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Why We're So Afraid of Change ~ What Holds Businesses Back - Forbes

Why We're So Afraid of Change ~ What Holds Businesses Back - Forbes | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"Embracing change requires you yourself to experience the changes you’re asking your organization to undergo."


Our client is now desperately hoping his division’s leaders will embrace change, maybe even a Blue Ocean Strategy. They’ve reached a dangerous tipping point that could risk the future of their business.


____________________

To ignite change, you need to do it yourself first.
____________________ 


...if you truly want to see, feel and think in new ways, you have to fight your brain’s desire to stay put.


To ignite change, you need to do it yourself first. You need to recognize that new ideas come from trying new solutions in your own head and changing your brain’s focus. Then you can rollout the rest of the plan to your company.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Any Blue Ocean change practitioners out there who wish to comment on their client experience of "do it yourself first?"  ~  Deb

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John Michel's curator insight, April 10, 2013 8:04 AM

In 2009, Steve McKee published “When Growth Stalls” in which he notes that 41.2% of nearly 5,700 companies he studied stalled in the previous decade. The number of reasons why are staggering, namely: a failure to focus, no competitive point of difference, and weak brand images and identities, to name just a few.

Given this reality, we can turn to science to explain why businesses stagnate. Growing research from the neurosciences and cognitive sciences reveal that change really is difficult for humans. Resistance comes from three forces:

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An Evening with Robert Kegan and Immunity to Change - YouTube

Prof. Robert Kegan sets up the environment for an inquiry on how come there is a gap between a person's real intention to change and what the person actually does. He recalls an illustration in which heart doctors advise their patients to take their medications as prescribed or literally die. Yet the follow up research shows that only 1 out 7 actually take their medications. The other 6 have just as great a desire to stay alive and yet risk death by not following their doctor. He proposes a deep need for some ways of thinking about what is in the way between a person's genuine intention and what the person is actually able to bring about. What is this gap -- 'Immunity to Change' -- and how can it be addressed?

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

From the video, Why are you NOT taking the life preserving drug? There were great examples of "immunity to change."  
    
These are very useful for looking at how change happens on a personal and organizational example.  Key question, "What would be the biggest worry if you DID take the drug every day."  This question was misinterpreted incorrectly, and this is lesson. How to see differently. How to alter mindset and review assumptions. 

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Beyond the Knowing, Doing Gap: Yes we CAN Bring About Real Time Strategic Change

Beyond the Knowing, Doing Gap: Yes we CAN Bring About Real Time Strategic Change | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it


Real Time Strategic Change (RTSC) is about living your future now by
shrinking the cycle time between planning and implementation.

The problem most of the time is in implementing [strategic] plans - actually following through and doing what you say you want to do. Putting out fires and having too much on people's plates always seem to get in the way of solid implementation.
 

With RTSC we avoid that problem entirely by having people begin creating their preferred future right away. You begin implementing parts of the plan as you continue to develop others.

Jake:...People can bring their best selves to work and have their unique talents and gifts leveraged for the greater good. It's so exciting to see an organization and the people in it claim their future. There is always a bigger and brighter tomorrow that is possible. 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I know Jake from my long term association with Whole System Change and the late Kathie Dannemiller and believe in the full suite of large group or whole group approaches.  I've experienced the binder on a shelf problem a few times as well as overcoming the "Knowing Doing Gap."  

When it comes to change, even simple and elegant approaches like Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) can make a big difference when accepted and used as yardsticks to successful action and realized change.  ~  Deb

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It's Compliance! Why Change Management Fails (& it’s not Resistance) Research Findings

It's Compliance! Why Change Management Fails (& it’s not Resistance) Research Findings | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it
Compliance (an individual performing the minimum effort so they do not get fired) outweighs Resistance to Change by more than a 2 to 1 margin.


The full video of the presentation is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_ZYYWWJ9RQ 


See Deb's companion ScoopIt posts via Change Leadership Watch here.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Intuitively, this will make sense to you if you've ever worked for a large organization, or even a smaller one with typical change practices.
   
This is Ron Koller's new research, presented recently at the Academy of Management meeting this fall.  Yu may resonate with what he's pointing out, often hidden in the blind spots of "tolerating" management change initiatives and practices.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, December 8, 2014 1:35 PM

Check out Ron Koller's research, presented recently at the Academy of Management meeting this fall.  ~  Deb

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Build a change platform, not a change program, Whole system change | McKinsey

Build a change platform, not a change program, Whole system change | McKinsey | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

It’s not you, it’s your company. Management Innovation eXchange founders Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini believe that continuous improvement requires the creation of change platforms, rather than change programs ordained and implemented from the top.
    
______________________________
     
The problem lies in beliefs about who is responsible for launching change and how change is implemented.

