September 4, 2012
The term, “burning platform” has become a permanent part of the organizational change landscape. In this series, I have described how I found and introduced the story. I also discussed the original purpose of the metaphor and how that intention has sometimes been misunderstood. In this final post, I will describe and some of the implications for change practitioners who incorporate the metaphor into their practice.
August 7, 2012
In my last post, I described the importance of contracting between change facilitators and the sponsors they serve, and I outlined the basic principles involved. Many practitioners are not as proficient in this skill as they need to be. In this post, I outline a framework of principles for contracting based on my experience.
July 24, 2012
In this series, we’re facing the ugly truth that we have inadvertently contributed to the dismal 70% failure rate of change initiatives. In this final post, I take a hard look at what role we have played, and what we can do about reversing it.
May 8, 2012
This is the last post in this series on resistance. I’ve discussed the inevitability of resistance in major change, and how lack of predictability and loss of control factor into the amount of resistance that manifests. In the last two posts, I described two of the three models I use to help clients understand and deal with resistance to change. In this post, I’ll describe a third, and offer a free download of a tool I use to help targets express their concern about particular change initiatives.
April 24, 2012
In the previous post, I described resistance to change as a natural reaction to a disruption in expectations as well as feeling a loss of control. As such, resistance accompanies all major change. It doesn’t matter whether it is self-initiated or invoked by others, or if the change is perceived as positive or negative. It’s beneficial for clients if practitioners can frame something that is inevitable in a way that can be leveraged into an advantage for realizing change objectives. In that regard, this series is devoted to focusing on how resistance can be used to foster commitment to intended outcomes rather than inhibit change progress.
In this post, I’ll talk about the first of three frameworks I rely on to help me diagnose resistance and inform clients about how resistance actually unfolds.
April 10, 2012
If there was ever an aspect to organizational change that permeates our profession, it’s the need to address resistance. Reluctance, concerns, struggle, and opposition are all natural and healthy parts of the human transformative process. As such, surfacing, exploring, and addressing the views that run contrary to intended outcomes is as important to our role as is promoting understanding, commitment, and alignment toward realization goals.
As critical as it is to our work, some practitioners take the position that resistance is an unnecessary outcome that results from poor implementation planning or execution. I hold the opposite view—I see it as an intrinsic component to reaching full realization. Differences of opinion about issues as fundamental as resistance are worthy of open dialogue within our practitioner community. We will become a stronger discipline by sharing views on important facets of our profession, particularly when they represent divergent opinions.
February 7, 2012
The Emotional Side to Facilitating Change
A great deal of emotional investment is necessary to achieve the desired outcome of strategic initiatives, yet most change endeavors emphasize the intellectual components (data reviews, critical activities and milestones, logical presentations, rational decision-making, etc.). That’s understandable—intellectual commitment is easier to come by. People often grasp the implications of a change at a rational level quickly but then find that they need more time and effort to make the necessary emotional adjustments (such as changing relationships with co-workers or a shift in the political landscape).
When emotional accommodation is too far behind the logical acceptance of change, dual—often contradictory—signals are sent by the person facing the transition. This kind of split-level commitment can produce confusion, mixed signals, and ambiguous communication for all involved.
In this three-part series, I will talk about recognizing and responding to the deep emotion of transformational change.