Change Management Articles

Start Less. Finish More.
Step 4: Focus

The clock still counts off 24 hours every day. The calendar still tracks us through 7 days each week, 52 times a year. But our annual 365 days feel different now, because they’re being fragmented. We live our lives now in smaller pieces of time. And we’re still trying to figure out how to deal with this chopped-up existence.

There’s also the accelerating pace of change to consider. As our world speeds up, time seems to shrink. We’re caught up in this “age of instancy”—we even help...

"Pick Battles Big Enough To Matter, But Small Enough To Win." - Jonathan Kozol
Step 4: Focus

People going through organizational change often end up with a bad case of battle fatigue.

Some wear themselves out waging war on too many fronts. These are the crusaders in the anti-change crowd, the ones who oppose almost every move the organization makes toward doing things differently. They’re always bucking the odds, even fighting for things that actually wouldn’t be in their best interests if they managed to get their way. Sooner or later, these nay-sayers...

It's Not Enough To Be Busy . . . Or Even Productive
Step 4: Focus

The new economy requires good commercial instincts. You need a nose for business. Competition has gotten so stiff, and markets shift so fast, that everyone should become more sharply focused on financial performance.

Put on your economic glasses and take a critical look at what your group is doing. Since the most popular new measuring stick for companies is value creation, that’s how you need to keep score. Some 65 percent of all the large companies in the U.S. claim they have adopted...

Get Your Mojo Working
Step 4: Focus

Each of us has a unique, highly personalized set of core strengths. These are based on our strongest natural talents that have been refined over the years with additional knowledge and skills. They’re our flagship abilities—our prime resources for achieving peak performance—so they’re spoken of as “signature strengths.”


How can you know when you’re engaging a...

Use Intention To Shape Your Future
Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Uncertianty limits our visibility into what lies ahead.

But we shouldn’t presume that it forces the same limitations on our
personal intentions.

Too often our reasoning goes something like this: “Ummm, I can’t tell how this is going to turn out. There are so many unknowns. I’d better pull back, let things sort themselves out, before I set my mind on what I want to happen.” On the surface, this sort of thinking makes sense. But the logic is flawed, because it means...

The Power Of Short-Term Targets
Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Organizational change often means that you will have a loss of resources within your work group. You may lose some of your people, yet have as much or more work to do than before. Budget cuts may make it tougher to achieve what the company expects of you.

One way of maximizing effectiveness is to operate with clearly defined goals and objectives. That enables you to get the best mileage out of your people. An added benefit is that it helps your people get their minds off the past and...

Set Goals That Make You Stretch
Step 3: Set Clear Goals

The Mars Pathfinder project demonstrates the power of great expectations. This team of people set out to achieve spectacular results, and that very ambition called forth the creativity and commitment their goal required.

The most important aspect of how to begin deals with where you expect to end. So point yourself toward a dramatic destination. Wrap your efforts around a fine cause—some high challenge—knowing you’ll feel a sense of true achievement when you cross the finish line....

Provide A Clear Aiming Point
Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Resistance to change climbs fast when people can’t figure out where they’re headed. The more vague the destination, the fewer volunteers you’ll find eager to go there.

Keep in mind the fact that change, in general, causes some folks to lose their nerve. No reason why you should contribute to this problem. Since ambiguity leads to uncertainty, you should do what you can to give people a clear sense of direction.

If the organization is drifting and goals are blurry, employees...

Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Teams need to know where they’re going. The players perform best when they unite with a keen sense of mission, knowing they’re headed somewhere special. If the aiming point is clear and the “vision” is compelling, it draws the people together and pulls them forward.

The dream serves as magnetic north, swinging the needle of the group’s attention away from the demoralizing aspects of “now” to the inspiration of “what could be.” For teams mired in an unpleasing present, fearing a bleak...

Focus On Ends Rather Than Means
Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Adults rarely make quantum leaps, but small children make them all the time. You want to know why? The little ones focus on ends, rather than means.

Kids have no hang-up about technique. Being so young and inexperienced, they’re often practically devoid of “methodology.” But they’re openminded, goal-focused, and true believers in experimentation. They lock in mentally on their objective, and seem quite willing to let the goal determine the methodology. In fact,...

Cut Through The Blur Of Complexity And Change
Step 3: Set Clear Goals

Look at what you’re dealing with these days: kaleidoscopic change…a frenzied, internet-driven upheaval of traditional organization models…free-floating confusion due to vague and constantly shifting priorities. No surprise that people are mentally scattered. Stressed. Uncentered.

And no big mystery that your major challenge for now is attention management.

In today’s fuzzy, complex, out-of-focus world, the workforce desperately needs somebody to de-complicate the...

View Instability As An Opportunity
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

When it comes to categorizing organizational change, mergers stand as the seismic event. Nothing else even comes close. Not even bankruptcy.

Unlike piece-meal change, mergers have it all. Consolidation requires a restructuring of sorts. Redundancies lead to downsizing. Cultures clash. Systems and processes must be reworked and reconciled. Policies and procedures get revamped. The product line can double overnight. The whole power structure gets re-negotiated.

All this (and more...