Organisational Change Management Volume 2

Some Tips for Handling Change

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(not necessarily in order of importance)

. Interesting quotes

"...Effort can trump ability and conventions are made to be challenged..."

Malcolm Gladwell, (2013)

"...Being an underdog and misfit can give you freedom to try things never dreamt of..."

Malcolm Gladwell, (2013)

. Golden rule of change management can be summarised by the expression

"... Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you..."

Peter de Jager 2010

This can be modified for change, ie

"...allow others to change as you would have others allow you to change..."


"...all of us embrace change, once we decide it is necessary..."

Peter de Jager, 2010

It is interesting that other cultures/religions, etc all have variation of this, ie

Baha'i Faith (lay not on any soul a load that you would not wish to be laid upon them, and desire not for anyone the thing you would not desire for yourself)

Buddhism (treat not others in the ways that you yourself would find hurtful)

Christianity (in everything, do to others as you would have them do to you)

Confusianism (do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself)

Hinduism (this is the sum of duty: do not do to others what would cause pain if done to you)

Islam (not one of you truly believes until you wish for others what you wish for yourself)

Jainism (one should treat all creatures in the world as one likes to be treated)

Judaism (what is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary)

Sikhism (I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed I am a friend to all)

Taoism (regard your neighbour's gain as your own gain and your neighbour's loss as your own loss)

Unitarianism (we affirm and promote respect for the interdependent existence of which we are a part)

Zoroastrianism (do not do unto others whatever is injurious to yourself) as quoted by Peter de Jager 2010

If we followed these principles, all the regulations, laws, etc would not be needed; it would stop the directive, top-down approach ("do as I say, not as I do and pretend that you like it") that can dominate and stifle the change process.

. Remember: change is situational and contextual. Inother words, every situation is different and distinctive. What works with one group/community/organisation/situation, etc will not guarantee success with another. Need to know and understand the group, especially its culture, as no two are the same; need to evaluate thatculture's receptiveness to change. This will allow the most appropriate techniques to be chosen to maximise leverage of the existing culture for adaptive change.

. Ideally cultural change should come from the bottom up; with senior executives being visibly involved

. In communicating the change, use every format of persuasion available, eg written word, pictures, symbols, graphs, diagrams, stories, talking, etc

. The need for tactful but brutally honest communications/conversations

. Be a good listener

. Manage tight/loose ‐ tight in terms of core values but loose in the freedom for the executive on how they get there, ie implementation

. Encourage coaching

. Recruit and select the 'right' people. As it is difficult to change someone's attitude, it is best to hire for attitude and once employed to train for skills.

. Management needs to realize and remember

"...the best decisions are made by those closest to the action..."

Nicholas Moore as quoted by Narelle Hooper, 2008b

. Keep things simple!!!!!!!

. Change is a balancing act, ie short-term vs. long-term needs, current financial performance vs. change agenda, etc

. Be confident but never over-confident as the latter appears to weaken our ability to hear what we need to hear and this increases the chance of making fewer correct decisions.

. Insist on fun ‐ fun is a powerful tool for change.

. Formality has its place when it simplifies things, ie it lets people know what's going on and what to do. At the same time, formality can slow things down, make people feel miserable and stifle communications!!!!!

. Most change involves changing minds. Thus the longer the change process goes on, the more chance of successful consolidation, ie

"...It is helpful to bear in mind that most mind change is gradual, occurring over significant periods of time; that awareness of the mind change is often fleeting, and the mind change may occur prior to consciousness thereof; that individuals have a pronounced tendency to slip back to earlier ways of thinking; but that when a mind change has truly consolidated, it is likely to become as entrenched as its predecessor..."

Howard Gardner, 2006

. Focus on the important areas that you have some influence on.

. In any change process it is important to keep an open mind and evaluate challenging ideas on their merit. Be prepared to be challenged by outside influences, especially by what is going on elsewhere. Furthermore,

"...only a fool never changes his mind......don't bring me your problems - bring me the solutions..."

