UPFRONT Why change is like a “slinky”

It is something of truism that change is now constant – and to some extent that has always been the case – but the change cycles are now becoming much more compressed, says Hans Finzel.
Finzel is the author of Change is Like Slinky: 30 Strategies for Promoting and Surviving Change in Your Organisation. (For those unfamiliar with the slinky, it’s length of coiled wire that when loosed tends to tumble happily on… and on.)
When interviewed recently by Shari Lifland for the American Management Association Finzel explained that the “slinky” analogy is designed to show change can be positive and fun. That’s because people are prone to resisting it – and he has developed list of reasons why.
“It ain’t broke – so why bother”; fear of loss or the unknown; lack of trust in leadership; loss of comfort zone; cynics (any change is bad); insecurity 1 – “I may be worse off”; insecurity 2 – “they may be better off”; power and its possible loss; inertia; energy (or its lack); cost – both money and time; pressure (who has the time?); history (it hasn’t gone well in the past), and doubt (uncertainty about the new direction).
He’s also come up with few personality types that characterise resistance – including the ritualist (does things on auto); the retreatist (a passive/aggressive resistor); rebel (likely to sabotage change); conformer (doesn’t like rocking the boat), and complainer (doesn’t like anything). Those more likely to embrace change include the early adopters, late bloomers and innovators.
Finzel says change needs to be built into the DNA of our organisations and that leaders have to be change students and change agents.
“We have to change from planning model of the future to preparedness model – an organisation prepared for anything.”

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