Change Fatigue

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Change Fatigue

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This is an interesting thread on LinkedIn from Chris Murman where he posited how to measure change fatigue? 

I think it’s a good baseline for a short post. The essence of his post was how to measure it. I wonder if specifically measuring change fatigue is important or simply fatigue in general.

Here are some ideas to measure plane, old fatigue—

  • Lack of extending patience & grace

  • Not extending API (Assuming Positive Intent)

  • Low overall group energy levels

  • Silence, disengagement, or checking out

  • Persistently off cameras

  • Low curiosity

  • Of course, growing attrition

  • Low employee happiness/engagement results

  • Low psychological safety (see 4-quadrants)

In our post-Covid, distributed, and politically & economically challenged world, I see many of these aspects in cultures that I visit. Certainly, they are not omnipresent. But they are there and often growing in impact.

I pivoted from Chris’ initial posit of change fatigue and want to circle back a bit. I do believe change fatigue is a ‘thing’.

I often use Virginia Satir’s change model to illustrate it. Here are two references for it—

I particularly like Josh’s video because—

  1. He maps it to my own experience in leveraging the model.

  2. He explains how helpful it can be to softly illustrate the impact of and how to navigate change.

  3. He makes clear that it is a simple model to effectively communicate change paths.

I often point to the valley of the shadow, the area between resistance and transforming ideas as the place that generates change fatigue. In other words, how long and how deeply is everyone burdened with the change(s) before emerging to a new status quo? And, without experiencing further/more changes?

Thanks, Chris, for bringing this important idea to light. And I want to encourage all of you to read the comments on Chris’ post.

A final point for me is that Satir doesn’t only consider organizational change, but all change is experienced at an individual, family, team, group, organizational, and corporate level.

For example, a reorg is a change. Covid-19 and the great resignation is a change. A death in my family is a change. A promotion is a change. And a newborn is a change.

I would encourage ALL leaders in today’s VUCA contexts to become much more aware of and connected to the changes impacting those around them.

Stay agile my friends,

Bob.

Extra Bonus – John Cutler article on change

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