Freddie Laker as quoted by Richard Branson, 2008

. Be willing to expand your comfort zone by being an opportunist, seeking a new knowledge, expanding your network, allowing yourself to be challenged, etc. Seek as much as possible diverse, challenging experiences, etc

"...Do not reject any form of knowledge! Do not place arbitrary limits on what may be useful. Be an opportunist ‐ soak up knowledge whenever and wherever possible. All ideas are potentially valuable, not only for practical self-defence and survival, but also as a source of metaphor, creative inspiration, and relationship building. As your knowledge base grows, so will your network of relationships. Above all, seek versatility. Learn to play multiple roles. Become a student of many disciplines. A broad base of knowledge is a no-win proposition.

Be a xenophile: embrace the different and the unusual as a matter of course. When poised on the cusp of decisions, go toward your fear, anxiety, and incompetence. Seek new experiences for their own sake and intentionally expose oneself to novelty.

Expand your linguistic comfort zone by learning new words. Expand your psychological comfort zone by exposing yourself to new ideas. Meet new people; learn new rituals and myths. Move your body in new ways.

It will help you if your training is specific to the challenges you are likely to face, but expanding your comfort zone in any dimension is valuable because it makes you familiar with novelty and the process of adaptation. Any new experience will enhance your performance and survivability.

The process is invariably threatening and intimidating. Leaving the security of our physical, social, and psychological nest requires that we face risk, uncertainty, and ambiguity. Nevertheless, the effort is crucial. The human comfort zone follows the familiar "use it or lose it"principle. If you don't challenge the limits from time to time, your comfort zone will actually begin to shrink..."

Frank Rivers, 1997

. Change can be dangerous as it is challenging the status quo. Change involves being proactive and challenging so needs to be framed in a supportive, non-threatening manner. For example, it is important to highlight how the changes will build on others' suggestions and are aligned with the organisation's core values. Furthermore, it is important not to appear negative, angry or upset as this will get people off-side. Remember: you are asking people to change their behaviours, not their personalities. Research has shown (Fiona Smith, 2010e) that introverts are more receptive to proactive and challenging ideas.

. At the same time, if you are in a situation where your own personal values are in conflict with the way your organisation conducts its affairs, you need to consider very carefully your position in the organisation.

. Need to encourage people to expand their thinking. Exploration and learning is divergent process; while problem solving and performing is a more convergent process. This involves an "accordion-like approach"where efforts are directed at selecting the relevant chunks of knowledge and the relationships between them. Mind mapping is a good way to nurture this. Linked with this are curiosity and reflection. Curiosity can be need-driven (fuelled by immediate challenges) or interest-driven (the internal spark that requires slowing down and creating time for reflection). In other words,

"...just taking knowledge and using it and applying it in different contexts, and reflecting on it, rather than just solving the existing is that sort of cognitive flexibility, plasticity and knowledge......that leads people to be much more effective in the workplace..."

Robert Wood as quoted by Joanna Maxwell 2008

. Be careful of confusing a change in style of management with the inability to make up one's mind. Be able to "adapt to change"and "change to adapt"

. Avoid egocentrism, ie becoming ensnared in one's own view of events. Remember: the art is to become engaged with the psyche of the other person rather than to articulate your own point of view. Thus it is important to have a full understanding of the other person's idiosyncrasies.

. Need to be very opportunistic, ie sometimes you will have to wait for the right moment to introduce something new; if it is introduced too soon, it could risk being rejected.

. Be willing to challenge traditions, norms, etc

. Remember: timing that is important, ie

"...Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity..."

Paul Anderson, ex BHP Managing Director in AFRMagazine


"...success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for 21 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds..."

Alan Schoenfeld as quoted by Malcolm Gladwell, 2008

. Need to be an opportunists, and have the strength and presence of mind to seize opportunities as they present themselves

. There are claims (Malcolm Gladwell, 2008) that it takes around 10 years, or 10,000 hours, of practice to become an expert or the top of their field, such as Beatles (music), Bill Gates (computer software), Bobby Fischer (chess), Tiga Woods (golf), etc

. Be careful of "copy cat" programs derived from other industries and overseas countries, as cultures differences between contexts may have unpredictable consequences

. Be prepared to read as widely as possible, especially that are outside your area of expertise. Remember: many things that will have a major impact on your industry and organisation will come from outside your industry

. Maintain maximum flexibility in the approach to change, and focus on the important areas that can be changed relatively quickly. If a wrong decision is made, be prepared to change it

. Understand the impact of outsiders, eg role of consultants, in changing organisations, needs to be understood. Based on his experience, Edgar Schein (2004) describes the 3 main lessons he learned as an outsider coming into an organisation to facilitate change:

