Evans Incorporated

The Illusion of Control and How It Affects Change Management

By Noel Assegid, MBA, Prosci CMP and Alicia Serrato

Researchers have found that a powerful cognitive force that drives resistance to change is the fear of not having control of one’s destiny (Bovey & Hede, 2001). The findings indicate that individuals are so deeply motivated to control their environment, that they will be far more committed to an outcome if they feel that they are empowered to choose for themselves, as opposed to being told what to do (Tversky & Kahneman, 1975). This cognitive bias, known as the illusion of control, remains true even when individuals do not actually have control of the outcome.

Evans’ change management professionals understand the importance of engaging individuals in the early stages of the change process, so that they can participate and voice their organizational needs along each phase of the process, which will ultimately increase their commitment to the change.

Evans’ human-centered change management process starts at the individual level, to ensure that the change efforts are embraced and not imposed. With this comprehensive change management approach, Evans works to help individuals understand the need for change and to motivate them to take actions, which will result in sustained desired changes within the organization.

One of Evans’ key change management principles is that change starts and ends with the individual. This principle emphasizes the importance of people knowing where they are going and why, and for everyone to clearly understand their unique role in the change.

Engaging the individual in the change process involves on-going communication, collaboration and periods of reflection to ensure individuals feel heard and also feel that they are active participants in the change efforts. Evans’ human-centered change management process recommends the actions listed in Figure 1 to ensure that resistance does not become a major barrier and to help individuals successfully progress through the change stages with participation and commitment.

To engage its own employees in defining an organizational vision, Evans recently launched Vision Theme Circles, where employees were invited to openly discuss their ideas for the future of the company and to let the leadership know what really matters to them. Participation was voluntary and employees could choose to attend as many vision theme circles as they wanted. Just as it does for its own employees, Evans is committed to providing its clients with change management solutions that will increase buy-ins at all levels of the organization.

To learn more about the Evans human-centered Organizational Change Management and Communications (OCMC) solution, visit us at EvansIncorporated.com and be sure to fill out our contact form to learn more about our services.

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