Change Management: The Weight of the Image

3 Minute read


One day came the moment when the starred chef stopped to eat in a boui-boui, the day when the doctor fell ill, the day that saw the poorly shod shoemaker wandering around in the landscape garden on fallow land. A difficult day, a day of questions, disbelief or why not.

The perception of change management has recently undergone a mutation linked to the fact that it has imposed itself as an obvious necessity in a dynamic of forced adaptation, of precipitated change against a background of agility.

Focus on human capital. The movement of the raw material of the contemporary organization has been modified with this wave. Then, the backwash. Question: "Apart from the perception we have today, has change management changed with the upheavals caused by the pandemic?

A refreshing look from a change management specialist: Ronald Isaac. We asked him. With passion, he generously agreed to answer. We share this monthly post with him.

Terms and conditions, rules of engagement

From the outset, the image rendered by the ice remains immutable. The answer to why remains the same. Foundation, foundation, foundation. The main change management methodologies and their derivatives remain the same. Rules are rules and call for compliance. However, the ways in which they are applied have changed significantly as the number of variables in the same human equation has increased considerably. All these new variables have a common source: location. For the rest, adherence to projects, recognition of the need for change, communication strategies, knowledge transfer, the need for reinforcement... to use a time-honoured expression, worn out by over employment... is continuity in change.

Exploded silos

The place, THE place. The work was catapulted home. Rarely in a dedicated room, a closed office. For the majority, BEFORE teleworking was occasional, an exception, a small delight. Abruptly, it became the only way. Without really realizing it, because at the beginning many were charmed by this novelty effect against a background of no traffic jams, everyone's personal and professional spaces became permeable.

It has become so easy to go from the living room to the office, sometimes even without moving. Why not take a look at the screen that has just been shaken again by the beep of an incoming e-mail? Then, instead of spending an hour or two in the car or train, why not occupy those moments with moving important files forward? Focus is gradually getting closer to his friend Isolation. Strange attraction of the virtual, the eternal return of the same... For several years now, it has been with extraordinary ease that many people have virtualized their social life by embracing social media... hundreds and hundreds of relationships without even having to have a connection.

It is in this context, therefore, that the modalities of accompaniment during change take on a very significant importance. Periods of exchange and sharing become crucial in order to avoid a heavy feeling of isolation. More than ever before, tact must take pride of place in the relational space of accompaniment during change. On this specific point, Ronald Isaac tells us:

By moving the workplace to the home, we have necessarily created the conditions that make it impossible to ignore the personal dimension in the space of professional challenges. However, we have also clumsily knocked down the only bulwark that guarantees privacy.


The discomfort of the glance

Discomfort. The eye scrutinizes. Turning off the camera is often perceived as a rudeness as if the eye were turned away during the conversation. The pretext used is often that of the desire to emulate presence, contact, to recreate the possibility of considering the non-verbal. It is as if suddenly it became as difficult to have a non-visual exchange with a colleague as it is to be able to get a non-smartphone.

Absolute necessity or fabricated necessity?

Videoconferences follow one another at a frantic pace during the day. Do they always have to be visual? Would it be a simple mental view to consider that image brings more? Ronald Isaac brings us back to the concrete example of the call centers that exploded at the turn of the 90s. How the people who worked there had to operate... without an image.

Today, we are used to reading non-verbal language with the help of a picture. But during the period that saw the explosion of call centers, the training of call center agents placed a real emphasis on decoding non-verbal communication with audio alone. Voice intonation, pauses and word choice are just as important markers as posture and hand movement.

Ronald Isaac is accustomed to giving his interlocutors the choice of participating in meetings with or without a camera. Exchanges that are better grounded in reality according to him, but above all more respectful of the space of the other. "Expecting others to constantly let the camera work is like asking them to deliver their intimacy on stage, to be constantly in performance mode. The space tinted in this way is anything but true".

Through the eye of the omnipotent camera, the office has entered the house, the house has become an office... But where have the beacons gone? 

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