"...outsider should never lecture insiders on their own culture because one cannot know where the sensitivities lie and one cannot overcome one's own subtle biases......second, I learned that my analysis plunged the group members into an internal debate that they were not prepared for and that had multiple, unanticipated consequences. The people who objected......revealed some of their own ways they might not have intended, and comments made later suggested that some people were shocked because so-and-so had revealed himself to be a such-in-such kind of person......many people in the group were made very uncomfortable......because they had either forgotten this aspect or had illusions about it. My comments stripped away these illusions. feedback to an individual is different from giving feedback to the group because the group very likely is not homogenous in its reactions..."

Edgar Schein, 2004

Furthermore, he claims that the reactions of individuals in the organisation varied from complete agreement to disagreement; creating enough of a threat to unleash defensiveness and loss of his credibility by some of the group

The outsider needs to establish a healthy relationship with the organisation he/she is working with so that members of the organisation feel that they have something to gain by revealing what they really think and feel. Remember: cultures are continually evolving.

On the other hand,

"...when we see the essence, culture - the paradigms by which people operate - we are struck by how powerful our insight into realisation now is, and we see instantly why things work the way they do, why certain proposals are never bought, why change is so difficult, why certain people leave, and so on..."

Edgar Schein, 2004

. Change should be linked with what matters to the customers, and what they are willing to pay for. It is about working through, around and over whatever gets in the way of getting the right products and services to customers faster and better than competitors. Ultimately, the customer determines your success or failure

. Maximise ownership and a feeling of control of the change by participants affected by the change

. Change is hard work: it is like having 2 jobs (one is getting the organisation through today and the other getting the organisation into tomorrow), and sometimes it does not work the first time.

. Some interesting observations from the sporting world that are applicable to individuals in organisations. Norm Smith, the legendary coach of AFL club (Melbourne), stated

"...perseverance beats brilliance..."

"...the harder you work, the luckier you get..."

"...if you're not making mistakes, you're not trying..."

as quoted by Ben Collins, 2008

Len Smith was the brother of Norm Smith and was also a successful AFL coach; he observed

"...If anything goes wrong, analyse yourself first because you might be the problem..."

"...Before you try to understand others, you're got to understand yourself..."

"...Confidence is infectious. It spreads through an entire side, and so does the lack of it. If you lack confidence, you create hesitation, and when you hesitate you are lost..."

as quoted by Ben Collins, 2008

· Waleed Aly's (media identity) (2014) thoughts on success

- Let passion drive you (keep away from routines, goal setting, etc and let your passion drive)

- Don't sweat on rejection (realise that better people than you have been rejected and worse people than you have been accepted; there is an inherent arbitrariness around rejection/acceptance)

- Seek constant improvement (don't allow the value of what you do and who you are to be based on the judgement of others; but don't be blind to feedback)

. Remember: the daily operations of the organisation must continue during the change

. To reduce the chance of "burn-out"and stress, exercise regularly, maintain outside interests such as hobbies, take regular breaks such as long week-ends and annual leave, use creative thinking techniques, etc..

- research has shown (Narelle Hooper, 2008a) that exercise improves the brain's function by improving the blood flow to parts of the brain and stimulating the leading cells to make brain neurotrophic factor (BDNF). These act like cerebral fertilizer for neurons. In fact, people learned 20 percent faster immediately after doing exercise.

- meditation has been found to help handle the stress and burn-out that can accompany change management. According to brain scans, experienced meditators have increased thickness in the parts of the brain that deal with attention and process sensory inputs. It has been claimed (Fiona Smith, 2006d) that meditation creates "stillness"in the mind, reduces anxiety and stress, and it allows people to tap into their unconscious and the creative side of the brain. This can help in decision-making. When meditating, beta brain waves slow down and allow people to tap into their intuition and to see new patterns.

- never allow yourself to become dehydrated as the brain stops functioning properly, ie the brain starts to close down and your effectiveness in decision-making, etc is impaired. For example, for every 10 kg of body weight you need to drink 1 glass of water plus 2 extra glasses, eg if you are 80 kg, you need to drink 10 (8 plus 2) glasses of water per day.

