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Change management 'requires understanding of psychology'

30 September 2010

Executives looking to implement change management programmes have been advised that an understanding behavioural psychology could improve their chances of success.

According to Psychology Today, change strategies that focus on altering the structural aspects of a company, instead of changing the mindsets of its employees, are usually doomed to failure.

The publication cited a McKinsey Quarterly article in which Emily Lawson and Colin Price argued that effective change management in large organisations depends on persuading hundreds or even thousands of employees to work differently.

It is suggested that workers will alter their mindsets only if they see the point of the change and agree with its purpose.

Psychology Today claimed this situation is associated with the psychological term cognitive dissonance, an uncomfortable feeling which occurs when a person's actions are inconsistent with their beliefs.

Applying this to the field of change management, it commented: "If people believe in its overall purpose and it's in alignment with their own life purposes, they will be more inclined to change their individual behaviours."

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Categories: Commercial

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