In private and professional life, there are certain topics that could fill countless books without the issue ever being put to rest. Letting go in general or from someone/something specific is one such issue. You might be asking yourself what this has to do with transformation or change.

Well, everything. Letting go is often an incredibly difficult, almost nostalgic process, without which nothing new can be created. The crux is that it can be incredibly difficult to let the “old” go or even break down old barriers so that you or your whole company can move in a new, healing or more successful direction. The longer you’ve lived with a certain behavioral pattern or status quo, even if this is constantly perceived as a burden, the more effort letting go takes!

Sadly, this is not taken into consideration in almost 100% of cases that we come across in organizations. It is simply stated without reason that the new thing really has to be the only logical thing in the new lives of managers and employees. It is pushed and marched forwards, sometimes with enormous time pressure, in a way that can make you dizzy. And it’s not just part of the zeitgeist that one transformation plan follows the next. This is associated with changes in board chairs and CEOs, who set new half-life records. Long live dynamism and action, always further and better!

Meanwhile, each change involves something akin to grief. The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) system has its own code (the ICD is the most important, internationally recognized classification system for medical diagnoses).

It would be great if there were something like this in the sense of positive success in change and transformation processes. There would certainly be a code where something new is only started when the old process or organization method etc. is let go. 

You can also work out whether your team/company has had enough time to grieve by assessing the language in your organizations and company. You’ll often hear things like “we’d only just found our feet and here comes the next change”, “this is awful, it’ll never work” and “it’s never been this bad, I don’t know what they’re trying to do”.