______________________________
      

Transformational-change initiatives have a dismal track record. In 1996, Harvard Business School professor John Kotter claimed that nearly 70 percent of large-scale change programs didn’t meet their goals,1 and virtually every survey since has shown similar results. Why is change so confounding? ....The problem lies in beliefs about who is responsible for launching change and how change is implemented.

        

The reality is that today’s organizations were simply never designed to change proactively and deeply—they were built for discipline and efficiency, enforced through hierarchy and routinization. As a result, there’s a mismatch between the pace of change in the external environment and the fastest possible pace of change at most organizations. If it were otherwise, we wouldn’t see so many incumbents struggling to intercept the future.

       

In most organizations, change is regarded as an episodic interruption of the status quo, something initiated and managed from the top. The power to initiate strategic change is concentrated there, and every change program must be endorsed, scripted, and piloted before launch.

         

Transformational change,...is typically belated and convulsive—and often commences only after a “regime change.” What’s needed is a real-time, socially constructed approach to change, so that the leader’s job isn’t to design a change program but to build a change platform—one that allows anyone to initiate change, recruit confederates, suggest solutions, and launch experiments.

       

Related change posts by Deb:

      

         

  

   
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This approach is consistent with Whole Systems Change approaches, from my connection with the Dannemiller Tyson approach.  Good framework here! ~ Deb

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Change Et Al.'s curator insight, November 21, 2014 1:55 AM

This is why building the culture of change is more important than one specific initiative. In today's world, change continues to happen at every level, function and geography in different size and form. It will only be successful if Change is part of the DNA.

Claude Emond's curator insight, November 21, 2014 7:25 AM

Be the Change !

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Top 5 change management infographics to help with top change challenges

Top 5 change management infographics to help with top change challenges | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

Top 5 change management infographics. From basic change management questions, resistance and the most common change management mistakes

See Deb's companion ScoopIt posts via Change Leadership Watch here.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

These are a handy review of change management approaches and thinking.   The first infographic, for example, offers 7 basic change management questions, yet helpfully puts them in context as "only a 1/3 of excellent global companies remain excellent for decades" and "when organizations try to transform themselves, even fewer succeed."  ~  Deb

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Pascal Vedel's curator insight, October 30, 2014 5:26 AM

A few infographics to help well prepare and organize a change

 

Des documents synthétique pour aider à ne rien oublier et bien préparer lors d'un changement

Harry Cannon's curator insight, October 30, 2014 3:58 PM

I love an infographic and here are five at once! And on change management too.

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Experiment with Organizational Change Before Going All In

Experiment with Organizational Change Before Going All In | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it
Your intuition is never enough.

    

Why do organizations so often introduce ...new initiatives without thinking about this important step of testing?   (From an HBR blog post excerpted below.)

      

...Confirmation bias and the escalation of commitment lead organizations to refrain from evaluating changes because the key decision makers feel (erroneously) that they already know that the changes are good ones. The unfortunate result is that organizations persist in implementing ineffective policies and fail to even contemplate the possibility of superior alternatives.

     

That’s where experimental testing comes in. By forcing organizations to clearly articulate their goals and then to rigorously judge their decisions by those metrics, experimental tests can help managers avoid costly mistakes and can open up the consideration of other possible solutions.

     

....A handful of organizations have already embraced the principles of behavioral economics and the experimental mindset. One is the Walt Disney Company’s R&D department, where one of us spent a summer. After identifying areas for cost reduction or process streamlining, it would design randomized experiments to test the effectiveness of possible changes.  The full HBR post is here, or as with REVELN ScoopIt post, click on the photo or title.

Related tools & posts by Deb:

      

       

     

       

  • Stay in touch with Best of the Best ScoopIt news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Have you tried testing, piloting, and these forms of experimenting before planning or preparing for large scale, whole system change implementation within your culture?   The article lists several examples of those who have, including Disney and a tech support center.   

Germany, who has gone back to a tuition free model for higher education, tested, voluntarily, tuition models by region.  Volunteers are a great way to build early commitment and home-grown stories to support change.  ~  Deb 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:45 AM

The article lists several examples of those who have done successful experimental testing of change, including Disney and a tech support center.   Add to that Germany, a country that has gone back to a tuition free model for higher education and who tested, voluntarily, tuition models by region.  Volunteers are a great way to build early commitment and home-grown stories to support change.  

I'm preparing to send out the monthly "Best of the Best" newsletter from my nine ScoopIt streams.  If you are interested, check out any of the "gold boxes" on REVELN.com to sign up to receive it for free. ~  Deb 

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What VUCA Really Means for You, Getting Prepared and Agile with It

What VUCA Really Means for You, Getting Prepared and Agile with It | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

VUCA, short for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity, and a catchall for “Hey, it’s crazy out there!”    It’s also misleading: VUCA conflates four distinct types of challenges that demand four distinct types of responses. That makes it difficult to know how to approach a challenging situation and easy to use VUCA as a crutch, a way to throw off the hard work of strategy and planning—after all, you can’t prepare for a VUCA world, right?
 

