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Change = Loss


Managing change with tools and techniques to lead people through adoption is, as you may know, a passionate topic that I spend most of my waking hours thinking about. When sharing the stakeholder assessment – we look at the Gain, Loss and Fear that accompanies change. I find I usually focus on the gain of the change – what are the stakeholders gaining in this situation? I don’t mind focusing of the fear as I feel it’s something I can plan to address, but the loss is tough to deal with. The experience of change is so personal. Especially the loss.  

As project, HR or change professionals we may move quickly past the loss. The lost job, lost opportunity, or loss of comfort in staying in the situation we know. We don’t always know what to do or say and so we move quickly past the discussion. 

Today, I’m thinking about loss on a personal level. While I believe it’s the transition state that’s so uncomfortable, losing the current state is always hard and we grieve for what no longer is. 

My current state seems to be a season of loss. In the past couple of months, I’ve lost my mother to Alzheimer’s and my aunt (her sister) to age and our family dog, Pokey is sadly failing and in pain, so this loss is imminent as well.  I don’t see the benefit of the change in any of these situations and though I know the elimination of suffering is a benefit – the loss feels as though the suffering is just transferred to those who love the lost.

Though it often sounds trite, change is hard. It’s hard in many ways. If what we do can help a person to manage to get through a change, even just for a few moments, change management is worth it.  What type of change are you dealing with? How can we help each other in our community move through change?

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Guru’s in Organizational Culture both in 2021 & 2022, April is an internationally known organizational change management expert who has implemented change for government, health care, higher education and corporate clients. April is the author of four books including the bestsellers “READY, Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” and “READY, Set, CCMP™ Exam Prep Guide".  Contact her at [email protected]