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Mount Everest Shows the Danger Of Clinging To Goals: Embrace Uncertainty Like An Entrepreneur

Mount Everest Shows the Danger Of Clinging To Goals:  Embrace Uncertainty Like An Entrepreneur | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

In 1996 a disaster of historic proportion happened on the peak of Mount Everest. In the entire climbing season, 15 climbers died. Eight of those deaths took place on a single day."


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In the corporate world we’re often focused on achieving our goals at all costs. This eventually reaches the status of dogma.

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Journalist and mountain climber Jon Krakauer captured this story in his book “Into Thin Air;” he was on the mountain that day.
    
Krakauer puts part of the blame on the stubbornness of a climbing guide. While there is some evidence to support this claim, most climbers are, by definition, stubborn and arrogant. Yet disasters of this magnitude are rare. 
    
...
In this case the teams encountered a traffic jam at Hilary pass that slowed progression, and disregarded their turnaround time.   ...Members, however, continued on reaching the summit   ...Doug Hansen, a postal service worker from the New Zealand group, was the last to summit. While he made it to the top, the odds were against him ever coming back.

Like seven others, he died on the descent. 

     

...What would it look like to embrace uncertainty?

      

____________________
   
Start with your means.  Don't wait for the perfect opportunity.
   
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Professor Saras Sarasvathy interviewed forty-five “successful” entrepreneurs and found a disconnect between our thoughts on entrepreneurs as successfully pursuing a goal-oriented approach and reality.

    

"An entrepreneur's ...precise endpoint was often mysterious to them, and their means of proceeding reflected this. Overwhelmingly, they scoffed at the goals-first doctrine of Locke and Latham. Almost none of them suggested creating a detailed business plan or doing comprehensive market research to hone the details of the product they were aiming to release."

  

The most valuable skill of a successful entrepreneur...[is] the ability to adopt an unconventional approach to learning: an improvisational flexibility  [including] a willingness to change the destination itself, [using] a set of principles she calls “effectuation.”

      

 “Start with your means. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start taking action, based on what you have readily available: what you are, what you know and who you know.”

     

A second is the “principle of affordable loss”  ...— ask how big the loss would be if you failed. So long as it would be tolerable, that’s all you need to know. Take that next step, and see what happens.

        

“The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning,” argued the social psychologist Erich Fromm. “Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.” Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities — for success, for happiness, for really living — are waiting.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

As one who faithfully taught purpose, goals and work planning since the 90s, I've learned to revise my thinking post 9-11, in a global, "anti-fragile" (Taleb) age, embracing a different approach to adaptive change.  Now, it is especially important to think like an entrepreneur, to embrace uncertainty, and to get clear about how goals can also be a trap.  

    

_______________________
   
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”  

~ Bruce Lee
_______________________

     

This piece illustrates the deadly side of goal-setting, and features one of my favorite entrepreneurial professors, Dr. Saras Saravathy - who has the research goods on how to embrace uncertainty, a bias for action, and how pushing through failure helps create entrepreneurial success.

    
Entrepreneurial thinking is a mindset that can help all of us let go of the industrial age rigidity.  Note that GM is mentioned in the article.   It's worth pondering for what you might choose to do differently, tolerating a certain amount of uncertainty, in your own life, tonight and tomorrow.  

    

~  Deb 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, June 25, 2014 2:18 PM

As one who faithfully taught purpose, goals and work planning since the 90s, I've learned to revise my thinking post 9-11, in a global, "anti-fragile" (Taleb) age, embracing a different approach to adaptive change.  Now, it is especially important to think like an entrepreneur, to embrace uncertainty, and to get clear about how goals can also be a trap.  
    
This piece illustrates the deadly side of goal-setting, and features one of my favorite entrepreneurial professors, Dr. Saras Saravathy - who has the research goods on how to embrace uncertainty, a bias for action, and how pushing through failure helps create entrepreneurial success.

    
Entrepreneurial thinking is a mindset that can help all of us let go of the industrial age rigidity.  Note that GM is mentioned in the article.   It's worth pondering for what you might choose to do differently, tolerating a certain amount of uncertainty, in your own life, tonight and tomorrow.  


