted and energetic. Then it’s easy to move on to think about how things could be even better. Not only is it easier, but people want to. When you work like this as a facilitator or change manager, change becomes a joy, not a struggle. It really is that easy.

You can apply this approach to anything. If you want to test it, just try this simple Happiness Exercise. If you tell stories about times when you have been happy and that makes you happier. Positive questions create positive outcomes.

There is a lot more about Appreciative Inquiry here. If you want to talk about this, please use the form below.

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If you would like help using this idea, or have any comments or questions please contact me. Thanks, Nick