Change Management Needs Change!

Key Point: If you have a growth mindset, you see change as an inevitable part of life. While change doesn’t exist for its own sake, success is only possible if leaders, employees and organizations embrace new ideas and new ways of doing business. It bugs me when people cry out for “change management,” like an inoculation against whooping cough. It’s like if some one can just magically come up with seven steps, change will be seamless and all good. Often times I hear people actually asking for things NOT to change and impact them personally when they’re seeking out change management. They seem to be saying, “I liked the other way better. I know it is going to be different but why does it have to involve me doing anything differently?” Is this thinking just a bunch of manure? I think so. 

I do believe there are key elements that when applied help us navigate changing circumstances. Harvard’s John Kotter is arguably one of the most well regarded change experts and his eight steps include: 

1. Create urgency.

2. Form a powerful coalition.

3. Create a vision for change.

4. Communicate the vision.

5. Remove obstacles.

6. Create short-term wins.

7. Build on the change.

8. Anchor the change in the corporate culture.

Ok… These are all solid considerations and from a top down approach, they make perfect sense. My argument is that in the world we live in, change is a continuous process and NOT an event. Customers, technology, markets, competition, are so tornado-like that the above model may be too pedestrian, top down, and event based. And it misses they key ingredients for change… You, me and how we think. The key to ongoing successful change is the mindset of all people involved in the eco system impacted by changes AND NOT the mythical “center of change management.” Let me work with people who have a propensity for continuous growth and a commitment to creating value and we will work as a system of continuous, proactive change… Not an old, top down, lazy organization, hoping to compel people that change is needed. By the time organizations look to embrace “change” they are likely spiraling towards less relevance and even dissolution. 

Character Move: 

  1. Define yourself as a never-ending value creating human, adding worth for everyone (including yourself) on an ongoing basis and you will be constantly evolving. You will more prepared when events around you rock your world… And they surely will! 
  2. Do not resist. Determine how to navigate and make changes work for you, regardless of how much it shakes up your routine. Sometimes this means leaving the “system” and starting something else. 
  3. Recognize that everything ends some time. Celebrate the best of what you enjoyed about the past and move on. Stop whining, asking, “why is this happening?” Or wishing “they would have done IT better.” If you look closely there is an opportunity waiting. The longer you resist accepting that things have or are changing, the more you will cloud the opportunity. 
  4. Enjoy the present but do not stand still. Presence and being static are different. 

Change in the Triangle,

Lorne 

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