~  Deb 

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Why Data Will Never Replace Thinking, DPPE, What's the Question? What's the Goal?

Why Data Will Never Replace Thinking, DPPE, What's the Question?  What's the Goal? | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it
The answers we get out of data will always depend on the questions we ask.


Useful.  It also reminded me of one of the tools we use in Whole Scale change thinking:  Data, Purpose, Plan, Evaluate, or DPPE.  Thanks to twitter follower  @resilientchange for this link this week.


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"Throughout history ....science has made huge progress in precisely the areas where we can measure things — and lagged where we can't."

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Excerpts:


Data-driven predictions can succeed — and they can fail. It is when we deny our role in the process that the odds of failure rise. Before we demand more of our data, we need to demand more of ourselves.


One key role we play in the process is choosing which data to look at. That this choice is often made for us by what happens to be easiest to measure doesn't make it any less consequential, as Samuel Arbesman writes, 


  • "Throughout history, in one field after another, science has made huge progress in precisely the areas where we can measure things — and lagged where we can't."


In his book,  political forecaster Nate Silver writes about a crucial element, how we go about revising our views as new data comes in.


Silver is a big believer in the Bayesian approach to probability, in which we all have our own subjective ideas about how things are going to pan out, but follow the same straightforward rules in revising those assessments as we get new information.


It's a process that uses data to refine our thinking. But it doesn't work without some thinking first.


Read the full article here.


Perspective on change planning, facilitating, organizing, implementing or sustaining via Reveln.


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Prosci's Q & A on Bosom Buds: Change management and project management

Prosci's Q & A on Bosom Buds: Change management and project management | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it


Highlights:


Prosci has delivered a webinar on integrating change management and project management three times and asked attendees the following question:


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“What are the most pressing topics or issues you are facing regarding change management and project management integration?”

_____________________________


Here are highlights of their analysis of the most common needs


Top 5 common pressing issues


1. Support and buy-in for change management from project teams


Participants felt that project leaders and project managers did not see the value or importance of change management. 


Tip: Make change management meaningful and real. 


2. Support for change management from leadership

...leaders and sponsors have a limited awareness of the need for change management, which impedes the critical integration of change management with project management activities. 

Tip: ...By making a direct connection between how well the people side of change is managed and the ultimate ROI of the project, you can shift the context and the conversation.


Others:


3. Scope, timing, and prioritization

4. Direction on how to integrate project management and change management. 

5. Role definition and clarity


Click the title to read the full article.


Change Management is an engagement focus.  Exert too much control, and you stifle it.  Here's more about control issues within a project implementation:

   

    



Via the Change Samurai
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

"Prosci provides their perspective on how change management and project management cross paths in the execution of an initiative based on recent webinar Q & As."


These are helpful viewpoints on the state of the practice.  


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Motivated, Engaged Change: Thinking AND Acting Systemically

Motivated, Engaged Change:  Thinking AND Acting Systemically | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

Acting systemically requires systems thinking in tandem. When people discover their own responsibility for perpetuating a problem, they are more motivated to change and take action outside of their own silos.

   

The Pegasus blog is a great resource for complex but not necessarily complicated change.  Here's a few excerpts on systems thinking and acting that features some gold nuggets of thinking in community, systemically.  ~ Deb

   

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“What might we have to give up as an individual organization in order to serve the system as a whole?”

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Excerpted:

   

Leaders committed to social change increasingly recognize the importance of “getting the whole system in the room.”   This means:  


  1. identifying the diverse stakeholders who impact and are affected by a problem
  2. creating forums where they can meet and share their respective points of view.

   

There are many approaches to bringing such people together, including Future Search, the World Café, and Open Space.


We call these approaches acting systemically because they facilitate communication among a wide range of stakeholders who might not have previously spoken or listened to each other.

  

...stakeholders also have individual commitments that often run counter to their espoused collective commitment.

  

...thinking systemically, people ...begin to see how they unwittingly undermine their own best intentions through their short-term actions.

  

They are moved to consider the question, “What might we have to give up as an individual organization in order to serve the system as a whole?”

  

Three options are listed in the blog post including this provocative example:

  

They might streamline or even close their own organization and shift its services to other organizations in the system who are better positioned to deliver them.    


See the full post here.

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