Change Management Articles

Constraints And Limitations Can Be More Of A Blessing Than A Curse
Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

Constraints force you out of standard operating procedure. They call forth cleverness, push you toward simplicity, and give rise to elegant solutions. Demanding conditions also influence you to focus your efforts on what’s most important.

Don’t resist, give up, or argue for an easier set of conditions. Accept the challenge and go with the constraints.

When you’re feeling cornered by tough, seemingly unrealistic circumstances, maybe the situation is pressuring you toward a...

The Fire Inside
Step 6: Build Commitment

The innovations that are involved in achieving “faster-better-cheaper” come through people. Human beings serve as the most important hardware in the creative process. The most important software, however, is the programming found in people’s hearts and minds.

If we’re emotionally flat or intellectually uninspired, innovation keeps its distance. Failure prowls around the edges of our efforts. Success doesn’t like to show its face. Those things that do get accomplished carry the stamp...

The Magnetic Pull Of Momentum
Step 6: Build Commitment

Organizations instinctively slow down in response to change. Employees grow more committed to protecting themselves and less committed to protecting productivity and profitability.

Pretty soon results start to suffer. Then the problem begins to feed on itself.

Your job is to reverse the trend.

Speed things up. Focus your people on achieving hard results.

Momentum gives job commitment a second chance.

Build a dynamic sense of momentum in your organization,...

Commitment Usually Travels On A Two-Way Street
Step 6: Build Commitment

The trust level typically drops during change. People grow wary. More self-protective. They interpret unpopular events as solid evidence that the organization lacks commitment to employees.

And right or wrong, perceptions run the show.

This means you must provide generous proof to the contrary. Leave no doubt about your dedication to your people.

People won’t bust their tails for just anybody. They have to have their reasons—good ones, in fact, if they’re to attack their...

Commitment Is A Gift You Should Give Yourself
Step 6: Build Commitment

Expect your employer to expect more from you. The reason? The marketplace is demanding far more these days from the organization itself.

Clients and customers want much better quality than before. They expect top-notch service, too, or they’ll take their business to your competitors. Speed is also essential, because people have gotten used to instant everything. Frankly, the only way your organization can even hope to compete is to employ high-performance people.

In times past...

Because-Of-A-Cause (Provide A Strong Sense Of Purpose)
Step 6: Build Commitment

Take an hour or so and get out of your office. Go look at what your people are in, day out, year after repetitive year. What you’ll see are big people in little assignments—people grinding away at jobs that are far too small for their spirits.

So what happens? Their souls sleep on the job, drugged by the monotony or lack of meaning. Commitment doesn’t have a crying chance.

Give these same people a “cause,” though, and watch the place come alive. Folks who are fired...

10 Steps On How To Manage Resistance To Change In M&A
Step 5: Manage Resistance

Many merger/acquisition events are likely to be unpopular, at least with those groups of employees who are negatively affected. What people don’t like, they will probably resist. Management cannot keep everyone happy. But a number of things can be done to overcome some of the resistance and minimize that which remains.


Usually the best steps in dealing with problems are the preventive ones.

Perhaps the most effective way to...

Makes No Sense But It Happens All The Time
Step 5: Manage Resistance

Picture this: An organization asks people to change, then rewards them better if they stay the same.

Makes no sense whatsoever, but it happens all the time. Basically it comes down to this—people get paid to resist.

This is the absurd situation that develops when we ask people to change their behavior, but fail to make it worth their while. They usually decide to keep doing the same old things instead. And why not? It’s probably easier. Maybe it seems less risky. But...

Engineer Some Early Wins
Step 5: Manage Resistance

Managing a merger is a big job. It’s hard enough with everybody pulling together, and when people are pulling in different directions the chances for success grow slim.

You simply cannot afford to second-guess your strategy continually, or to keep starting over with a new one. Neither can you make it work if people are pursuing their own private strategies.

Of course, some fine tuning and redirecting of your strategy is inevitable as the merger proceeds. You have to show some...

Edge - The Courage To See Reality And Act On It
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Leaders who have edge have an unflinching readiness to face reality and the courage to act. Edge decisions may not be pleasant or popular in the short term. But a great leader has the willingness to do things that will make the organization better, even though they may be scary or painful. And great leaders are unwilling to let the difficulty of the decision cloud what they know is the right thing to do.

Great leaders have edge in all their decisions. They make tough decisions about...

Do A Double-Take On The Hand You've Been Dealt
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Here you are, staring at the cards life has handed you. And looking back is a “full house” of questions...a fistful of uncertainty.

At first glance maybe you figure this situation doesn’t offer you a half decent chance of winning. But life refuses to shuffle and re-deal. Nobody gets to discard and draw again. Finally, you’re not even allowed to fold—one way or another, this is your hand to play. 

Ok. So long as you’re here at the table, let’s study the cards a little more...

Beware Of Your Natural Impulses?
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

As organizational change closes in and uncertainty clouds the future, a primal alarm goes off deep inside your brain. Without any conscious effort on your part, this basic survival instinct warns you: “Be careful!” Automatically you start scanning for danger.

This natural impulse, designed purely for your self-defense, asks questions like these:

• How could I get hurt in this deal?
• What do I stand to lose?
• Where could things go wrong?