Actually, you can. Here is a guide to identifying, getting ready for, and responding to events in each of the four VUCA categories.

Authors:  Nathan Bennett and G. James Lemoine

Related posts by Deb:

      

   


 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

VUCA is a term from the military, put into popular use by futurist Bob Johansen in 2010, as mentioned in his book, now in a its second edition,  Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World.  The quadrant model depicted, by authors  is handy for thinking through what you can learn and do to be fully prepared and agile enough for this VUCA world.  ~  Deb

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Kenneth Mikkelsen's curator insight, September 7, 2014 8:31 AM

The world of work is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. As a result it is time to view surprises as the new normal and steady state as the exception. The difference over the past decade is the increasing speed at which leaders need to address multiple challenges, often at the same time.

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Workers fight for culture, wages and win: Demoulas, reinstated as CEO, Market Basket

Workers fight for culture, wages and win: Demoulas, reinstated as CEO, Market Basket | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

Boston Herald: TEWKSBURY, MA — Arthur T. Demoulas was reinstated as CEO late last night after a two-month standoff over his firing that saw rank-and-file workers walk off their jobs and customers jump to competitors in protest — thanked his workers this morning, hours after his historic purchase of the company.

   

______________

  

“You taught everybody that Market Basket is a place where respect, honor and dignity is a way of life.” ~ Arthur T. Demoulas, reinstated CEO, Market Basket

______________

      


"You are simply the best,” Demoulas said …There is very little I can ever add to your brilliant work…and the power of your enduring human spirit over the past six weeks.”

    

Early this morning, a massive fleet of delivery trucks lined up ready to roll and hundreds of ecstatic employees reported to work for the first time in weeks....heralding the return of a boss they said had provided generous pay and benefits and a culture of respect for workers.


“You taught everybody that Market Basket is a place where respect, honor and dignity is a way of life,” Demoulas told his workers. “You displayed your unwavering dedication and desire to protect the culture of your company...You have demonstrated that everyone has a purpose....that no one person holds a position of privilege.”

   

The chain employs 25,000 workers in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.  [It was worth] $4 billion before Arthur T.’s June 18 firing touched off a customer boycott and employee walkouts.  [It] racked up millions in losses and shelves were left empty due to a halted supply chain.

   

Demoulas said he hopes to take less than two weeks getting shelves restocked and stores back to some semblance of normalcy.


Click the title or photo to see the full story.

    

Related posts by Deb:

    

Revelation, Leadership Integrity at All Levels

    

Company Priorities Reveal People Values and Forecast Long Term Profitability

      

6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals

    

Think like an Entrepreneur: Be Anti-Fragile No Matter Where You Work

   

  • Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.

        

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I haven't heard of a worker celebration like this since Henry Ford doubled wages and in effect, created middle class prosperity. Maybe more companies will take notice of employee ownership successes like these, also like Costco and Zingerman's in Ann Arbor.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 28, 2014 12:54 PM

I haven't heard of a worker celebration like this since Henry Ford doubled wages and in effect, created middle class prosperity. Maybe more companies will take notice of employee ownership successes like these, also like Costco and Zingerman's in Ann Arbor.

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What Work in the Mideast Taught Me About Building Business Relationships

What Work in the Mideast Taught Me About Building Business Relationships | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

The old stuffed shirt business meeting that just goes on and on and on is the reason no one wants to attend. The new generation of worker is going to force all these mainstays of business to be “rethought.”

I much prefer a more relaxed business environment where everyone is at ease, and, where the mission of the meeting is not lost. Let’s all relax and really talk to each other and get to know each other.  If we successfully handle this right, we will be” partners” in the end.

That is why we build the foundation first. When we do, the business will take care of itself.


There is an old saying that you build the well before you need the water. That especially hold true for business today.

s always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo, video or title to see the full Scooped post.

    

Recent and related posts by Deb:

    

         
      

       

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Here's a good piece on taking a global look at the ordering of what matters in business relationships, the people first, and then the results.  So much of this is based on holding on to the industrial age thinking of having it the other way around.  ~  D

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Telling Your Client the Baby Is Ugly, Truth-Telling for Change

Telling Your Client the Baby Is Ugly, Truth-Telling for Change | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

This discernment process, of getting on the "right" road, involves sharing wisdom. This Shared Wisdom method is based upon several underlying beliefs including one that says that the people in the organization already possess the wisdom to discern the "right" path. Trouble is, no one individual has all of the wisdom (though some may think that they do). 

