When I first heard people centered implementation mentioned, I laughed because it just doesn’t sound like a legitimate term, even if the obvious meaning behind it has obvious intrinsic meaning. I made a fool of myself laughing at that, because it’s completely legit. Today, we’re going to talk about what this is within the context of change (it actually occurs in several fields with subtle differences).
A Basic Definition:
The most basic definition of people centered implementation is the process of designing a change model and goal set, agenda and set of training methodologies which base around being considerate and accommodating to the human assets involved.
This sounds like a kind of obvious thing, but when we look the main agonies often associated with change, we see that usually, change really isn’t people centered, it’s people tolerant. Well, that was pretty damned unavoidable for a long time. Now, however, with new technology and a change over a generation or two in mindset … not shifting our centrism in change is just inexcusable.
How Change isn’t People Centric:
Like I said before, change classically isn’t accomplished via people centered implementation, but rather people tolerant implementation. Most change models are based off of Kert Lewin’s 20th century studies of organizational sociology and psychology, as well as his studies of environmental change as well.
Well, this was a less … nice time to be alive when sociology was about programming tolerance of bullcrap, rather than in working the system to work with the rules of people themselves.
Change is unpleasant, normally, for the “little people”. They work and live in the oppressive work-a-day world, where they have little time nor interest, in most cases, for tinker and added inconvenience and trouble. They’re used to doing things the way they do them, it works fine, and they’re confident in being good at what they do.
Along with that, there are rigors of training, extra work and other such things on top of regular processes, and the responsibilities that this brings with it. These people are now subjected to a forced scholastic life along with the oppressive judgmental environment that this brings.
The people centrism is all about prioritization and goals being organic to how people are most likely to work and progress. It’s about selling the people on the changes, and motivating them to want them, and to see the ultimate results as a positive motivation and payoff for their sacrifices.
Along with this, it’s about meeting resistance with an open door and open ear, and laying out the schedule to not add more burden to the lives of those involved, but rather to enforce a pace that doesn’t stall the organization but doesn’t put any extra hard work on people.
This is basically an organic approach that focuses on the change as something to help everyone, which is the true spirit of change, but not the way it’s usually represented.
I’m out of things to say about people centered implementation, and in fact, I really was almost a page ago. There’s no set of guidelines or best practices for this kind of thought process as yet.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.