- not appreciating that the brain is a muscle that needs to be used and challenged to improve its performance by cognitive, physical and social activities, such as taking up a new hobby (learning a new language, learning to dance/sail, etc). For example, Churchill painted landscapes and Einstein played the violin. Furthermore, there are 4 pillars to brain health (physical exercise, balanced nutrition, brain exercise and stress management), ie

"...exercise for 30 minutes at least four times a week; eat a variety of foods of different colours; drink cold water; include fish and lots of green vegetables in your diet, but don't bother with supplements. And if stress gets you down, meditate or just breathe slowly for a few minutes..."

Joanna Maxwell, 2008

This will improve brain performance and build a buffer of reserve cognitive function for the future.

Balanced lifestyle is about a healthy mind in a healthy body. This is linked with well-being (involves physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, mental, etc elements)
In the increasing busyness of digitally-connected lives, eg "on 24/7", it is becoming increasingly hard to get a balanced lifestyle.

. Burnout can be a form of work-related stress. It is most likely to occur in middle professional levels where tight deadlines and high volumes of work means that long hours of work are necessary. Similarly for senior executives, where expectations of accessibility and output are relentless; including working weekends and holidays. As we progress up the organisational chain, work becomes more complicated with decisions less black and white plus interacting with a greater number of people with different interests and opinions.
Most executives think they are bullet-proof, ie these problems only happen to others, not themselves. Also, many executives are adrenaline addists and get caught up in their ego.
Personality type is a factor in burnout, ie perfectionists are at a greater risk as they expect to get everything right every time. This can be very stressful.
The organisation's culture and the role of leadership play an important part in the emotional impact and experiences of staff. For example, value dissonance (where an individual's values do not align with those displayed by other people in the organisation). This can have a negative impact on job satisfaction, motivation and productivity and form the basis of burnout.
Experiencing burnout often means feeling empty, devoid of motivation and beyond caring. Usually people don't see any hope of positive change in their situation.

Signs of a person experiencing burnout (Helen Hawkes, 2015c) include
- feeling tired and drained most of the time
- disruption to sleep pattern
- lowered immunity and regulatly feeling unwell
- frequent aches/pains (head, back, muscle, etc)
- change in appetite or sleeping habits
- loss of motivation
- increasingly cynical and negative outlook
- decreased satisfaction and/or sense of accomplishment
- sense of failure, helplessness and self-doubt
- feeling helpless, trapped and defeated
- detachment, feeling alone in the world
- using food, drugs and alcohol to cope
- taking out your frustration on others
- skipping work or coming in late and/or leaving early
- withdrawing from responsibilities
- isolating yourself from others
- procrastination, taking longer to get things done
Even though burnout is defined as the incapacitation of a person who is unable to work, there is a more dangerous form, ie walking wounded (those who continue to do their job but at a reduced level of productivity and morale plus start to suffer from health issues)
There are 3 components of burnout, ie
i) emotional exhaustion
ii) cynicism
iii) ineffectiveness
Ways to prevent burnout include
- starting the day with a relaxing ritual
- adopting healthy eating habits
- good and regular sleeping habits
- regular and frequent exercise
- learning to say no to requests of your time
- learning to delegate
- taking regular daily breaks from technology
- engaging in a creative activity outside your work
- find something that you are passionate about and make time for it
"...need to master meditation, exercise and sleep, emotional, cognitive and spiritual health to go beyond surviving the treadmill in life..."
Helen Hawkes, 2015c
Sufferers of burnout need a period of rest to regain the energy and strength to continue working. A long-term solution requires an understanding of what is causing the burnout in the first place, ie is it work and/or lack of knowledge or skills
and/or people around you and/or organisation and/or location?

. The challenge is to combine work and personal commitments while avoiding burnout. This can be done with a pragmatic approach including keeping to strict routines and pre-planning, which can dramatically reduce stress while lifting productivity and performance. Some examples are
- e-mails
(a constant flow of e-mails can ramp up damaging stress. Thus the need to prioritise e-mails so that we only handing the most important while deleting or ignoring others)
- exercise
(allocate a daily 30 minutes exercise break and treat it like any other important appointment in your diary)
- technology
(use smart phones to reduce stress and clear brain space, etc)
- meetings
(allocate time for a break between meetings; allocate a time frame to each meeting of one hour - see section on how to make meetings more productive)
- diet
(reduce alcohol, caffeine, sugar, saturated fats and chemicals while increasing antioxidants via organic fruit and vegetables) (Helen Hawkes, 2015a)

. Getting the balance right in your life is about prioritising. Remember: the "wheel of success"involves getting the correct balance between work, family, ethics/values, health, self-development, social activities, etc. If the wheel of success isn't balanced, it will surely wobble badly, then fall off!!!!

