9 Change Management Principles From Research

Change Management Principles

People that succeed in creating effective change management do two things very well:

First, they identify the change management techniques that get them results.

Second, they put 100% of their resources into executing and scaling those techniques.

But you’re probably wondering:

“How do I find change management strategies that actually work?”

Well, today I’m going to make it easy for you.

All you need to do is carve out a few minutes of your day and tackle one of the 9 change management principles below.

Table of contents:


Principle 1: Create a crisis

It’s a principle of change management to some extent that most change initiatives fail. The first crisis that most organizations need to create is to realize that most approaches to change management don’t work.

According to an IBM study, Making change work… while the work keeps changing, almost half of all organizational change efforts deliver less than half of their expectations.

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Only one in five change management leaders reported real success.

The organisational inertia of managing the day-to-day and the inevitable problems that arise will cause a business to drift.

An interruption is needed.

Because without a prodding outside force creating a crisis of sorts, leaders won’t sit down and do the careful thinking, planning and strategizing to make success happen.

To illustrate why it’s important to create an interruption or crisis, consider this study conducted by psychologist Gabriele Oettingen. She conducted research with obese women, wondering how do our expectations impact goal achievement.

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The outcomes of the study are amazing. The women with the expectation fantasy lost on average twenty-four pounds less than those whose expectations were that this would be tough.

Creating a crisis isn’t negative-nelly thinking; it galvanises people to take both urgent and realistic actions.

The annals of business literature are littered with companies who’ve relied on their market dominance, believing they could not fail, and well, failed.

As a change manager, create the crisis, by creating the urgent case for change.

To create the urgent case for action, with your key stakeholders, ask and answer the following questions:

  • What is the default future of our department or organization?
  • If we don’t take action now, where will we end up?
  • If we don’t act now, what risks will we be exposed to?
  • If we don’t act now, what opportunities will we miss?

Change Management Principles into Action:

First: Build organizational belief. Self-belief matters, still: You’ve succeeded before and you can do it again. Bring those previous achievements to the fore with our team and reflect on the journey, obstacles you overcame.

Second, create the urgent case for change that will galvanise the organisation to do the thinking, the planning and to take the right actions in the face of adversity. Ask and answer the urgent case for action questions.

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Principle 2: Get specific

Change management is usually required, because well, you’re trying to change something.

Usually to cause some organisational transformation. But what is organisational transformation, really?

A quick Google search finds a variety of attempts to define organizational transformation, but most don’t even quite qualify as a proper definition:

  • “Organizational transformation is about organizational change which the change goes to the depths of what an individual feels and will affect what people feel about the organization, what they do in the organization and maybe what they hold dear to life.”
  • “Transformation is about making multiple, discontinuous behavioral changes to a whole organism; it is about changing systems of behaviors.”

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What does that mean, really?

All of this is no different to saying “I want to lose weight” or  “to get fit” or “earn more money”.

How much weight do you want to lose, and by when?

What does being fit look like for you? Is it the ability to run a marathon, or sprint 100 meters in 14 seconds?

More money? $5,000 more month or per year?

You get the idea.

Being specific about personal or organisational goal matters.

Numerous studies show, setting vague and ambiguous goals allows you and others to squirm out of it.

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Losing 5 kilograms in three months from today is clear. If we don’t achieve it we will have ‘failed’ which is perhaps why we don’t want to state it clearly in the first place.

In a recent webinar on measurement in transformation projects, Doug Hubbard the author of How To Measure Anything, defined it well:

A Definition of Organizational Transformation (without all the “salesy” consulting-speak):

Any deliberate initiative to bring about a major change in an organization, with the implication that the change is at a scale that would make it both rare and significant.”

Further, it would have the following characteristics:

  • Being a significant event, it is risky.
  • Since it involves some specific initiative or call-to-action, it involves an investment of resources and should have expected outcomes with expected times.
  • It is supposed to improve something tangible about the organization: productivity, development cycle time for new products, new products and services, new market share, etc.
  • The tangible outcomes would be limited by milestone completion success, adoption or rejection of rate of new processes by customers or employees.

So, when you say “Organizational Change and Transformation” what are you talking about?

