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ACMP News: Ignitor Insights

Eileen Lehmann, CCMP, ABC, APR, Finance Change Manager, The Ohio State University

Wednesday, April 22, 2020  
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How are we dealing with our emotional bias during COVID-19?  When our desires or fears lead us to override our best judgement, its known as an emotional bias. In the field of change management, we commonly help people overcome the emotional bias for the status quo – a preference for how things are or how they’ve “always been.” Even if our most rational brain understands we must create a new plan, it’s hard to move forward. As business leaders, we have an obligation right now to make smart business decisions. So, what’s our next steps in the face of an emotional bias for the status quo? I think, we go back to basics: 1) Know the current state before you make the next change. How much of the current state you knew is different now? 2) Is your future state still attainable? How has the “new normal” moved you closer to your project destination? How is it further away? 3) Now how big is the transition? Do you have the capacity to make it? We may all be more nimble as a result of the COVID-19 transformation, but a lot of projects are on hold, waiting for the risk of disease to pass. Every change starts with people. Right now people are hurting, confused, and working harder than ever to keep life on a path that feels normal. Our emotional animals long for the status quo and, as with all change, the change of COVID-19 will take time to feel normal. How do we be cautious – and humane – as we consider how to move our own project forward.

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