Change Management Articles

Shift Perspective 90 Degrees
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Managing in a process-centered organization calls for a new mindset. We’re dealing with work from a different slant. It’s no longer simply a vertical, top-down, task-specific exercise. Management now involves broad-spectrum responsibility for facilitating the flow of work from left to right. The old north to south style of management is too one-dimensional. Too localized. A process focus means our perspective must swing around such that we’re mainly thinking west to east...all the way...

When Leadership Gets Killed, It's Through Self-Inflicted Wounds
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Most organizations and work groups are managed, rather than led. This is a common problem in business, but a particular problem in organizations confronted by transition and change.

Right now you have a remarkable “opening” for leadership. You need to realize that this can be your finest hour.

During organizational transitions—when things are confusing, stressful, and generally destabilized—employees look for leadership. It’s easy enough for the company to put you...

Reserve Judgement On The Present Until It Becomes The Past
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Tomorrows often look very different when they become our yesterdays.

Maybe the situation you’re experiencing now feels undesirable and difficult. And maybe you expect it to damage your future. But one of these days you’re likely to see all this in a very different light.

Human beings actually aren’t very good at forecasting how they’ll feel about things later on. As Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert puts it in...

Live With The Long View
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

The most important time to operate with the long view is when the future seems most uncertain.

Problem is, uncertainty pulls our attention toward the situation that’s close at hand. We become preoccupied with what’s going on short-range. Then what happens? We behave as if present circumstances will dictate how our future develops. Instead, we should rely on our long view of the future to guide how we deal with our present circumstances.

You have a life story unfolding...

Expect Trouble To Do Otherwise Is To Kid Yourself
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Part of your job is to find, and then face up to, the problems and aggravations that routinely occur during times of organizational change.

Often the solution to one problem generates a new set of problems requiring additional solutions. That’s just the way the change process operates.

So expect trouble. To do otherwise is to kid yourself. Problems will be out there...somewhere. If you’re not aware of any, that’s a problem in itself. Get in touch with your organization.

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Appearances Can Be Deceiving
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset
We know that change commonly causes stress.
 
Okay...so who’s causing the changes?
 
Usually higher management takes the rap. After all, the people at the top call the shots. So on the surface it seems fair to accuse them of being a main source of the emotional strain and pressure. Plus, if upper management’s actions seem to be the problem, doesn’t it make sense to hold them responsible for providing the solution?...
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The Luddites: Fighting Against The Future
Step 1: Understand What’s Driving Change

Early in the 1800s textile mills first began to appear in England. The wool-finishing machines inside these early factories were seen as high-tech wonders at the time. Each piece of equipment could easily produce as much output as four or five people working as “croppers.” The job could be done quicker, cheaper, and, in some ways, better by the new tools.

The mills soon began to replace the traditional cottage culture made up of weavers, combers, and dressers of wool. This was...

Step 1: Understand What’s Driving Change

Let’s begin by emphasizing the obvious: We’re not the only people on Planet Earth. As of 2011, there are some 6,913,388,603 persons who live here. Nobody can tell us exactly how many of those human beings are of working age. But you’re looking at some heavy-duty competition. A lot of these people want your job! Many of them are smart, well-educated, and willing to work for a fraction of what you get paid.

As for the countries they come from, well, their companies are dying to sell you...

Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Don’t Accept Problems at Face Value.

When adversity hits, our innate response is to focus sharply on the dangers, difficulties, and downside. Nothing wrong with that per se. The question is, how long should we let it continue?

As soon as the initial shock wears off, we need to give equal time to the upside. Shift your focus away from what’s troubling about the situation, and search intensely for what’s potentially good. Reinterpret the situation from a positive...

Communicate Effectively

Want to know the #1 reason why change management projects bog down? Or why so many eventually fail?

Here’s the dirty little secret: communication failure. The problem is hiding in plain view. And that’s probably why companies don’t catch on. “Communication failure” sounds so boring. So mundane. But you need to look at it this way—communication is the oxygen for change. It’s how we get things done…or not. If your messaging approach lacks muscle, your change efforts will cripple along...

Piece of Action
Step 6: Build Commitment

People put more of themselves into the job when it means they’re likely to get more out of the deal. Let them share in the outcomes, and see how their commitment changes.

Outcomes matter to us only when we have something at stake. The more we stand to . . .

Most Common Mistake dealing with uncertainty
Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Hands down, the main foul-up is people mismanaging themselves.

One of the best examples of this mistake is when people try to control things that are beyond their reach. This happens when we seek to run other people’s lives, or when we struggle to change circumstances that aren’t ours to change. It’s a frustrating, spirit-killing exercise, but  . . ..