And The Answer to Last Month’s Question Is……..

The single most important factor contributing to successful organizational change is you!  Perhaps I am saying the obvious and yet, if we do not have a good understanding of how we respond to change, we have little chance of successfully leading others through change.

Consider this: a manager I was working with  was challenged by some change related resistance he was experiencing from his employees.  The more he shared with me, the more I realized how unhappy he was with the pending change. His lack of understanding about the change, fears about the impact  the change would have on his team and his belief that the chaos created by the change would be long term all contributed to his inability to support the change.

Here is a key question to ponder: “How can I expect my employees to embrace change, if I have not embraced it myself?” I believe that in this time of rapid organizational change, it is critically important to do an ongoing “personal gut check” about change.  A good place to start your “self examination” is with reviewing the primary reason managers/leaders resist change:

  • Fear of losing control and authority
  • Lack of time
  • Comfort with the status quo
  • No answer to the question: “What is in it for me?”
  • No involvement in solution design [Prosci, 2009]

If you can relate to any of these common sources of resistance, what do you need to move through them?  What kind of action plan can you develop for yourself that will help you address your resistance?

Being able to successfully acknowledge and resolve your own resistance is the first important step to helping others deal with change!

NEXT UP: Simple Tips for Guiding Your Employees Through Change

Demystifying Change Management

“Change Management” is a phrase that is tossed about in a variety of different contexts. As I speak with managers and other leaders, I find that the phrase is usually accompanied by comments line “Change….we don’t have time to do anything else” or “If things would just slow down a bit, I can get my REAL work done” and “Why can’t people just get used to the fact that we are changing all the time?”

These comments indicate that “change” is like an external force that is imposed on us.  I am sure there are times when it feels that way! The reality is “change”, from an organizational perspective, is a process, a framework, an individual journey and ….. a mind set.

As leaders, we can become skilled change managers if we understand our own reactions to change, acquire the competencies for effective change management and learn a change management methodology, when applied, consistently, will lead to enhanced organizational “change resiliency”.

In future blog postings, I will be addressing one or two change management tips that will help you move your organization through the chaotic waters of change. If you are interested in learning these concepts in more depth, I invite yo to enroll in my “Change Management: Plan and Implement” a short summer course designed for working professionals being offered through Portland State University’s School of Extended Studies, Professional Development Center.

I end this posting with a question I will address next time: What is the single most important factor contributing to successful organizational change?