. Life balance can be explained by the following components of self, family, job and community, eg





Of the 4 components, self is the most important and needs the most focus. To be successful, you need to have a good understanding of self and continue to develop it (including health). Then, and only then, can you effectively handle the other components. At different times in your life, one component will be more dominant than others, eg starting a new job could result in an imbalance due to a significant focus on the job component.

NB With increasing use computers and TV, we have become more sedentary (Sam McKeith, 2010). This has increased the risk of mortality regardless of other risks factors like smoking, poor diet, high blood pressure and obesity.

A good example of lack of a life balance are the "leave hoarders or stockpilers". In Australia they are typically male, over 35, a high-income earner, long-serving employee and manage staff. There are 5 types of leave stockpilers (Rachel Nickless, 2010):

i) saver (planning and saving for a big trip)

ii) martyr (believes that the world will fall apart if they are not at work too manage things)

iii) workaholic (are addicted to their jobs)

iv) worrier (thinks stockpiled leave is an insurance policy if they lose their job)

v) victim (feel a lack of management support for them taking leave)

Taking leave is important for rest and recreation, ie "recharging our batteries"

Once self is handled, then, and only then, can you effectively handle the other components. At different times in your life, one component will be more dominant than others, eg starting a new job could result in an imbalance due to a significant focus on the job component.

Balance suggests that you have a wide variety of interests and that your personal and professional goals are aligned. If the balance is right

"...this creates a reservoir of continual emotional energy - an endearing high-performance is not so much about time management as it is about the skilful management of emotional energy. Every one of your thoughts, emotions and behaviours has an impact on your level of emotional capital - your energy. And physical and emotional capital are inextricably connected. You maximize your emotional capital by making sure that all the important areas of your life get the attention they deserve..."

Martyn Newman, 2007

. Some more comments on balance

- the average American sleeps less than 6.5 hours a night - this has a negative impact on performance

- longer holidays equate to better performance

- working more than 50 hours a week means less sleep, less physical activity, higher job dissatisfaction and worst performance

- the longer and more continuously people work, the less marginal return they get from each additional hour

For example,

"... when you're running as fast as you can, you sacrifice attention to detail, as well as any time to step back, reflect on the big picture and think strategically and long-term. If you operate at high-intensity under maximum pressure, for long hours, you use up your energy reservoir - your perspective narrows and your primitive instincts begin to take over. We need a better way of working. It's not about generating short-term, superficial productivity gains by using fear as a motivator and squeezing people to their limits. Rather, it depends on helping leaders understand that more is not always better, and that rest, renewal, reflection and long-term perspective are also critical...... stop measuring staff by hours they put in; focus instead on the value they produce..."

Tony Schwartz, 2010

. Listen to your energy levels, especially your psychological (mental) energy. Healthy energy is synonymous with drive, commitment, passion, hope, enthusiasm, capacity to be different, take risks, resilience, stamina, etc (Helen Trinca, 2006d). Being physically fit helps with mental energy

. It is better to pack it in when you are tired and come back fresh in the morning. You work faster and are more creative when you are fresh.

. Keep lots of open, unstructured time for wandering around the workplace and talking to people about the change process and how they are handling it

. As Manfred Kets de Vries, (2006) recommends, you need to look after yourself by

- engaging in self-reflection (what has happened? what has gone right? what can I improve?)

- remaining intellectually curious (use your imagination and creativity, and keep asking if there are other ways of doing things)

- striving for personal growth (work on your strengths and find ways to improve your weaknesses)

- maintaining meaningful goals and objectives (make them a bit "stretchie"and let your friends know about them so that you will have feel additional pressure to achieve them)

- following your convictions (do what is the right thing to do)

- remaining physically active (keep your regular exercise going)

- balancing work with leisure and pleasure (take holidays regularly and keep your hobbies going)

- having caring and trusting ties with others (stay in contact with friends with whom you can really can talk)

- continually surprise yourself and others (do things that are out of character)

- keep your sense of humour

. Rob Goffee (2008) believes that, in addition to workplace and homes, you need a third place where you can be yourself more. Some women assert that that third place is the hairdresser!!!!!!

