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

5 Strategies to Lead Change, Using Liberating Structures

5 Strategies to Lead Change, Using Liberating Structures | Change Management Resources |

Five key concepts and supporting research and tools will help you lead through adaptive change in a VUCA world, one that is Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous, as presented in Mexico City for CPA firm leaders at the Russell Bedford International conference, yet applicable for any leader.



Researchers showed that out of 20 distinct leadership traits identified in organizations whose leadership performance was strong, high-quality leadership teams typically displayed 4 of the 20 possible types of behavior; these 4 behaviors explained 89 percent of the variance between strong and weak organizations in terms of leadership effectiveness

1. Solving problems effectively.

2. Operating with a strong results orientation.

3. Seeking different perspectives.

4. Supporting others.

This is from the McKinsey Quarterly, first published in 1964, which now offers the perspective today that “much of the management intuition that has served us in the past will become irrelevant,” (Dobbs, 2014.) McKinsey forecasts a crash of:

1) technological disruption,

2) rapid emerging-markets growth, and

3) widespread aging as “long-held assumptions [give] way, and seemingly powerful business models [become] upended.”

Sound familiar? Are you ready? 

Read the full article with SlideShare and handouts here on LinkedIn:

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Surprised by Resistance to a Desirable Change - Tutorial Series Tools

Surprised by Resistance to a Desirable Change - Tutorial Series Tools | Change Management Resources |

"Prosci (ADKAR) is sharing online tutorials for change management, including this example of the second of a three part series focused on resistance management."
I'm intrigued by how Prosci uses the terms for change and resistance management, which they define in this tutorial series.  We'll be offering more soon on understanding motivations for resistance.   For now, we have Prosci's "resistance management" for comparison




Steps for addressing resistance to a desirable change


1. Establish frameworks: There are two principles to consider: 

  • a) A desirable change doesn’t mean everyone will desire it, and 
  • b) Resistance does not always mean there is a lack of desire. 


2. Conduct root-cause analysis: There are personal and organizational contexts to change that can influence the speed of adoption, ultimate utilization and proficiency at a change on an individual level.


Includes examples such as:

  • Change A (email system change) includes,  “a lack of desire is not always the cause of resistance.” After further analysis, it has become apparent that the employee lacks the knowledge to effectively configure the new email system, though the desire to use the new system is in place.
  • Change B (office location change) – a transition state that is causing difficulties for the employee. Her behaviors appear to demonstrate that she doesn’t desire to move, but in reality she might just need more time to adjust and get settled.


  • Change C (benefits package change) – On the surface, the change seemed to be desirable because of its beneficial monetary impact on employees’ bonus checks. However, in the cited case, the change from quarterly payments to bi-annual is the source of resistance as it has disrupted a staff member's personal plans.

3. Develop approach for managing resistance: Prosci outlines Three avenues for managing resistance, including preventative, proactive and reactive resistance management.


Tactics for addressing resistance:

1. Engage key players

2. Be an advocate and coach

3. Employ reactive resistance management

Read the full article here.

Here are some posts by Deb on stakeholder events that involve everyone:

Open Space on Speed: Social Business with the Coaches, Results! Video
Trusted Advisors Open Space, Global Change ACMP 2012
Open Space & Renewal, AAHC Board Retreat Highlights 2012

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Rescooped by Deb Nystrom, REVELN from The Way We Lead!

Most Common Change Management Mistakes Companies Make | Leader's Beacon

Most Common Change Management Mistakes Companies Make | Leader's Beacon | Change Management Resources |

It's a science AND an art; people are involved.  Treat change management as being of equal importance as the technical aspects of implementation.


Yes, I've seen many of these mistakes over the years.  Most recently: Modeling someone else's culture as a change blueprint, being penny-wise and pound-foolish about budgeting for change, staying inside the bubble of your own viewpoint (item#1 below.)  See if you agree with this list.




5% or 15%?  Underfunding!  "Gartner recommends ...allocat[ing] an average of 15% ...change management, inclusive of training ...more, if ...the corporate culture is more change-averse." 





