A few folk have asked me about change fatigue recently.  Y’know, that feeling that grows and starts to overwhelm when your workplace has gone through relentless change, often at breakneck speed. Or so it seems. It’s often followed closely by change cynicism (more at another time).  In retrospect, there are two key reasons why people get tired of change.

One – change communication omits the ‘big picture’ eg why are we doing this, with the sometimes smaller image of ‘what’s in it for me’. If the next change is introduced without context, it seems pointless and very tiring.

Two – we forget to mark the transitions and the endings of previous change efforts. What were the lessons learned? What were we most proud of? How has the change we have gone though contributed to a better workplace? Sometimes our roles as change communicators means we have to ‘create’ endings.  Stop, breathe, celebrate. Re-energise.

As we head into the end of the year, you’ll never find a better time to run a ‘retro’ on your year. Retrospectives are an agile practice which encourage you and your team to look back on the year and reflect on what made you happy, what made you sad / grumpy and what you were confused about. If you do them on a regular cadence, it is useful to prioritising what needs to be done and clarifying things for the team.

There’s a whole raft of techniques and activities you can explore to run in retrospectives. But I’d encourage you to keep it simple – happy, sad, confused. And then end the session with a discussion on the big picture – make sure all of the team know why they are coming back.

Of course there’s nothing to stop you doing this on a personal level. I do it every year with my Year in Review post…

Which come to think of it, must be right around the corner…

mm

Dr Jen Frahm – Author of Conversations of Change: A guide to implementing workplace change.

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