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20 memes about change at work: change inspiration and motivation

By 20th March 2024March 27th, 2024No Comments

Diving into the world of workplace change can often feel like trying to assemble a piece of furniture without the instructions. Baffling, unpredictable, and sometimes you end up with a few extra pieces you just can’t place.

Enter your unofficial guide to navigating the wild ride of change management without losing your marbles!

Through the universal language of memes, we’ll explore the rollercoaster of emotions that change can bring. From the eye-rolls at yet another “invigorating” email, to the jaw-drops when a new strategy actually starts to click, these memes are your comrades-in-arms, whispering, “I get it, I understand you”.

Meme #1: Disappointed Cat

The moment “change” is whispered, it’s like a bat signal for sceptics everywhere, summoning an instant chorus of “doom experts” with a PhD in Doubtology.

This disgruntled cat perfectly captures the scepticism that often greets new ideas. It’s a reminder of the diverse perspectives we encounter during change initiatives.

After all, sceptics provide valuable insights that can strengthen our approach. So, challenge accepted, let’s collaborate and turn doubt into opportunity!

Meme description: Disgruntled looking cat Meme text: When you mention 'change' and everyone suddenly becomes an expert on why it won't work:
Meme description: Dog sitting on chair with everything burning around them Meme text: Hearing that the change will 'barely affect your daily routine' as literally everything changes:

Meme #2: Embrace workplace transformation

When we’re told, “Oh, this change won’t affect you much,” but then, surprise! Everything around us is flipping more dramatically than a pancake on Shrove Tuesday.

Some of us might like surprises, but not at work. It’s important to set realistic expectations and prepare adequately for the effects of change, rather than downplaying its impact.

Recognising and addressing the real challenges and emotions people face can lead to more effective and resilient change management strategies.

Meme #3: Navigating change and beyond!

In a world where change is as constant as the stars in the sky, our reactions to it can vary widely.

From excitement and readiness to apprehension and uncertainty. This diversity in response is perfectly normal and acknowledging our genuine feelings towards change is the first step on the journey to managing it effectively.

By embracing our initial reactions, we open the door to a more inclusive and understanding approach to change management.

Recognising and validating these feelings not only makes the path to change smoother but also enriches the experience for everyone involved, fostering an environment where all perspectives are heard and valued.

Meme description: Toy story - Buzz showing Woody something in the distance Meme text: Look Woody. Change, change everywhere.
Meme description: 3 images of brain activity progressively getting more active First brain: Telling employees to 'just deal with' change. Second brain: Creating FAQs to preemptively answer concerns about change. Third brain: Embedding change agents within teams to model and coach through change, fostering a culture of continuous adaptation.

Meme #4: Change support puzzle

Telling employees to “just deal with” change is like handing someone a Rubik’s Cube and saying, “Just solve it!” without showing them how.

It’s expecting them to figure out a complex puzzle without any guidance or support, leading to frustration and confusion.

But behold the brainpower surge when you include, empower and prepare your team for change, it’s brainy brilliance!

Meme #5: The email mirage

We’ve all been there.

That moment of realisation when we thought firing off a single email would miraculously kickstart change, only to find ourselves in need of a full-blown change management strategy.

With head in hand, enthusiasm is a great start, but navigating change requires a well-thought-out plan and a strategic approach to truly accomplish something brilliant.

Meme description: Oppenheimer with head in hand Meme text: When you thought a single email would kickstart change, but then realise you need a full-blown change management strategy
Meme description: Side eye Chloe - girl giving side eye to camera Meme text: When management says this change won't be like the last one, it'll be smooth sailing

Meme #6: Workplace change & side-eye

We all experience change in the workplace and we’re no stranger to promises of “smooth sailing”.

These promises often elicit the infamous side-eye from those who’ve weathered past storms.

While positivity and enthusiasm are useful, seasoned change managers know better than to trust in smooth seas. If they’re aware of challenges, they’ll be upfront and make you aware of them too. They’ll also make sure you’re given the support, training, and encouragement to take on those challenges successfully.

Meme #7: The compass of change

This meme wittily captures the folly of overlooking the invaluable insights that feedback offers.

Much like the treacherous path to Mordor, bypassing the rich landscape of employee and stakeholder feedback is a venture fraught with peril.

In the quest for successful change, feedback is the compass that guides us through unseen hazards.

Meme description: Boromir from Lord of the Rings stating a fact Meme text: One does not simply ignore feedback.
Meme description: Phoebe and Joey from TV series friends having a back and forth conversation. Phoebe: Effective communication Joey: Effective communication Phoebe: is key to Joey is key to Phoebe: managing change Joey: managing change Phoebe: successfully Joey: and cake!

Meme #8: Communication & cake

Effective communication is the cornerstone of successful change management—clear, open dialogue that guides, informs, and reassures every step of the way.

But let’s not underestimate the power of a sweeter incentive; offering cake might just be the cherry on top that turns resistance into enthusiasm. After all, a little bit of sugar helps the change go down smoothly.

Meme #9: Honest change, honestly

Real support is cultivated by engaging with colleagues from the outset, embracing their feedback, and navigating the change journey together.

David just wants us to recognise the importance of genuine, two-way communication in change initiatives, reminding us that there are no shortcuts to earning trust and buy-in.

True engagement means listening, adapting, and walking the path of change hand in hand with those it affects the most.

Meme description: Oppenheimer serious face and Oppenheimer smiling face Serious face text: Hearing someone say change management is just about sending emails and hosting meetings. Smiling face text: Watching their astonishment as targeted change strategies begin to transform the organisation.