  • The term Organizational Transformation is just too ambiguous for clear measurement.
  • Do you mean, specifically, one of the following initiatives?
    • The implementation of some (major) software solution
    • Merging with another organization
    • Flattening or otherwise changing the organizational structure
    • Implementing Lean, Six Sigma or Agile processes
    • Major cost reductions
    • Entering a new market or developing a new product

Doug in his book, How To Measure Anything, shows how to do this, by following the ‘clarification chain’[1]:

  1. If it matters at all, it is detectable/observable.
  2. If it is detectable, it can be detected as an amount (or range of possible amounts).
  3. If it can be detected as a range of possible amounts, it can be measured.

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It the sad fact is this is harder to do than it seems. Often we have vague notions of what we’re “trying” to do, let alone specifically what and even lesser the pathway forward.

Change Management Principles into Action:

  1. Get specific about what your project or change initiative is about, ask the sponsor, “why are we doing this? What happens if we don’t do it?”
    1. Use the clarification chain to further decompose the goal into discrete, measurable goals
  2. Get clear on how this initiative will realise and fulfils the matters of fundamental interest or importance to the relevant parties.

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Principle 3: Collaborate for a change: People don’t resist what they create

Collaboration is one of the corner stone principles of change management success.

In a report by Google in 2010, The Decisive Decade: how the acceleration of ideas will transform the workplace by 2020, showed there is an 81% correlation between collaboration and innovation.

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But, how much value does collaboration drive in projects?

A 2010 survey by McKinsey found that change project success ballooned to more than 75% when workers on the shop floor felt they were an integral part of the process of change.

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Collaboration methodologies and techniques to obtain a high-quality solution to a given problem in a very short timeframe.

By designing collaborative sessions to bring key people together and work through the problems and opportunities will make a significant difference to your project.

What is collaboration?

“Collaboration is working with others to complete a task and achieve shared goals”

Collaboration in the organisational context is the structured methods of introspection of behaviour and communication.

These methods specifically aim to increase the success of teams as they engage in collaborative problem-solving.

How to collaborate?

It seems easy, right?

Just put a bunch of people in a room and do a brainstorming session. That could work, but a structured approach will take it to a whole new level.

Creating a productive collaborative environment requires right conditions and thoughtfulness. This was confirmed in a study of 15 large organisations conducted by Lynda Gratton from the London School of Economics.

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As collaborative change managers and consultants, you are the architects of teams that are both task AND relationship orientated.

Change Management Principles into Action:

To lead change successfully, managers need to ask two questions:

  • Are my people involved in discovering and creating solutions to identified problems?
  • Do they feel responsible for their success?

Thinking through your next or current change initiative, ask and answer the following questions, in an area of you’d like to improve performance, which element is missing or which element could be bolstered:

  • In the realizing of that “created future”, the people you are leading (those who must act to realize that “created future”) must see an opportunity to fulfil their concerns
  • In the realizing of that future, the people you are leading must see an opportunity for self-expression.
  • In the realizing of that future, the people you are leading must see an opportunity for them to personally make a noteworthy contribution to the realization of that future.

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Principle 4: Focus on change readiness balanced for change resistance

What you focus on matters. As these social psychologists show:

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When setting the focus and the context of goals, your beliefs will inform your focus.

But we should not underestimate how challenging and what the obstacles might be along the way.

And one of those obstacles to change is employee resistance.

Making success happen requires careful planning, thinking, and persistence.

If we focus our attention on overcoming resistance as a goal, which is what I think most change management communications and engagement plans do, when that’s what we’ll get.

Instead, we should focus our attention on getting the organisation “change ready.”

However, this doesn’t mean we become pollyanna and ignore the realities of the world — people can and do resist change.

And it’s this dualistic thinking, having a positive focused goal in mind, balanced by having thought through the obstacles that will make the world work for us.

Seeing the hurdles to negotiate and the hoops to jump through on the way to your goal can actually help in business planning and motivation. Research has shown that positive thinking alone can have a detrimental effect on both.

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At the University of NSW, similar studies have come to the same conclusion:

A negative disposition in thinking is rewarded with stronger memory, better decision making, a less naïve persona, and greater levels of perseverance in the road to success.

Using negative thinking positively

Holding a completely positive mindset negates any idea of problems or obstacles. The overriding effect is one of unrealistic thinking.

Taking a more sanguine view, considering the potential downside as well as the upside, has three direct and positive outcomes:

  1. Realistic thinking, leading to
  2. Contingency planning, and
  3. Greater persistence in the achievement of aims and goals

Oetteingen’s study took the research even further. Splitting the study group in two, both were primed positively before an undertaken task.

The second group, however, were also asked to perform some contra-thinking, considering obstacle analysis (or mental contrasting). This second group performed far better in the task than the first group.

