change leadership

change leadership

Jared Simmons shares key tips for the frustrated change agent to help overcome the most common obstacles faced. 

When you’re new to a role, you’re often hired to change something. You may need to launch a new project, implement a new system, or improve the performance of an existing process.

At some point, you will meet resistance. The team that passive-aggressively ignores your emails; the organization that can’t agree on scope or timeline; the leadership team that asks for more output with no associated investment or compromise.

I’ve been there too. It’s the worst.

It’s draining, it’s completely illogical, and it’s annoying. You’re just trying to solve the problem. You’re just trying to do your job. And whether they get that or not, chances are it’s not you that they’re reacting to–it’s the change you represent.

Resistance that feels personal

I once spent months helping a team establish work processes, metrics, and decision rights for a new platform that would reshape their entire supply chain. Every step I took toward solving the problem was met with active resistance by certain stakeholders. It baffled me. The numbers made sense. We were making progress. I thought I was a nice guy who was pretty easy to work with. I put in extra hours with people who weren’t catching on as quickly. But some people never got on board. And I couldn’t understand why until, in a rare moment of candor between meetings, the two leads for the sales team said to me, “I don’t even think this is the right answer for the customer. I believe what we’re doing today is what’s best for them.”

Then it hit me. They’re not fighting me. They’re fighting change.

 

Key points include:

  • Change triggers fear
  • Meeting resistance
  • Taking it personally

 

Read the full article, A Message for the Frustrated Change Agent, on Outlastllc.com.

Tineke Keesmaat blows the cover of a common change management myth. 

Imagine this scenario. Ambitious leader. Countless dollars and hours invested into creating an exciting new strategy. Lots of team members to rally. An awesome launch. And then, wait for it, nothing. Ok, maybe not nothing, but definitely not knock-your-socks off success. Yet another case study to support the research that only about 30% of leaders feel they achieve all their transformation goals.

The excuse: we didn’t invest enough in change management. Again. Or better yet, our “change management team” just didn’t do a good job.

It’s time for leaders to face the hard truth: this mythical “change management” unicorn that will make all of their strategic dreams come true simply does not exist.

In a time of new technology, ever-increasing customer expectations, evolving employee motivators and work habits, change just is. It’s no longer episodic. It’s no longer something that can be scoped, put on a multi-year project plan and then managed. It’s the day-to-day. And, it’s every leaders’ responsibility.

So, how do we rethink change management?

 

Key points include:

  • Inspire leaders around a clear strategy
  • Isolated change management team
  • Making change part of your DNA

 

Read the full article, Newsflash: Mythical Change Management Unicorn Doesn’t Exist!, on LinkedIn. 

Caroline Taich shares a  post on change and the skills you need to drive it forward. 

In this blog, we have been exploring the McKinsey model for change. Last week I wrote about conviction as a driver of change.  This week I’m thinking about the skills you need for change.  Here is a big one – the ability to see your unique strengths.

This came up during the wonderful opportunity I had to learn from Councilman Matt Zone.  Councilman Zone serves Ward 15, which includes Cleveland’s Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Despite its strong roots, the 1960s brought de-industrialization to Detroit Shoreway, and the area began to decline.  Matt Zone’s leadership helped revive the neighborhood, beginning in 2004 with the vision for the Gordon Square Arts District.  Major reinvestment in the community, including 5 major capital projects totaling $30M, led to economic growth and neighborhood beautification that is celebrated here and around the world (read more here).

Councilman Zone stressed that one of the most important keys for change was to focus on Detroit Shoreway’s unique strengths.  But, how do you identify these unique strengths? Here are two of my favorite approaches.

Story-telling approach.  Go talk to people and gather stories of impact.  For example, you can ask others, ‘When have you felt most proud of this neighborhood?’ Ask for a specific story, and then probe on the details that made the experience memorable.

Key points include:

  • Identifying unique strengths
  • Story-telling approach
  • Analytical approach

Read the full post, Identify Unique Strengths to Drive Change, on KirtlandConsulting.com.

 

In this podcast,Tineke Keesmaat interviews Dr. Elsbeth Johnson who shares her ground-breaking research on how leaders and managers can achieve successful strategic change in their organizations. 

Big, strategic change efforts often fail. Virtually all of them are harder than they need to be. Why is this and what can leaders do to make change stick? 

Leaders must learn to step up in the early stages of an organizational change, and then step back in its later stages. This combination sets up the managers and teams for success when delivering the change.  

Strategic change isn’t a Hollywood film. It’s not fast, dramatic or easy. Instead, it’s about doing the “non-glam” work of putting in place the right elements to set managers and teams up for success.  

A leader’s charisma is not enough to sustain long-term change. While charisma can play an important role – particularly at the start of a change program, too much of it for too long can breed dependency in managers and teams that will inhibit true transformations.   

