Change Implementation Techniques for Creating a Sense of Urgency

Introduction - Technique Selection

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The main aim of the techniques is to get ownership of the challenges by asking the "right" questions, ie

"...I still don't have all the answers, but I'm beginning to ask the right questions..."

as quoted by Cathryn Lloyd, 2011

Many techniques are similar and overlap. Ideally the use of these techniques will create the "right and safe" environment so that people can challenge current practices and think differently by

i. asking the "right" questions

ii. starting the "right" conversations and relationships

iii. encouraging more in-depth exploration of issues, thinking, etc. Consider the analogy of"scuba diving": exploring more deeply than "snorkeling". A variation of this is the "laser" vs. "searchlight" metaphor

"...laser intelligence probes deeply into a topic but ignores opportunities to cross pollinate......Searchlight intelligence may not probe as deeply but it is always scanning the environment and may therefore more readily discern connections (and identify differences)......as expertise accrues, the laser replaces the spotlight..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

iv. allowing "mental arm wrestling", "creative discontent" and "creative tension" to occur. Encourage people to find the answers themselves, ie

"...Instead of telling him(her) what to think, I taught him(her) how to think - and he(she) then reached what I felt was the correct decision on his(her) own..."

Clayton M. Christensen, 2010

v. allowing more time for reflection (become a "reflective practitioner")

"...In real conversations, not only do I discover the other, I also discover myself. Before that, conversation is just a dance of imposition in which one individual is trying to impose their reality on the other. When one person tells another what is 'really going on', they are making a demand for obedience..."

Peter Senge as quoted by Mike Hanley, 2005

"...Leadership and management philosophies are developed not by learning the latest theories on management, but by learning to reflect on the assumptions, moods and thinking patterns implicit in our way of doing things..."

Steven Segal, 2005

These techniques work most effectively when used in a non-threatening environment.

We also need to understand perceptions. Research by David Perkins (Harvard University) showed that 90% of errors of thinking were errors of perception (Edward deBono, 2008). Logic will not make up for errors of perceptions.

The world is seen through many eyes, not just our own, ie people's perceptions become their reality. Remember: facts do not change but people's perceptions of them do. People's perceptions are based on their background, culture, values, experience, self-interest, pride, ego, ambition, etc. Thus decision-making is not always logical and rational but is based on emotions, prejudices, biases, etc

Be careful of the power of the pen, ie scribe. Sometime the scribe will only write down ideas that he/she agrees with!!!!!!

Note: the various techniques in this resource have been categorised under the 7 ingredients for Successful Organisational Transition framework developed by Bill Synnot and Associates. More information about this framework is included in Volume 2 of this series.

 

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