Since the spring of 2020, our lives have been changed, inside and out, and especially in the world of work. Change has taken a toll on all of us, and for leaders, this is an especially fraught time, as we navigate even more change. Returning to the office after yet another pandemic winter, the volatility of our teams, with high levels of turnover and change, it's no wonder that people are feeling burnt out and fatigued.
Change fatigue is a symptom we often see as change managers, when the project drags on, change is constant, and we are asking more and more of people. Other priorities start to creep in, we get tired of constantly having to think, do and operate differently, and become less responsive to the needs of the change we are implementing. For a long time, I would talk about change fatigue and try to explain it to leaders. Now that we’ve all experienced this rapid collective global change, we finally have something to point to and say:
“This is how change fatigue feels”
The experience we’ve had, and the global exhaustion we are now all feeling is an opportunity for empathy. We all finally understand on a personal level what change fatigue looks and feels like.
The unfortunate truth is that change continues. Our lives demand more of us, even as we are stuck in exhaustion. So how do we move ourselves and our teams through change fatigue?
Every project hits a point of change fatigue, and we all need practical ways to move through fatigue to fully implement the change we are leading. Typically hitting a point of change fatigue indicates an inflection point in the project, where a break or recalibration is needed before the final push for success.
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