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Building Change Resilience

Training. Speaking. Consulting. Coaching.

A BETTER WAY TO DO CHANGE

●     Change is part of the human experience. 

●     It’s as normal as breathing.

●     That doesn’t mean change is comfortable.

Fact 1: When humans face change in which they experience loss, the brain goes into fight, flight, or freeze mode, naturally.

Our brain’s primary job is to protect us from threats but inconveniently, changes where we experience loss are often seen as threats. The body’s reaction to these perceived threats can feel like fatigue, lack of focus, frustration, irritability, sadness, or range of other uncomfortable emotions. These feelings can be triggered by changes we wouldn’t expect to trigger them. For example: a change in office location may take a person away from their closely-knit team and routine; a new technology may replace a familiar way of getting things done, and a promotion may cause loss of certainty. Whether change is self-initiated or imposed, whether it’s positive, negative, or neutral, changes can trigger a survival response and feel really unpleasant.

Everyone experiences this: leaders, managers, staff, clients, suppliers, and all other stakeholders – because it’s a natural and normal human reaction.

Fact 2: Denying individuals’ need to process loss increases resistance to change.

Rushing people to adopt change slows the process down.  In many cultures, there is an expectation that people shrug off the discomfort of change and keep just going. That we accept the benefits of the change, see the silver lining, and focus on the positive. While often well meaning, this robs individuals of the right to process their response to the change in their own unique way. It assumes that the physiological response to change is somehow the individual’s fault instead of a completely normal, in fact healthy, way of adapting.  

Fact 3: When leaders and organizations support people’s right to acknowledge loss, they move forward more quickly, more creatively, and are more open to adopting the change.

This requires leaders to change their assumptions around change, loss, and adaptation, to understand their own responses to change, and to create a safe space for others as they transition through change.

How many of these changes have you experienced?

Notice how these may have brought gains, losses or both.
  • Merger or acquisition
  • Change in leadership
  • Rapid growth
  • Reorganization or downsizing
  • New title, responsibilities
    or team
  • Change of location or space
  • Change in status or income
  • Changes in your professional or personal relationships
  • Changes in technology, policies or processes
  • Loss of predictability or expectations of how things would be
Humanity happens at the intersection of courage curiosity and compassion.
Learn more about the 3C Model of Change Resilience.
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A BETTER WAY TO DO CHANGE

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Learning & Development - Change Resilience and Preparedness
Whether you’re initiating, facilitating, or experiencing a change, learners will benefit by developing a deep understanding of the human adaptive process as well as the skills and mindset to foster change resilience in themselves and others.  
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Consulting - Change Resilience and Preparedness
We partner with organizations to maximise their internal capabilities for change preparedness and change resilience, allowing teams to navigate change with less resistance, greater agility, and creativity. Additionally, we evaluate the short and long-term impact and cost of change initiatives to humans and organizations.
image for coaching and change resilience.
Coaching for Change Resilience
Using Courage,Curiosity, and Compassion, our 3C coaching model allows individuals to process losses caused by change so that they move forward with less resistance and greater level of ownership, creativity, and engagement.

When leaders of an educational institution approached Blue Morpho to work with their staff to adjust to the changes Covid had thrust upon them, we created a series of sessions tailored to their unique context. Working one on one with the leaders, we first addressed their own uncertainty, so that they could process their response to the changes and support their staff from a place of calm and strength. We then worked with staff. Through training and discussion, helped them process the changes and develop some resiliency so that they could work together to develop creative solutions for delivering programming under the new restrictions.

“What a great experience it was to work with Jacqueline and her team. Things were so unstable:  we had never taught remotely before or used zoom, and our personal lives were in upheaval. There was such a lot of change in such a short time. We felt like hot pots, ready to boil over.

The first session gave us what we needed to understand what was happening to us, on a human level. The Blue Morpho team created a safe space where we felt comfortable enough to express our individual concerns and experiences. The guidance we received was reassuring and affirming; Jacqueline was really present to us and listened in a way that although we all experienced the changes individually, we realized we were really not alone.

The session gave my team the courage, connection, and insight they needed to creatively tackle how we would move forward to meet the challenges of our new work context. With Covid, the world no longer made sense and the experience with Blue Morpho helped us to process what we were feeling, ut our thoughts into perspective, and find our way forward as a team. I felt like we connected human to human for the first time, rather than professional to professional and that really strengthened our relationships  and effectiveness as a team. The sessions had a profound impact on our school, they were life-changing, and we are so grateful."

- Susan de Brigard, Principal, St. Matthew's School

Want to start building change resilience?
Start by completing the loss inventory.
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We Build Change Resilience

People and companies who support the human response to change are better at handling the discomfort of change and adapt more easily, accessing their creativity faster. I call this change-resilience.

Change-resilience is a skill that can be built. Let us help you build it.

What if leaders became more effective at processing change?

If leaders were able to understand and more effectively process change themselves, they would become more authentic and empathetic. As a result they would become more effective at:

  • Helping employees more effectively process the changes
  • Decreasing the cost and increase the success of change initiatives
  • Increasing engagement by creating humanized and psychologically safe workplaces
  • Unlocking a previously untapped level of creativity + growth
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INTERESTING FACT:

One of the most frequently identified obstacles to effective organizational change implementation is employee resistance. New research indicates that most resistance is actually to the discomfort caused by uncertainty, not to the new program. (van Wielinck, 2020)
Actual Source: Book section  – van Wielinck,J. (2020). Grief in the Context of Work. In L. Wilhelm & D. vanGeelen-Merks (Eds.), Loss, Grief, and Attachment inLife Transitions (1st ed., pp. 183–198). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
141 Tecumseh Avenue East, London, ON.
Toronto: 416-639-8901