Meme #10: An unexpected change

From the gloom of change management misconceptions, envisioning it as merely emails and meetings, to the delight of witnessing its true impact.

We’re first struck with scepticism, like bracing for a bowl of bland porridge. Yet, by tuning into the needs and worries of all stakeholders, leveraging clear, consistent communication, and offering robust support and training, change management unfolds as an unexpected feast.

Meme #11: Brainpower change

This gives us the brain’s-eye-view of change management: on one side, the traditional approach lights up like a dimly lit pumpkin on Halloween, panic and PowerPoint.

On the other, the expert approach is the brain equivalent of a fireworks show, bright, engaging, and empowering.

“Scare them into change” is out, and the era of turning team members into change champions is in.

Meme description: Brain activity low and brain activity high Low activity text: Traditional change approach - panic and PowerPoint High activity text: Change expert approach - engagement and empowerment

Meme #12: Data Vs. doom

Disaster Girl’s mischievous grin perfectly captures the moment when someone insists, “this change will never work,” only to be met with a treasure trove of data proving otherwise.

Strong data swiftly extinguishes doubt, demonstrating that the path forward is grounded in evidence.

Seeing evidence reassures us as we move through change, it eases our minds and fosters confidence in the change process, empowering change managers to navigate towards successful implementation.

Meme #13: Sloth wisdom

Amidst the hustle and bustle of organisational transformation, ‘Sloth wisdom’ reminds us to embrace patience and allow for the gradual evolution of perspectives.

After all, true change isn’t just about ticking off days on a calendar; it’s about nurturing shifts in mindset that pave the way for lasting transformation.

Meme description: Two sloths pondering Meme text: Sloth wisdom: "The real speed of change is measured in mindset shifts, not calendar days".

Meme #14: They count coins?

What does a Change Manager even do? It’s a question that’s long been asked and perceptions can be as diverse as the colours in a kaleidoscope.

What is change management? First box: What society thinks I do...image of someone counting coins Second box: What clients think I do...image of a sign that states 'miracles just ahead' Third box: What my Mum thinks I do...image shows Marvel avengers standing in a line Forth box: What I actually do...image shows people putting puzzle pieces together

❌Some take it literally and envision someone carefully counting coins.

❌Others see them as special individuals capable of miraculous transformations.

❌Some might see them as the heroic saviour, right Mum? Right?

The reality?

✅It’s more like orchestrating a complex puzzle, bringing together disparate pieces to craft meaningful and lasting change in a way that ensures everyone is included.

Meme #15: Architects of change

The subtle, or not so subtle, art of empowerment! By entrusting those undergoing change to take the reins, resistance becomes a relic of the past. After all, who can resist change when they’re the architects of it?

By fostering ownership and involvement, we can pave the way for smoother transitions and happier teams.

Meme description: Man with find pointed towards head implying intelligence Meme text: You can't resist change if you're the one leading it.
Meme description: Liam Neeson's character from Taken on the phone Meme text: I have a particular set of skill. I will generate desire, and I will foster adoption.

Meme #16: A particular set of skills

With the same determination as Neeson’s character from Taken, change managers vow to leverage their expertise to inspire enthusiasm for change and ensure its successful implementation.

Because when it comes to change, having the right skills makes all the difference, even if you’re not hunting down bad guys!

Our change managers will find you….and they will support you.

Meme #17: Change misunderstood

Ah, the elusive nature of change management, often overshadowed by its more tangible cousin, project management.

With project management focusing on the ‘what’ and ‘when,’ change management delves into the ‘who’ and ‘why,’ a subtler art that requires understanding hearts and minds rather than just deadlines and deliverables.

It’s not enough to hit launch; we need every passenger informed, engaged, and ready for what comes next. This approach minimises future discontent, as it’s harder to reverse or lament the change if everyone understands its purpose and benefits from the outset.

Essentially, by investing in the ‘who’ and ‘why,’ change management ensures that when we reach our new destination, we find ourselves in a place where everyone wants to be, not just where they ended up.

Meme description: Someone squinting at a small piece of paper Meme text: List of people who understand change management
Meme: referencing Dune Part 2 Person 1: This change will neve work with so much resistance Person 2: Silence! Effective change management turns resistance into engagement

Meme #18: Change resistance…”as it was written”

Resistance isn’t a sign of failure; it’s a chance for an organisation to grow stronger and more united.

It helps us get everyone involved and understand each other better. Going through change is tough, with lots of challenges along the way.

But it’s these challenges that actually help us get somewhere better in the end.

Meme #19: Power of engagement

All too often the team member pegged as the most resistant to change turns out to be its most fervent champion.

This twist in the tale shows the transformative power of engaging with and understanding the perspectives of those hesitant about change, revealing that sometimes, the most unexpected players bring the game home.

Meme description: person looking shocked Meme text: Realising the 'resistant' team member is your biggest change advocate
Meme description: Kevin James looking smug Meme text: New process, who dis?

Meme #20: Celebrating change victory

New process, who dis?

Bask in the confidence and empowerment that comes from navigating through the uncertainty of change and emerging victorious on the other side!

There we have it! We’ve navigated the unpredictable waters of change with our trusty meme-compass, we’ve laughed, nodded, and maybe even cringed a bit in recognition.

Change, with all its twists and turns, has never looked so relatable. Here’s to mastering the art of change, one meme at a time.

Develop your change leadership skills with The Inform Team

To discover more about change leadership, including examples, tips and success stories, tune into episode one of our Diary of a Change Manager podcast, with Samatha Kinstrey and Michele Payne.

To find out more about how Inform can support your change leaders, check out our change management and culture services or drop us a message to set up a quick call.

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