...the most common mistakes:


1) Not Seeking Outside Expertise
Rarely do companies have deep change management expertise, though some [seek] to build this capability inhouse. Typically companies expect [their own people] to foster stability, eliminate process deviation, and minimize risk ...—and are rewarded for doing so. Expecting these same people to introduce change and “rock the boat” is ...counter to the normal, expected behaviors.


2) Short-Cutting the Change Process
... leaders disband the change management effort prematurely, cease to communicate, and stop engaging stakeholders too soon.  ...The greater the ...change ...the longer the ...change “sustainability” phase that is required.   

3) Executive Delegating Change Leadership Responsibility
....executive sponsors ...not seen or heard from again; sponsors ...uninformed of their initiative’s progress and unsure how to help; and sponsors not clear about what priority an initiative had among multiple business objectives.

4) Under-Funding the Change Management Effort
A 2011 Gartner survey found that companies under-invest in organizational change management. Companies allocate, on average, only 5% of the overall system implementation budget to the change management effort. Gartner recommends that companies allocate an average of 15% of the program budget to organizational change management, inclusive of training — but more, if changes are significant or the corporate culture is more change-averse.

5) Not Integrating Change Management with Program Management
...this can be a separate plan, with the critical milestones listed on the master program or project plan. ...program success is greatly diminished when the change management activities are “bolted on” ....


Read the full article here.

For more Deep Change expertise, see our panel here:    (I'm in orange, facilitating the Open Space portion.)

Via Charney Coaching & Consulting
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Fear & the Real Roots of Change Resistance - from the Five Basic Fears, Albrecht

Fear & the Real Roots of Change Resistance - from the Five Basic Fears, Albrecht | Change Management Resources |

"Author Dale observes how three of Karl Albrecht's core fears 'We All Live By' are directly related to change resistance."

Naming things correctly is powerful, especially when dealing with change resistance.


Author DALE ARSENEAULT comments on the recent Psychology Today blog post by Karl Albrecht, on the root fears that drive all others from his compact post, The (Only) Five Basic Fears We All Live By.  


....core fears are directly related to change resistance.      




Karl helpfully includes what fear is:   An anxious feeling, caused by our anticipation of some imagined event or experience.


Dale observes how three of Karl's described core fears are directly related to change resistance.


  • Loss of Autonomy - fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or controlled by circumstances. In a physical form, it's sometimes known as claustrophobia, but it also extends to social interactions and relationships.
  • Separation - fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness - of becoming a non-person - not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else. The "silent treatment," when imposed by a group, can have a devastating psychological effect on the targeted person.
  • Ego-death - fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self;  fear of the shattering or disintegration of one's constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.
Dale comments that good change strategy is not just about throwing more information at people.  It is about:
  • understanding the fear and dealing effectively with it.
  • communicate clearly about when change does not affect autonomy, separation (or connectedness) and integrity of the individual. 
  • being clear and transparent about instances where there is impact so people can make informed decisions, offering help as needed.

Photo credit:  by *Zephyrance - don't wake me up, posted on

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Brain Based: 4 Factors That Distinguish Change Management Successes From Failures

Brain Based: 4 Factors That Distinguish Change Management Successes From Failures | Change Management Resources |

Many MANAGEMENT GURUS, ACADEMICS and CEOs are writing on change, yet there is a difference between theory and actual change. ...When successful change occurs, employees feel like authors not objects of change. They feel fully invested, accountable and energetic about the future, regardless of challenges.



Change only happens when we are engaged with others ...Only when our "brain-hardwiring changes" do we change.


...many companies embarked on Re-engineering, Total Quality and Lean Manufacturing. However ...these approaches often failed. The energy ...was a top-down compliance approach...

Yet there were successes.   ...The key lies in understanding change from a brain-based perspective...change is a process "we" do together... 



