Change Management Resources
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Change Management Resources
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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

A Change Audit Reveals Blind Spots in Failing Change Initiatives

A Change Audit Reveals Blind Spots in Failing Change Initiatives | Change Management Resources |

Often feedback from teams via a “Change Audit” surprises the change leader who's dream is brutally subjected to a reality check of the gap between his teams’ actual involvement in the change and his perception of their participation.

How does a change leader become the victim of such “blindness?” 

Excerpted Reasons  (underlined items mine - DN):


1) The “organisation-focused” change leader - caught up in complex organisation diagrams – clutters of circles and rectangles – which he juggles in search of the best combination.

...the change leader, had not looked back...the engine had forged ahead under full steam, all alone.



…This manager’s collaborators had not followed him. They had allowed him to go off on his own, without really understanding him, ...And he, the change leader, had not looked back. He had failed to check – on a regular basis – whether the train cars of change were properly hitched to the engine. And the engine had forged ahead under full steam, all alone.

2) The “speeder” change leader [In one case]…driven by a powerful urge to conquer - the “Change Audit” immediately triggered his fury, so great was the gap it revealed between the positions of his closest collaborators and his own dynamism.

3) The “autistic” change leader Top Management …had failed to create confidence in it. …The best way to do that is to connect them solidly through real, effective and complete communication, from top to bottom and from bottom to top, involving all those concerned with the change.


Read the ToolBook full post here.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

As posted in an earlier Scoop on this stream, communication in change initiatives is usually under-resourced by a factor of four.  With this change audit approach, there is an opportunity to reconnect the cars on the change train.

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Deeply fortifying: How to establish high quality connections

Deeply fortifying: How to establish high quality connections | Change Management Resources |
Disrespectful behaviour and their effects...can be changed by establishing what Dr. Dutton calls “high quality connections ”or HQCs for short.

What a way to look at a tipping point for behavioral change, from abundance instead of from deficiency.

According to researcher Jane Dutton from the University of Michigan, disrespectful engagement depletes energy and thus motivation and commitment and may lead to burnout.

In the journal Stanford Social Innovation Review, she illustrates some cases of disrespectful behaviour and their effects, and then outlines how such behaviours can be changed by establishing what she calls “high quality connections”.

These pathways are (excerpted):
  • Respectful engagement: being there ...and really listening.
  • Task enabling: help another person being successful, ...find out what other person’s goals are.
  • Building trust: making the first step that signals that you are ...trustworthy
  • Playing: inviting the other person for a kind of game
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The cut-e ScienceBlog has captured a helpful summary of Professor Jane Dutton's 4 minute video clip and her journal article on what high quality connections are, why they are worth striving for, and the pathways to building them.

Click on the title to access the video and to listen to Jane's talk and to see the references.  ~  Deb

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Scooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN!

Accenture's Cost Cutting Change Plan at University of Michigan

Accenture's Cost Cutting Change Plan at University of Michigan | Change Management Resources |

Early [in November] university administration rolled out the “Workforce Transition” phase of its “Administrative Services Transformation” (AST) plan.


...50 to 100 staff members in the [University of Michigan] College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A) departments were informed that their positions in HR and finances (out of an anticipated total of 325) would be eliminated by early 2014.

Outside consultants [Accenture], none of whom actually visited individual departments for any serious length of time, reduced these positions to what they imagined as their “basic” functions: transactional accounting and personnel paperwork.


Read more: 


From another source, also published in Inside Higher Ed:
...Nineteen department chairs in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts -- the largest college on campus -- wrote a Nov. 1 letter to senior administrators protesting an “air of secrecy” around the effort and raising concerns that longtime staffers, particularly lower-income women, would be hurt by the changes, either because of layoffs or pay cuts. In response, senior Michigan officials wrote a Nov. 14 letter acknowledging they were “not sensitive or consultative enough in the planning and communication of this initiative.”



Related posts by Deb:




UM Law Quad arch photo by  Phil Roeder

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Sounds like overpromising and underdelivering, by quite a lot.  According to McKinsey consulting: many cost-reduction programs are "illusory, short lived, and at times damaging to long-term value creation."  Their own research concluded that only 10% of cost reduction programs show sustained results three years later.

Through my network, I heard there was confusion, moving goals, and all around strangeness, including the staffing of interviews for this planned reduction.  Also, jobs targeted are held by many over-40 low to mid-wage earner women.  

From the AST's information page (FAQ), besides Accenture, there were two other consulting firms:


  • The university is working with Accenture, a global consulting company, on the AST Finance and Human Resources Shared Services initiatives, and Global eProcure and Huron Consulting Group, two firms that specialize in helping organizations transform their procurement operations to achieve substantial savings, on the strategic sourcing initiative.

The change & communication process for the reductions program also excluded the faculty voice, a rare, unexplained move compared to many program & change planning efforts affecting faculty.   This may stand as another cautionary tale about communication during change, which usually is under-planned and under-resourced by a factor of four in most change efforts.

~  Deb

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