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4 Tips to Survive the Delta State

The delta state is where the bulk of change happens. It’s the gap between the present and the future. It’s a time of confusion—the old way of doing things is gone, but the new way isn’t firmly established.

For many people, breaking the comfortable routines of the current state and stepping into the delta causes doubt, hesitation, and insecurity. Putting these four tips into practice can help ease the difficulty caused by the delta state and drive your change effort forward:

1. Create a Visible Path to Change for All Change Targets

There are three types of change targets: Originators, Pragmatists, and Conservers. Originators are people who decide to change and are pretty comfortable without a visible path. Their minds can leap from the current to the desired state without much direction.  But Pragmatists and Conservers need steps and direction for the desired state.  Make sure to explain the reason and decision-making process behind the change.  Provide them with details on the new policy and a timeline for implementation.

2. Understand the History of Change in Your Organization

Sometimes people choose not to change because past attempts have resulted in failure or have been too difficult.  You may see this at the organization where you work. Your employees’ opinion about previous changes will have a strong impact on their decision to support or fight any current changes. Think about past change attempts in your organization. Were these successful? Would previous efforts give employees a reason to resist current change efforts?

3. Think About the Other Changes Your Employees Are Dealing with

Your employees can have personal changes going on in addition to the changes that are happening at work.  Being aware of these other changes can help you create a smoother transition from the old to the new state for your team.

4. Calculate the Cost of Change

Create a disciplined process that has a systematic series of steps to break down the change process so you can accurately calculate the cost of change. Change doesn’t come without effort and resource, and you need a clear picture of what making a change costs in terms of energy, money, and investments toward other resources like your family, employees, or your friends.

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