Scar 3: Change is head, heart and soul   Solution 3: Storytelling

Scar 4: Speed of change   Solution 4: Navigational Communications  ...navigating scenarios from many perspectives to arrive at practices and rituals that "we" all embrace

Photo:  by Daniele Oberti, Flickr CC

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Good, practical concepts here, including the one about, "We underestimate people's need for dialogue in order to feel comfortable regarding the new changes."  In an earlier comment, I mentioned that a change colleague said we under-communicate by a factor of 4 in change projects. ~  D

larry costello's comment, May 15, 2014 4:11 PM
For successful change you must have engagement, there's no engagement without trust.
Brett Bearfield's comment, May 15, 2014 8:10 PM
I am not sure I fully buy into the comment that "these approaches often failed"....GE and several other companies have demonstrated progress here, I have 7 lean/black belts on my team who have been very effective in driving change in the Pharmacy. That being said, the practice (at least for us) that has proven results is getting our front line associates engaged AND ensuring that we call them by name as the people who made it possible. Good Lean professionals understand to defer the credit and watching the people grow is their reward.
Louis Fernandez MD's comment, May 15, 2014 9:46 PM
Engagement starts by giving all the stakeholders a say in how and what to change. Most of the questions that we are facing as an organization have the answers in the front lines. The associates that operationalize the work see where the inefficiencies, confusion, and barriers lay. They also have the best perspective to suggest how to improve the process. The storytelling that has been mentioned in the articles and the post is the vehicle to set change in motion and give it direction. Everyone like to listen to stories because they can inspire and motivate us. Why is it that the story developers are usually very removed from the front lines where the problem lives? Why do we have remote teams try to fix problems that they do not experience first hand? Think we need to answer these before we move on.
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Let employees tell their stories - Change on Speed: MSN Money & HBR

Let employees tell their stories - Change on Speed:  MSN Money & HBR | Change Management Resources |

"Let employees tell their stories. ~ The energy needed to drive change comes through a sense of ownership over the answer."

This reminds me "slow is fast," from Theory U, popularized by Otto Scharmer.  This thinking is not new to change strategy, but it can be difficult to those used to cascade implementations. 

The power of story is very real when combined with honest questions, that is, if you ask the question, you are truely open to hearing and responding fully to the answers. ~ Deb


When people make their own decisions, they are more dedicated to what follows.   



"Conventional approaches to change management urge leaders to set a vision and cascade it down the organization.

When people make their own decisions, they are more dedicated to what follows. The energy needed to drive change comes through a sense of ownership over the answer.

Instead of dictating how the organization will evolve, take a high-involvement approach. Describe the problem you are trying to solve and then ask others how they would address it.

During these discussions, roughly lay out your vision, but ask employees how they picture the change taking place. This takes time and effort of course. But the payoff is huge."

Source:   Harvard Business Review and (http:\\

Photo credit:  by Jill Clardy

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

There is never so powerful a change impetus as when the people own the story.  There are many famous quotes on this concept, yet suffice it to say large system change, whole system change, large group methods all are centered in the power of story and how it goes forward.  ~  Deb

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Strategic Agility? FLIP to thrive in our VUCA world: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous

Strategic Agility?  FLIP to thrive in our VUCA world:  Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous | Change Management Resources |

"If you stand still, you’ll fall behind in today’s VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Movement alone, however, doesn’t guarantee success." ~ Liz Guthridge

Great post by Liz!  On her blog, I commented that Liz speaks to a practical tool for VUCA preparedness so well, especially in cultivating a state of strategic agility, a big interest of mine this past year in assisting clients.



By committing to FLIP (focus, listen, involve and personalize), you’re leading from wherever you are. And you’re serving as a role model to encourage others to be active, not passive, about your responsibilities.


With #3, INVOLVE, Liz talks about smart-mob organizing, bringing together groups of people for a common business challenge or social change.  This can easily include social media or other technology.

  • Liz is conducting a Best Practice Institute webinar on Change Through Crowdsourcing: How to Use Peer-by-Peer Practices to Transform Organizations on June 19 at 2 pm


With smart mobs, you can collaborate and cooperate in new, clever ways faster and more effective than ever before.


Rather than be content living with uncertainty and ambiguity in a VUCA world, you’re switching them around. You’re showing “agility” instead of “ambiguity” by seeking “understanding” instead of floundering in uncertainty.

Full post here.

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