Mental Contrasting

In the first tip, I argued that creating a crisis is necessary to create the urgency that has people sit up, take notice and act.

The second tip is to provide people clarity so they know what success looks like, and what behaviours and actions are expected of them. Taken together this is a powerful combination for successful change.

Scientists call this mental contrasting.

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This provides both the motivation and direction to succeed.

How to use negative thinkers for positive change management

Too often, management dismisses the negative thinker as contradictory to positive change, but if studies like Oettingens’ and the University of NSW’s prove anything, then it is that negative thinking is a necessary requirement to reach the positive outcome desired.

It’s a principle of change management to see that so called “negative people” will give natural mental contrasting. Integrate these ideas pre-plan to work around obstacles before they happen.

Change managers shouldn’t ignore these so called negative people, but rather engage them in developing more comprehensive change planning.

Change Management Principles into Action:

  • Change the focus from overcoming resistance to working towards change readiness
  • Embrace the negative thinkers on the journey towards change readiness
    1. Negative thinkers will naturally see the ambiguity in plans, processes, and systems;
    2. They will offer the mental capacity to see underlying problems and incorrect assumptions;
    3. They can be used to communicate a more realistic approach, engaging colleagues and providing the motivational impetus.

Don’t look at negative thinkers as obstacles themselves. Look at them as a positive balance to any change management planning.

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Principle 5: Rigorous implementation planning averts resistance

Historically, organisational and change management issues related to IT projects were often under-estimated or ignored entirely. In fact, people issues collectively accounted for the majority of project failures.

Axioms:

  • Everything that someone tells you is true. They are reporting their experience of reality.
  • To argue with someone else’s experience is a waste of time.

More recently, the people factor – at least on the project side – has been addressed with “agile” project management methodologies. Indeed, a recent survey by VersionOne found 84 per cent of organisations were using some form of or toolset from the agile playbook.

That study also found that large IT projects, on average, run 45 per cent over budget and 7 per cent over time, while delivering 56 percent less value than predicted.

While not flattering, it is getting better.

So given the extra effort, what’s happening?

Change management has played a big part by focusing on the achievement of desired outcomes of the change by supporting people through their transitions.

But if there’s one single root cause that prevents user adoption and usage, it’s uncertainty caused by a project and how it is managed. Economists call it “ambiguity aversion”, the malaise that results from a lack of clarity.

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In our organisations, most of the decisions we face are a mix between risk and ambiguity.

I call this navigating the ambiguous zone.

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This insight about ambiguity is why people treat ambiguous, inexact, incomplete, or vague information not just as insufficient, but actually discount the data altogether.

The frustrating implication for project managers is that as a result of the discounting of ambiguous information, people behave as if they have no information at all.

Good change leaders must become good at converting the ambiguous goals and plans into concrete and specific steps and messages to ensure behaviour change they want.

Ambiguity is unavoidable in projects, but you can influence it.

This is why bringing clarity to your organisational change programs is so important. It’s why a vague statement like “deal with this new project” results in no action on the project.

Instead put off in favour of the customer call, the urgent task in the here and now.

Having good change management principles and methodologies helps to convert the ambiguous goals and plans into concrete, specific steps. Add to this clear messages to ensure the behaviour change desired and you’re well on the way to successful change.

Change Management Principles into Action:

Look at the following sources of ambiguity and assess your change initiative against each of these.

  • Loss of control: Many people feel resentful when change is imposed on them. A sense of control is essential for the self-esteem of most people. Imposed change can remove this sense of control, leading to stress and an attempt to reassert control by overt or covert sabotage.
  • Fear of the unknown: When the future state is unknown, fear and subsequent resistance can be generated. This is a particular problem in Transformational Change, where the change is so extreme or complex that most people are unable to see their own personal future state. Not unreasonably this can lead to unwillingness to change.
  • Unexpected Change: People react negatively almost instinctively when decisions or demands are placed upon them without any forewarning or chance for preparation. An individual who has had no time to think through their reaction will almost certainly react negatively and resist change.
  • Force of Habit: Many people are habitual in their nature and resent any break to this routine. Change, by definition, is likely to disrupt routines, causing insecurity and resistance.
  • Ego: If something is to be changed, that implies the old way was wrong or inferior. A surprising amount of resistance is due to this.
  • Self Doubt: In some cases fear on the individual’s behalf that they won’t be able to learn skills, or conduct tasks as required in the new model can lead to resistance.
  • Chaos Theory: Changes occurring in a professional environment can have an impact on a person’s personal life. Examples of this might be changes in location, work colleagues who are personal friends etc. This cause of resistance is hard to spot and often equally hard to overcome.
  • History: A history of failed changes, or simple exhaustion from constant change (often known as change fatigue), can cause resistance. Why would a person go to the effort of accepting a change and beginning to implement it, if every change implemented in the past had stalled or failed?

