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Change Fatigue: New Year Reflections on Change Dynamics

Change Fatigue: New Year Reflections on Change Dynamics
Something's got to give

Something’s got to give

As a change leader, it’s natural to look forward with renewed hope and vigor at the start of a new year. Transformational leaders are inspired by what they see on the horizon. Creating new solutions is exciting work. Unfortunately, change dynamics aren’t always easy. Change fatigue is on the rise. It is one of many obstacles organizations face while walking new paths.

Change fatigue is rampant.

This is especially true for organizations undergoing disruption. The sense of urgency creates change that is more reactive and less strategic.

Change fatigue gets worse when organizations don’t purge things that have outlived their usefulness. I remember how discouraging it was to spend valuable time and energy generating reports or gathering information that wasn’t critical to the new challenges and concerns we were facing as technology disrupted the television industry I loved and once served.

New Year is a great time to reflect on change dynamics.

Before you tackle new paths, projects or procedures this year, commit to a different New Year resolution.

Resolve to shed everything that isn’t strategically useful anymore.

Free energy and resources to tackle what matters more now.

Here are four New Year reflections for refocusing your priorities:

  • One of your best initiatives should include a NOT-to-do list. How much satisfaction would you reap getting rid of procedures or reports that are energy hogs that have outlived their usefulness?
  • Take inventory of how and what gets attention and energy then evaluate those as strategic priorities…are they the worthiest for where you’re going?
  • Imagine how energizing this will be when you involve others on your team in doing the same. Start by asking a simple question…Q: Is this activity a nice-to-have or, a need-to-have? (Often what starts out as a need-to-have avoids scrutiny even though the business climate has changed dramatically.) Find a way to make it safe to challenge status quo thinking.
  • Can you dump outdated metrics? What are you tracking that used to matter but is less relevant these days?

It’s easy to ignore change fatigue. Who wants to admit they can’t keep up? The toll is very real though.

Change fatigue saps employee engagement when people are struggling in silent overwhelm. It also drains energy and enthusiasm from finding new paths and better solutions. Change fatigue interferes with strategic vision. Its tough to look ahead when your head is always down.

Change is hard enough without making sure that you’ve focused on what really matters.

Take advantage of the new year and do this mental reboot.


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