. Laurence Boldt (2001) suggests another way to look at this is to identify the 4 essential, complementary dimensions to your experience:

- practical you (part of you that wants to manage life, including physical health, energy necessary for achieving success, etc. Also,

"...concerned with establishing a lifestyle that reflects the values that are most important to you..."

Martyn Newman, 2007

- potential you (part of you that seeks to become your best, including self-development and creative expression)

- productive you (part of you that wants to create a meaningful life's work that is rewarding and challenging)

- personal you (part of you that wants to relate to others in your family and community in a rich and rewarding way)

NB Each element is critical but none is sufficient on its own, and each has significant influences on the others

. Try to make the change process fun

. Give positive recognition to failure and setbacks associated with the change

. Look at all available resources like money, people and processes

. Must have top management and major stakeholders committed to the change

. Celebrate the ending of the old, and beginning of the new

. Change management is not a quick fix, so be careful of "short-termism"

. Use new tools, techniques and approaches to build on the platform of the past, and strike a balance with the new and the past. Some see this as the art of good leadership

. Change management is a process and not an event!

. The most difficult barriers to remove are attitudes associated with the organisational culture; systems are less difficult to remove

. If change involves loss of jobs, do this as quickly and painlessly as possible before you start the change as it is important not to allow the loss of jobs to taint the change process

. Use life-cycle forecasters, such as the "S curve" and "what if scenarios" (worst case scenarios) to prepare for the future. As the future is unpredictable, the only way to prepare for the unexpected is to build into all plans contingencies that specify what to do if the unexpected happens

. Be careful of the "activity trap or active inertia" in which people pursue many activities that are not focused, and do not produce results. While activities may sound good as they involve many people, if these activities are not focused on the key drivers of performance, they can cause problems such as system overload, misplaced emphasis and diversionary confusion.

. A simple philosophy applies: always try to do the right thing, never give up, and set an example of hard work

. As change is about behaviours, aim to make good behaviours habitual and automatic, ie you do them without thinking

. Usually people are very protective of their own turf. We see change as unnecessary interference. An incursion onto someone else's turf needs to be handled carefully: we need to perceive that the newcomer is not a threat but a help and has earned the right to be involved.

. Concentrate on the strengths of an organisation

. Changing the lines and the boxes of the organisational chart seldom produces much real change. Alternatives like problem-solving processes, customer action flows, informal networks and teams are better at achieving the goals of change

. The 3 ways for getting change introduced are teams, single-leader working groups and energised individuals, ie champions and mavericks. The secret of success lies in identifying which one or combination is most suitable. Usually teams are best when the potential for collective performance is high; single-leader working groups are best when time and efficiency are critical; energised individuals are best when you want individual attention or expertise

. A Jesuit belief:

"...It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

. Other constructive actions:

- forcing reality to the forefront, ie tell it like it is

- focusing on early wins, ie get something done fast

- appealing to a clear and compelling purpose, ie reach both their hearts and minds

- creating an infectious environment for courage, ie make it contagious

- expanding leadership capacity, ie take risks on people and approaches

. The art of effective change management is selecting the correct initiative, or combination of initiatives, that is most apt for the situation.

. Need to establish infrastructures, processes and practices that will help to prevent the organisation from continually trying to "reinvent the wheel"

. Remember: we are conditioned to see a mechanical world - a world of measures, plans and programs, a world of people "in control"and leaders who "drive"change. This blinds us to the critical features of the living world that are dynamic, non-linear and interdependent. They are dynamic because they arise from balancing processes that naturally "push back"against efforts to produce change. They are non-linear in the sense that you cannot extrapolate reliably from one experience to another, and sometimes very small changes can have a major impact. They are dependent on each other and cannot be looked at in isolation

. From looking at change from a living system's point of view, sometimes it is not the people "who are resisting"; rather it is a system functioning to maintain its internal balances. Just as growth in nature is achieved through self-reinforcing growth processes (homeostasis ‐ seeks to maintain a state of constancy in spite of the ever-changing landscape outside to which it responds), maintaining balances critical to survival is accomplished through balancing processes.

. It is important during organisational transitions to build on the past by conserving what is desirable, and not destroying the past merely because it is the past.