Your main tool for overcoming resistance is keen listening.

Allowing people to speak their mind and voice their views often helps them work through their concerns.

A good deal of them will disappear just from listening well, the others, which have merit, will require taking action to have them resolved.

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Principle 6: Align leadership and involve every layer

It’s no secret that leadership is vitally important to organizational success and in particular change management.

(In fact, it’s vital! Leadership is THE difference in the success or failure of projects.)

The question is: exactly how much difference does it make?

Well, some people have taken the time to study and measure it.

Douglas Hubbard of How to Measure Anything fame, analysed large portfolio projects to investigate the project-related factors the predicted a positive ROI.

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He found that the level of sponsor engagement predicted between 5 and 30 percent probability of success of the project.

That’s compelling.

In another study, Wharton University researcher Ethan Mollick conducted an academic study, investigating the to what degree do individual people in an organization contribute it;s success.

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Mollick’s findings:

“After controlling for many factors, such as the genre of the game and the size of the project, I found that individual producers account for 22.3% of the variation in company revenue. Designers, by contrast, account for just 7.4% of the variation — a relatively marginal impact. For comparison, everything else that’s part of the firm, whether it’s senior managers or strategy or marketing, accounts for just 21.3% of the variation in firm performance.”

Taken together, sponsors as a proxy of tops leadership, and middle managers as the engines of change, you can see how it important it is that they are aligned with goals, priorities and actions.

But when driving change at a pragmatic level, middle and frontline managers are often squeezed and their influence on the outcome is misunderstood.

One significant cause is that senior leaders misinterpret people’s value drivers.

Social science researcher Dr Danah Zohar has looked at what drives senior leadership versus the frontline staff and middle managers.

Zohar has shown that what managers and employees value the most in their work did not correlate at all to what drives senior leaders.

What the leader cares about (and typically bases at least 80 percent of his or her message to others on) does not tap into roughly 80 percent of the workforce’s primary motivators for putting extra energy into the change program.

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This same effect can also be seen in research by Capgemini Consulting and the IESE business school annual Global Innovation Leadership Study.

Based on a survey of 260 innovation executives around the world, they concluded that “large organisations create so much distance between the executives and those that are tasked to innovate that a disconnect exists between them.”

The effective leader, and this isn’t always the CEO, it could be the department head, first line team leader or just informal, all influence the following:

  • They set the primary example of behavior
  • Control the incentive systems
  • Choose the people to represent themselves and organization
  • Strongly influence the operational values
  • Set the pace of change

These findings have profound implications for leaders. So how can leaders build the connection from top to bottom?

Change Management Principles into Action:

  1. To ensure momentum and engagement in a change process, identify all key stakeholder leaders. Tell them:
    1. “You have a key position in the new arrangements and so we need your help to lead and drive the change.”
    2. “I’d like your input and help to make this change a reality, to avoid risks and mistakes, given you know the detail better than I do.”
  2. Provide top leaders with as much clarity as you can to help deliver the message.
  3. Have the top leaders repeat the why and what of the change as often as possible
  4. Set up the front and middle managers as coaches. Meet and coach them in getting their people change ready.

Finally, leadership is driven by values and measured by results. It is the most rewarding and important function any change manager can influence.

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Principle 7: Use “to-go” thinking and focus on what you will do

Any project requires an honest assessment of your progress.

You need to know how you’re doing so you can make adjustments. It’s vital for motivation that we must be able, in some way to monitor our progress.

The scientific literature shows that feedback loops are fundamental to goal directed human behaviour.

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When the brain notices a deviation from what it is expecting, you automatically turn your attention to it.

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So make a goal happen, we need good monitoring systems otherwise, we don’t change our behaviour.

That’s all well and good, but what if our measurement systems are a little off. As Peter Drucker famously said: What get’s measured gets done.

Done the wrong way, though, monitoring can have the opposite effect than intended.

In change management, a common focus is on people resisting. We have a goal, and people are saying and doing things we interpret as resistance.

This study shows how “focusing on what they have yet to accomplish (to go) signals to them lack of progress and increases motivation.”

