Fighting Change Fatigue

Change is something we all respond to differently. But when it’s constant—in our personal and work lives—many of us experience the same feeling: change fatigue. How can we fight through it and become more resilient? Let’s take a moment to pause and reflect.

  • 2022 was predicted to be the year when things would stop changing and return to normal.
  • But according to Gartner, plenty more change is needed for organizations to reset from a prolonged state of crisis—also known as the last few years.
  • At the same time, the amount of change we can handle has dropped significantly.
  • This is no surprise, given that even before COVID we were already dealing with lots of it—re-orgs, leadership transitions and new technologies.
  • In many cases, these change initiatives failed because they were mismanaged.
  • Teams were too often excluded from planning these major initiatives. Or left in the dark about the reason for or importance of the change.
  • So as this next wave of change arrives, how can we leaders prepare to fight change fatigue?
  • Let’s start by getting clear on what the term actually means.
  • Change fatigue is defined as feeling apathetic towards or overwhelmed by too many changes. It can lead to burnout, high levels of stress, anxiety, and fear.
  • As humans, we’re naturally not great at adapting to change. And we have an innate desire to reduce uncertainty in our lives.
  • We leaders must recognize change fatigue as a collective issue instead of an individual one. And take action accordingly.
  • We can start by actively checking-in with our team.
  • Do they feel heard, valued, trusted, and included? Do they feel like their roles, responsibilities and processes are clear? Do they have the right tools and supports?
  • If not, it’s time to dig deeper and learn more. Conduct some surveys and interviews—and do it with empathy.
  • When this is done, share your findings with leadership—highlighting key themes and implications.
  • Work with them to prioritize the most impactful solutions.
  • And tap into your internal influencers—especially those who have experienced change fatigue the most.
  • As for moving through change in the future, take a moment to formulate a thoughtful approach.
  • We recommend trying Prosci’s ADKAR model. It’s based on the understanding that organizational change can only happen when individuals change.
  • Ultimately, fighting change fatigue requires ongoing leadership support.
  • But be mindful that there’s only so much you can do on your own.
  • And, as always, progress is more important than perfection.


Issue #158
Dec 18, 2022

Further Reading