Managing Change Means Managing Grief

Fascinating conversation with the Director of Planning and Education for the Society for College and University Planning, affiliated with School of Education the University of Michigan. The interview was for an article I'll be writing for a different Web site. But we got onto the topic of one of Phyllis Grummon's areas of interest: change and change management.

Ms. Grummon had this to say about the dynamic of outsourcing in an organization, which I find useful to remember:

“The effects of change on any organization are pretty readily predictable. Because of that old brain that we have that really triggers our emotional reactions to what appears to be a neutral statement.

“Some people [will say], 'It’s about time.' They’ve already switched over in their minds to what the world will be like with outsourcing.

“Others are like, 'Oh, my gosh. This is a huge loss.'

“They need to go through a grieving process. By and large, [in] managing transitions for people, [you have to understand is that] they’ve just announced that something has ended, but nobody has a clue about the new thing yet. How do you help them manage their grief over the loss of the old way? That will vary by how attached they were to it and their participation in building the new.”