The good news is all these feelings are normal – really! Where are on you this scale? I know I am watching PMQ’s and more, to try and understand what it will finally look like. It’s a big change for UK PLC, where voters had a choice. The principle, ideas, facts, ‘alternative facts’, promises, and possible outcomes were shared, and a choice was made to leave the EEU.
For a UK-wide change, an organisational move/merger, process review, or just trying to get your kids to clean their room, engagement is key to success. All the key change models show people go through various feelings throughout the transformation. Strangely like grief – some will have seen a teenager’s face when asked to clean their room!
So how can we achieve a positive outcome? Engagement and highlighting the benefits help to embed what will also be a cultural change for many. So even if you have an overall aim (our position in Europe or a clean teenage room), you need to share the vision and mission, whilst being seen to listen, remove obstacles and empower.
Back to Brexit – I saw the passion, anger and stories during the debates, many of the emotions shown in the Kubler-Ross change curve.
Shock & Denial – lots of doom and gloom, which doesn’t last long as it’s all about the uncertainty. I recall that look on the teenager’s face, when realising the enormity of having to clean his room, and the “but why” question. Share the mission, acknowledging that not everyone likes change.
Anger & Depression – I know EU nationals who have been here for years, who have no clarity about their future status in the UK. They feel they are being used as bargaining chips by the EU, who will make a similar decision about UK nationals living abroad. (According to migration watch uk there are about 1.2 million UK nationals living in the EU, and 3.3 million EU nationals in the UK). There are those who feel helpless, and overwhelmed about change, trying to find meaning for themselves. They are reaching out to others for alliances and help. So, it’s a great opportunity to give people a chance to share concerns, to try to help address them, and plug any possible gaps in your own change project. It’s at this point I turn to chocolate, it helps alleviate anxiety, frustration and irritation – and you can share it with others too.
Acceptance & Integration – the plan is now in place, refinements have been made, and we are close to our goal, and potential opportunities. Don’t forget to update any FAQs, and keep communicating, it will embed the cultural and physical change. Oh, and the teenager, maybe they found it wasn’t so bad keeping their room clean and tidy – but I am still working on that one! In my experience, it’s much easier managing a large organisational change than get a teenager to keep their room clean!