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Destabilizing

 

Disciplines > Change Management > Creating Change > Destabilizing

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

Stimulate the need for change by creating instability that leads people to seek somewhere other than where they are at present. For example, you can:

  • Make the current safe place less safe.
  • Show that which is held to be true is not true, at least not in all important areas.
  • Open the doors of the house to show the real terrors just outside.
  • Get in angry customers to berate people for poor products and service.
  • Show them the realities of financial instability.
  • Show them competitors' products (and how much better they are).
  • Reorganize to break up cosy groups.
  • Give them jobs that are outside of their current skills.

Example

A company seeking to re-stimulate a marketing team cannibalizes the existing team, taking key players out to work on new product areas, whilst requiring remaining people to keep the show on the road.

A company takes away a comfortable cash cow from one of its divisions, forcing it to think harder about how to contribute in the future.

Discussion

When people are comfortable (in their 'comfort zone'), there no driving need for them to change. If they are shocked too much then they may freeze or rebel. If, however they are simply made less comfortable by some destabilization technique, then when change is announced they more likely to be ready for it and are less likely to resist.

We all have deep needs for safety, control and certainty. If these (and other needs) are all met, then an announcement of change will cause resistance as the change threatens these. If, however, they have already been shaken, then there is less to react against when change is announced (especially if the change promises to restore these).

See also

Fight-or-Flight reaction, Need for certainty

 

 

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