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The Employee Toolbook for Organizational Change
 
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Introduction—
WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?

If you try to ignore the situation, change will slam into you and knock you off balance.

Getting angry won’t make it go away— in fact, temper typically makes things worse.

Wishful thinking is a waste of time too, so don’t sit around thinking and talking about “the good old days” with the hope they’ll return.

You can’t even run away from it, because there’s no place you can run that’s beyond the range of change.

Might as well face the problems and find the opportunities.

How you think, and how you act, become very important during times like these.

Obviously, you won’t be able to control everything that happens to you. But you’re in complete control of how you respond to what happens.

This is the Age of Instability, where managing change is everybody’s job. Think of it as your personal assignment.

“Everything is in a state of flux, including the status quo.”—Robert Byrne

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Section 1—
SURVIVING IN THE AGE OF INSTABILITY

The winds of change keep blowing harder. Hitting more people. Reshaping all kinds of organizations and altering how they operate.

Business, government, educational institutions, not-for-profit organizations, the military—you name it. Change, as far-reaching as it is rapid, is cutting across all sectors of the economy. All classes of society. All continents. All cultures.

Just think back over the past year. How many organizations expanded rapidly . . . revamped their product lines . . . entered new markets . . . were acquired or merged . . . overhauled their systems and procedures . . . relocated to different facilities . . . installed new technologies . . . brought in a new management team . . . shut down some operations . . . tried to change their corporate culture . . . were deregulated . . . made sweeping budget cuts . . . or saw a change in ownership?

Everybody lost count. You’ve watched the pace of change accelerate over the last decade. And you won’t see it relax during the foreseeable future. You can expect more pressure points. Further destabilization.

Some organizations will ride the winds of change, seizing the opportunity to go far . . . very fast . . . and sail past the competition. Others that are unprepared for the wind’s force, and that mistakenly think their safety comes in bracing themselves against it, will find their rigidity a fatal stance. They will be shattered. Devastated. As for those who think they can lie low until the storm passes, they will be left behind. Pete Silas, former Chairman of Phillips Petroleum (now ConocoPhillips), described the situation well: “We can’t wait for the storm to blow over, we’ve got to learn to work in the rain.”

Your organization will be challenged still further by sharp economic swings, new competitive pressures, globalization of the marketplace, and continued reshaping of business and government worldwide. You can expect new technologies, sociocultural shifts, and regulatory changes.

Strong winds. Big changes. And they naturally bring problems.

But the organizations that refuse to change, or change too slowly, will have even bigger problems. They won’t survive in the Age of Instability.

“Things are more like they are now than they have ever been before.” —Dwight D. Eisenhower

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The Employee Toolbook for Organizational Change

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