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So, in change management, if we are monitoring resistance, that’s what we’ll get.

But if we monitor “to-go” thinking, such change readiness and how much more is to be done to get “change ready”, we’ll more likely rally the organisational leaders (see point 3) to take positive action.

HOW TO ASSESS CHANGE READINESS
Assessing change readiness is straight forward: you must ask and listen for what is going on.

In practice, you have to deal with the organisational noise. To avoid survey fatigue a range of assessment tools are best.

Here are some ideas:

  • Interview one-on-one a cross-section of people. Segment by stakeholder, function and level
  • Run focus groups, segmented by stakeholder, function and level
    Analyse existing survey data and other appropriate existing studies or documentation;
  • Targeted online surveys
  • Change readiness questionnaires (see Buy-in Index)
  • Conduct a risk assessment of the change
  • Analyse previous projects for a change history assessment
  • Conduct change readiness workshops
  • Assessing change readiness is not a one-off process. Check-in as the project develops.

Change Management Principles into Action:

  1. Based on your project goals (tip 1), translate this into a monitoring plan.
  2. Focus on Change Readiness and primary goal. Determine how you’ll know when people in the organisation can be considered ready for the change.
  3. Create a meeting structure with the project team and key leaders to focus on the goal of change readiness, the metrics that will guide you and focus on the conversation on what is still to be done (as opposed to what is percentage complete).

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Principle 8: Communicate, communicate, communicate, but not too much

One thing that most middle managers can rely on is that they will be required to lead change within their sphere of responsibility.

Usually, this need is passed down from senior management in the form of ‘requests’ to increase production, reduce costs, make products better, and so on.

Targets may be agreed between senior and divisional managers, but the probability is that they will be missed and the change project declared a failure. After all, around 70% of change initiatives fall short of expectations (ref. John Kotter).

It seems natural then that if we want to involve our people to maximise chances of success we should talk to them.

This is easier said than done.

In the context of organisations, it is common to think communications is a one-way street. This usually looks like sending an email to tell people about your change initiative.

There is nothing wrong with email specifically, but in the modern organisation, it can cause a lot of problems.

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The key here is effective communications. As this infographic shows, knowledge workers check their email 36 times in one hour. Taking 16 minutes to refocus after each one!

Most change management mistakes can be avoided by mastering the art of communication and engaging the right people.

Your job as a change manager is to bring structure to the conversation. The below A great book, The Four Conversations: Daily Communication That Gets Results, lays out four types of conversations that as change managers we’re engaged in.

INITIATIVE CONVERSATIONS

Initiative conversations are used to start a project. What do you want to do? Why is it important? When would you like it done?

  • Remember to provide the necessary ‘framing’ – why, what, when, how.
  • Describe the benefits for employees, customers and the organisation and use factual examples where possible.
  • Explain the cost or downside to not changing.

UNDERSTANDING CONVERSATIONS

Understanding conversations explore the project in more detail with the stakeholders.

In addition to putting more meat on the What, Why and When, you also flesh out the Who, Where and How.

This phase of conversation is more two way and can go on for some time.

Use tools, language and messages which your team will find relevant.

  • Consider receiving the information from your team’s point of view.
  • Restate the reason that the change is happening.
  • Make sure your language is clear and does not contain jargon.
  • Provide an opportunity for questions and pro-actively seek responses and feedback.

PERFORMANCE CONVERSATIONS

Performance conversations are where you make a request and/or make a promise. Again following the what you want to be done, why, when it’s due.

Who to involve and get help from, where resources might be, and advice on how to go about it.

  • As far as possible, provide time frames around change.
  • Remember that not everyone will ‘hear’ the message, so be prepared to communicate it more than once.
  • Get feedback about what employees understand the message to be.
  • Be prepared to communicate the message in different formats – written and spoken.
  • Don’t avoid communicating ‘bad’ news.
  • Agree how you intend to keep people informed in the future.

CLOSURE CONVERSATIONS

Use Closure conversations end a project or period and acknowledge what did or didn’t happen. By acknowledging people’s contributions, you bring specific performance conversations to completion.

And the project as a whole.

  • Don’t avoid communicating ‘bad’ news.
  • Be honest and explain the situation with empathy
  • Thank people.
  • Acknowledge results, good or bad and acknowledge the positive behaviours whether the resulted in the desired performance or not.

