We often hear of ‘change resistance’ or ‘change fatigue’ when we talk about change in the workplace. This gives us an altogether negative outlook on the process of making change.
But does implementing change always need to be hard, frightening, frustrating or challenging? Perhaps this needn’t be the case if you can introduce some ‘fun’ into the equation.
If we injected some fun into the creation of new ideas and the introduction of new ways of doing things …
- then we could shift how we think of change, and
- get the job of change done quickly and with far fewer difficulties.
There is a lot of work being done to make a shift in our thinking and changing ‘how we do what we do’. This is true no matter whether we are talking about our work or personal life.
I urge you to visit The Fun Theory site for some examples of rethinking the paradigm of change and change management. There are also some fun exercises to encourage a freeing up of resistance in the workplace as you get started with change.
Why bother with making change management FUN?
Richard Branson presents a compelling arguement for why we should have fun at work, if for no other reason than the amount of time we spend at work.
But there are many more reasons why we should introduce some fun into the workplace.
Improving health and wellbeing as you support people through change
The positive health effects of fun or laughter have been well documented.
The process of making change IF NOT managed properly WILL add to the stress and difficulties at work.
Our goal in the workplace should be to reduce the stress or worry of our colleagues.
Reduces stress when managing change
Research has identified that employees who experience the stress of change are three times more likely to look for another job in the coming years than those not impacted or anticipating change. These same workers are four times as likely to have physical health impacts. So change can be UNHEALTHY.
In recognition of this some authors have developed concrete strategies to recognise and respond to these stressors but what if we minimised or did away with the stress by making it a much more fun and engaging experience?
Liza Donnely demonstrates the benefits of humour for change in her TED talk and while she is not speaking directly to the issue of change in the workplace she demonstrates how effective humour is in changing thinking.
If it’s an important change make it fun
Thomas Harvey in his book Checklist for Change: A Pragmatic Approach for Creating and Controlling Change says “The more important the change the more fun and excitement it must generate!”
So next time you are thinking of introducing change consider how you might incorporate some fun into your brainstorming or problem solving. There are lots of great ideas online that you can adapt to suit your need.
If you need help we are now seeing new business models emerge to help ‘change consultants’ and businesses introduce different strategies to present and retell the story of change. Here is one such example – FLIMP studio
So now you’ve made it fun – what are some of the other skills you need to foster to make change happen. I’ve written on some of the other skills and approaches you might need to take in 4 Skills for leaders that will deliver change, so please feel free to do some follow up reading.
- How to deal with resistance to change
- 87 Fun Office Activities – maybe you will find some good ideas here to spark your imagination
- The humor advantage how being outrageous can make your message contagious
- Incorporating fun in the workplace