. Do not under-estimate your intuition, ie "gut feeling, professional judgment, gut instinct, inner voice and hunch",about issues and people.

. Some interesting thoughts from Dave Snowden (Catherine Fox, 2008e)

- understanding that language is linked to the size of the cortex and that language evolves from abstracts

- we are starting to move away from the tyranny of experts, as cognitive science has shown the more expert you become, the more the brain filters the data, ie puts data into established patterns. The brain stores hundreds of thousands of patterns which can be assembled and used quickly. We do not make new mental models but try to put data into patterns that are already established.

- experience of failure imprints faster than of success

- we never quite remember things the same way twice. Our perceptions are a co-evolutionary process and always evolving

- we know that consciousness is a function of the brain and has coherence. It is a way of understanding complexity, ie we should not try to control everything

- if you want to change things, you need to be able to see the world through other's eyes, ie other perspectives

. Remember: despite the odds being stacked against you

"...Never, never, never, never give up..."

Winston Churchill as quoted by Wayne Mansfield, 2006

. As the advantages of being in a group and following a leader are greater than being alone, you need to be careful that you do not get in the wrong group and/or have the wrong leader. As Nassim Taleb (2007) observed that generally we are more likely to follow the assertive idiot than an introspective wise person; psychopaths rally followers!!!!!!

. It is important to remember people's names as it makes them feel important. Fiona Smith, (2006f), has suggested some techniques to help to remember people's names:

- make an association with the name and/or look at some detail that interests you, ie distinguishing features and/or characteristics, such as colour of hair, clothes, posture, face, etc; somebody else has a similar name

- register the face ‐ take a mental snapshot, turn away, recall the face with the name next to it

- review periodically to make the memory long-term.

. Some interesting thoughts on how to be successful

1. John Buchanan (Damon Kitney, 2008), the famous Australian coach of the one of most successful international cricket teams in recent times, asserts

- you don't need to be the expert. It is better to have an understanding of people and bring in expertise as required

- you need to have an attitude of never being satisfied with your current performance, irrespective of how good it is. You need to continually review your performance even when you are going well. At the same time, stay, positive.

- you need to be aware of personality and ego clashes and be prepared to back away if this happens.

- you need to understand your strengths and weaknesses. Use your strengths to handle your weaknesses and/or get expertise around you to handle your weaknesses.

2. Bobbi Brown (Katarina Kroslakova, 2012) is a New York-based make-up artist who started the trend of natural make up in the 1980s. Her company was purchased by Estee Lauder in 1995 and is worth in excess of $US 500 million). Her advice:

- follow your dreams and passions;

- have a clear vision of where you want to go to and then work out how to get there;

- don't take "no"for an answer; find other ways of doing it;

- if you believe in yourself, you can accomplish anything;

- have both short-term and long-term goals and work out how you want to accomplish them; be patient in achieving them;

- work on your expertise and network;

- be polite and work hard;

- listen to your instinct as well as your head in decision-making.

3. An Internet survey of 500 successful people - the common elements of their success was based upon the following

- being passionate about what they are doing;

- working hard and having fun at work;

- practicing to become very good at the work;

- having focus;

- push both mentally and physically (it is of interest to note that most successful people have a "pushy mother");

- having resilience to handle self-doubt;

- being persistent enough to handle failure;

- work is related to a cause and adds value;

- being prepared to listen, ask questions, observe, be curious, good at problem solving and making connections;

- being receptive to ideas.

. The 3 circles approach, ie outermost circle "what", middle one "how"& innermost circle "why", ie

- what refers to "what do you do?", ie produce excellent products & services

- how refers to what are the processes, systems, etc used to produce excellent products & services?

- why refers to "why do we do it?", ie articulating their core values and beliefs

(source: Simon Sinek, 2011)

 . Do not give up too early!!!

During World War II, the fall or battle of Singapore (1942) when the Allied forces, led by British officers, surrendered to the Japanese military forces is an interesting study in "giving in" too early. Some post-war analysis has shown that the invading Japanese were at the limit of their supply lines and only had a few hours of ammunition left. In other words, if the Allied forces had counter-attacked and/or maintained their defensive positions, they could have defeated the invading Japanese. As a result of this surrender, around 80,000 Allied troops (mostly British) became prisoners of war; it was the largest surrender of British-led military personnel in history. (Wikipedia, 2016c)

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