Change Management Principles into Action:

Managers communication checklist

  • Is my message consistent with that of HR, executives, and other managers? What additional information do I need to effectively communicate with my direct reports?
  • Are my formal and informal communications timely, honest, and accurate?
  • Do communications detail the business rationale behind the change? Do the messages achieve the following:
    • Give reasons for the change and explain the benefit?
    • Ask for staff’s help in making the change work effectively?
    • Show support for the change (i.e., help others accept the change)?
    • Clarify the vision, plans, and progress of the change initiative?
  • Does the communications strategy effectively relay how the change will affect employees and the business in the short and long term? Does the message do the following:
    • Provide as many details as possible?
    • Address the “What’s in it for me?” question?
    • Supply realistic detail of both the positives and negatives of the change?
    • Let employees know that the organization understands the range of emotions associated with the change? – Am I repeating key messages numerous times?
  • Have I addressed employee questions and issues, and have I captured and escalated important employee concerns?
  • Has the organization determined how to clearly communicate what is expected of employees and resources available to them to help them transition?
  • Do I communicate proactively and adjust my communication approach depending on employee reactions?
  • Do I create opportunities for two-way, face-to-face dialogue and follow-up on items of concern following these conversations?
  • Am I effectively reaching my audience via numerous channels?

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Principle 9: Get some grit

No one said change was easy.

Grit is the ability to persist and take action on your long-term goals despite difficulty and challenges.

“Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.” – Sir Winston Churchill

Grit as a phenomenon has actually been studied by a researcher Angela Duckworth, Grit: perseverance and passion for long-term goals.

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She defines it as: the perseverance and passion for long-term goals, grit accounted for an average of 4% of the variance in success outcomes.

And, “these findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.”

The other part of Duckworth’s work looked at people’s perception of their abilities.

Duckworth’s research found that people fall into two categories. One group has a “fixed” view of their capacities and the other has a “growth” mindset.

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The fixed group of people, believe their are innate and cannot be developed, whereas the growth people believed with practice they can improve.

Now, no amount of hard work and practice is going to make me an NBA basketball player. Just not going to happen. And perhaps this is where the fixed mindset people get confused.

But many skills, abilities and goals can be attained with some hard work and grit. And Grit is exactly what we need as change management.

Axioms:

    • In every adverse condition, there are hundreds of good solutions.
    • You fail until you succeed.
    • Nothing fails like success.

Not only do you as the change leader or consultant need grit, you need to instill grit into stakeholders and end users who will be changing they way they work. Many of these people will have, quite naturally, a fixed mindset.

So for you to be successful as a change leader, you’ll need to create a conversation for grit.

Create grit by celebrating the small milestones and showing a pathway forward people can believe in.

When it comes to people’s’ beliefs about their abilities, have them recall times when they surprised themselves and achieved more than they thought possible. At the very least look for others who have done it. If someone can, then you too.

Change Management Principles into Action:

  1. When you do your impacts analysis, ask what are the aspects of the new ways of working which people may believe the just cannot do it because they lack the innate ability.
  2. For those areas and people who have a fixed mindset, challenge their assumptions and beliefs
  3. Emphasise grit, celebrating the small successes along the way.

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Summing up

Following these nine principles of managing change:

  • Principle 1: Create a crisis: ask and answer why now? What opportunities will we miss and what risks will we be exposed to if we don’t act now?
  • Principle 2: Get specific: specifically what you trying to achieve. Just like getting fit isn’t clear enough to define success, you need to define what success will look like for your project.
  • Principle 3: Collaborate for a change: People don’t resist what they create: involve as many of the stakeholders and affected parties as you can, and ask and get their input in a structured way for best results.
  • Principle 4: Focus on change readiness balanced for change resistance: You get what you focus on. Focus on readiness and not resistance, but realistic too.
  • Principle 5: Rigorous implementation planning averts resistance: Doing something new is ambiguous enough, so make sure you keep the journey as clear and organise as possible.
  • Principle 6: Align leadership and involve every layer: Leadership makes THE difference to successful change, by getting them aligned and demonstrating the desired behaviours you can affect real change.
  • Principle 7: Use “to-go” thinking and focus on what you will do: Mostly we report what we have done, which is fine, but focusing on what still to be done is better and keeps everyone focused and energise.
  • Principle 8: Communicate, communicate, communicate (but don’t be ridiculous): Communication is like glue, you need enough to hold things together, but too much gums up the whole works.
  • Principle 9: Get some grit: Change takes time, is ambiguous and mistakes happen. Diligence and commitment to keep taking action are required.

 

 

 

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