G.R.A.S.S. (change and gone wrong)

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The characteristics of "change management gone wrong" are:

Guilt - everyone is feeling guilty, ie managers for introducing the changes and the staff who have survived. Guilt lowers self-esteem, and it often leads to 2 kinds of overcompensation:

- permissiveness to make up for earlier harsh acts

- blaming the victim (this projects the responsibility partly away from the person who is responsible)

Resentment - anger can turn into something permanent like resentment which can undermine things, and in extreme cases causes sabotage

Anxiety - people who are trying to hold onto the past while pieces of it are being cut away. Sometimes a little isolated anxiety improves motivation, but on-going angst can reduce energy, lower motivation, and make people unwilling to try new things

Self-absorption - anxious people become preoccupied with their own situation and lose their concern for fellow workers or customers

Stress - it is of little use to create stress and then try to manage it; the situation needs a preventative, not curative, approach

These are 5 real and measurable costs of not managing change effectively.

(source: William Bridges, 1991)


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