Change is inevitable, yet often uncomfortable. Those facing change tend to react with resistance and frustration.
However, change is also a prerequisite for growth.
Before you can take your organisation to new heights, you must first learn to accept and manage change, and support your team members as they navigate the sense of loss, uncertainty and fear that comes with it.
So, what’s the best way to do this?
Using the Four Doors of Change concept, you can enable your team to understand the impact of your business’ changes and even come to appreciate them.
What do I mean by the Four Doors of Change?
The Four Doors of Change is a model developed by Jason Clarke, an Australian innovation expert.
Using open (available) and closed (not available) doors, you can effectively communicate the effects of change in your workplace, enabling you to address the resistance within your team and help them understand the things that they will keep, gain or lose in the process.
I always refer my business clients to this model as I know how effective it is in building a strong understanding of how to manage change in a healthy way.
What are the Four Doors of Change?
Once you understand the Four Doors of Change, you can use them to reframe your team’s mindset and encourage them to be more open and see any change – whether big or small – as an advantage, rather than to be feared.
Let’s discuss each door in more detail.
- Door 1: Things that you used to be able to do and that you can still do
This first door is an open door, meaning you can still do the things you’re already doing after the change occurs.
Let’s say you’re planning to implement a marketing automation platform. Your objective to attract, nurture and maintain clients will not change, nor will your intent to create content that delivers value to current and prospective customers.
Door 1 represents the status quo, or business as usual. It provides your team with reassurance and certainty, despite the impending change.
- Door 2: Things that you couldn’t do before and that you still can’t do now
Door 2 also represents the status quo. It is a closed door, and it will stay that way.
By identifying the things that you don’t do now and that you’ll continue not to do, you can ease your team’s worries and ensure them that they won’t have to learn anything new or do something that they may not feel comfortable doing.
These first two doors set the “change boundaries”. They reassure your team first and foremost.
- Door 3: Things that you used to do but that you can’t do now
Door 3 is a closed door that was once open. This is the door that requires your team to process the loss that has come with change, whether that loss is good, bad or both.
Referring back to our marketing automation platform example, your team will lose tasks to this change, such as sending out emails, organising leads and tracking conversions. While this frees up your employees for other important tasks, they will inevitably feel unsure about leaving these tasks in the hands of a piece of software.
To help your team get used to these changes, you should develop new routines, processes and tasks for them to focus on.
This door is where your team will feel the change the most. This is why we approach this third, and then finish with a positive from door four.
- Door 4: Things that you couldn’t do before but that you can do now
Door 4 is an open door that used to be closed. Also known as the ‘go for it’ door, this door represents all the positive impacts the change can make.
Door 4 allows you to assess and communicate with your team about what they will gain from the change. As an example, employing a marketing automation platform will allow staff to learn new skills while increasing their lead generation capabilities. They’ll also save time and resources when liaising with clients.
Remember – the key is emphasising the benefits and value that this change holds for your business.
The importance of the Four Doors in managing change
Using the Four Doors of Change model can help you to see the effects, obstacles and possibilities of a planned change more clearly.
It’s also a great tool to encourage your team to get on board with change.
Using the Four Doors, you can provide your team members with the certainty and confidence that they need to adapt and grow with the changes in your workplace.
Do you need help managing change?
Change is one thing your organisation must go through to move forward in the ever-evolving business landscape.
Managing change, however, is not easy – especially if your team is showing signs of resistance to an idea.
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business owners like you to enable you to effectively adopt change in your organisation and reach your goals.
I can guide you towards success and teach you to manage change the right way.
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