In the context of Covid-19, leaders may need to focus more on operations and execution in the near term. But, they also need to do more to provide clarity and to align their teams around their vision and priorities.

 

Key points include:

  • Stepping up and stepping back
  • Sustaining long-term change
  • Aligning teams around vision and priorities

 

Listen to the podcast, A New Approach For Leaders To Deliver Successful Strategic Change, on Tiltco.ca. 

 

 

David Burnie shares a post from his company blog that identifies six change management guidelines designed to help manage change effectively. 

While they say that nothing in life is certain except death and taxes, this proverb is missing another of life’s key inevitabilities: change. As highlighted by the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, business and organizational change can be both planned and unplanned. Regardless of what instigates change, it must be properly managed for success.

Not everyone enjoys change. In fact, most people do not. There is a variety of psychological, social, environmental, and cultural reasons for why people don’t enjoy change, but that’s a moot point –organizations often need to change. Thus, they must be able to manage the fact that people resist change.

To this end, here are six best-practice guidelines that organizations can follow for effective change management.

Change only what’s needed

Change is important to organizations – it ensures they stay current, continue employing best practices, seize opportunities when they present themselves, and succeed in the competitive landscape. However, one of the most effective ways of managing the change process is by regulating the pace of change,  – changing only what’s required to succeed.

While this might seem counterintuitive and beyond the control of the individuals setting out to manage the change process, it rings true if you consider the underlying message behind this statement.

 

The remaining points covered include:

  • The single source of the truth
  • Public timelines
  • Change champions

 

Read the full post, 6 Ways to Manage Change More Effectively with Your Team, on the Burnie Group’s website. 

 

 

Jesse Jacoby shares a timeless post that explains how leaders can overcome overt and covert resistance to change. 

 

In your role as a leader, you will likely encounter resistance to change at some point from one or more of your own team members. Resistance may come from a variety of sources:

  • An individual with a difficult personality
  • Someone anxious about impending change
  • A person who disagrees with your vision

Resistance is usually demonstrated in one of four ways, each with the potential to create roadblocks for you:

  • Lack of Communication – Leaving you out of the loop in terms of key information or not discussing issues openly
  • Lack of Support – Foot-dragging on key initiatives you try to implement
  • Counterproductive Criticism – Being overly critical of you and your ideas
  • Passive Aggressive Behavior – Agreeing to do something, but then not doing anything

The steps to overcome resistance include:

  • Being alert to the signs of resistance
  • How to gain an understanding of the employee’s perspective
  • Defining  the positive behaviors you want to see, and be clear about your expectations
  • What to do if the resistance becomes habitual

 

Read the full article, How Leaders Can Manage Team Member Change Resistance, on the Emergent Journal website. 

 

 

This timeless post from Andy Sheppard identifies the strengths and weaknesses of the six most common approaches leaders adopt when instituting change. 

A leader has many options when determining what can be improved in their organisation (or organisational unit). The options for determining how to mobilise their organisation to successfully deliver the improvements are more limited. This question of how to change is also often an afterthought: leaders can find themselves well down one of these paths without considering the relative strengths and weaknesses of alternative approaches. Yet without considering how to deliver improvements, even the best of ideas may remain as just ideas: ideas that can leave the majority of an organisation bruised, bewildered but otherwise little-changed. The hope of this article is therefore to broaden awareness of practical options, so that different delivery methods can be evaluated as to how well they promise to meet an organisation’s needs. I believe that any change programme should only be chosen after evaluating the potential impact of different combinations of what and how. Although aspects of different approaches can be blended, I would suggest that improvement initiatives commonly follow one of these six patterns:

 

The six approaches are:

  • The squeeze
  • The action list
  • The change events
  • The vision deployment
  • The narrow and deep redesign
  • The skills deployment

 

Read the full article, Six Patterns for Leading Change: Which Ones Do You Recognise?, on LinkedIn.

 

Jesse Jacoby identifies a few of the core issues that can arise when bringing a new manager into the workplace.

Good things are possible when new managerial blood is brought into an organization. For one thing, there are often fresh ideas. You know yourself how easy it is to get so close to something that you can’t see the forest for the trees. You can’t see a solution that’s obvious to someone from the outside. And, of course, if you don’t grow, then the status quo will feel normal. It will be the thing that you sub-consciously pursue. If you were asked point blank if this was your goal, then you’d deny it outright; nevertheless, it wouldn’t change the fact that you were in a rut and loving it.

 

This article covers:

-Changes to an organization’s culture, or that of a department or unit

-The dangers of bringing in new blood

-Recognising and dealing with repercussions

 

Read the full article, A Managerial Transfusion: The Danger of New Bloodon the Emergent Consultant’s website.