What is needed is respectful facilitation that seeks out everyone's "piece of the wisdom" and puts all the pieces on the table, even if there is conflict and disagreement. 

All the wisdom is needed, all the wisdom is honored.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Courage for truth-telling is key. I've been in organization development practitioner (OD) conferences with plenty of PhDs & yet have seen apathy or resignation to status quo actions. It is hard, very hard to move the needle at times, even when the risk is fairly low. ESPECIALLY during the lower risk times, it is important to find the "feisty" in your being to help the truth telling happen, tempered with the wisdom to time it well, so it is heard. Otherwise it is just pretty words, OD values "not in action.

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How Change Courageous Are You? The “Serving Two Masters” Trap

How Change Courageous Are You?  The “Serving Two Masters” Trap | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

...an overlooked statistic tells quite a story.  If only 14% believe that “everyone” is responsible for change success, how can the whole system change? Answer … it doesn’t.


...Change Agent Moment of Truth

In theory, internal consultants are neutral. In reality, many HR executives feel threatened by internal OD consultants to the point that I’ve witnessed OD consultants fired for their successes.

     

The dilemma is all about the question, “who do you serve?”

Stop the insanity of blaming the change recipients & start holding up the mirror for you, whether you are a change agent or change leader.

   

If you level the playing field, give a voice to the silent majority, and really confront change leaders and fellow change agents with their contributions to the status quo, you just might be part of the 20% instead of the 80%.

Related tools & posts by Deb:

         

  • Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here, via REVELN Tools.

    

    

    

       
  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Regardless of the mixed statistics about how many change initiatives fail, Ron Koller's key point about only 14% believing change is everyone's role is quite telling.   
   
Do you agree with the change roles and the in/out "everyone" is responsible for change comparisons?  

   

Moreover, in my conversation with Ron Koller recently about courage and the OD / Change Agent, have you found ways to be successful when you "level the playing field, give a voice to the silent majority, and really confront change leaders and fellow change agents with their contributions to the status quo?"

   
~ Deb

 

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New Online Edition Coming: Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Consultants

New Online Edition Coming:  Practicing Organization Development: A Guide for Consultants | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

A new, 4th edition and NOW online guide, easily updated, is coming, helpful to organization development and change management practitioners everywhere.

Here's the print version, listed at Wiley.  2nd Edition - William J. Rothwell, Roland L. Sullivan



Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I'm thrilled to have been invited to submit a chapter on organization development, change management and change leadership for review for late August.   A colleague who is finishing is PhD, Ron Koller, will also be submitting his new research for another chapter based on change resistance.

I am looking forward to working through what I've learned in my change experiences over the past 20 years at a major research university as well as as an independent in the last 5 years, working with businesses to share practice, actionable lessons learned.  ~  Deb

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Establishing a New Normal, A Case Study via ASTD

Establishing a New Normal, A Case Study via ASTD | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

Recently, the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) changed its name.  Reactions to the name change ranged from excitementcynical, to disappointment....One thing is clear. For a major change like this—an identity change, no less—the change process could have been handled better.

______________________
    
 The last thing you want to happen during a transition is for employees to start a rumor mill.
______________________


Lessons learned include:

2. Get employees involved early in the change process. People who lead the change have more information and time to process the information than the majority of the organization. ....You can provide a communication channel, such as an employee survey or focus groups, to test your change concept and for your employees to provide feedback.


3. Communicate frequently. It usually takes a village and a lot of time to transition from the current state to the future state.   ...Err on the side of over-communicating because people crave accurate and timely information during a transition. The last thing you want to happen during a transition is for employees to start a rumor mill.


4. Acknowledge the old, celebrate the past, and welcome the new.

It’s important to acknowledge how past successes have led the company to its current state. You can build on the foundation of past success, acknowledge employees’ contributions, and launch for the future.


5. Establish the new normal. ...what new behaviors [are needed now?]  Establish new norms, language, and align your existing operational processes to support the new direction....companies that are growing too fast without establishing the needed infrastructure and operational processes create a lot of chaos for employees - employee engagement scores decline.



Related tools & posts by Deb:

      

                          

                    

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

What is the New Normal?  It's just part of the steps & lessons learned from this retrospective case study of a name change in a large association.  ~  Deb

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Top Tips For Leading Technology Change In Schools

Top Tips For Leading Technology Change In Schools | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

One challenge is understanding the actual training needs of your colleagues:

  • Some present as vaguely competent and actually have very little idea of how to use devices to support learning
  • Others...hide under a bushel a deep and valuable understanding and set of of skills. 

Unless your staff is small and stable, it’s likely that you won’t have the in-depth knowledge you need to design a training program that meets everyone’s needs. For this, a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) tool is required. An example is listed here.


It serves a number of purposes:

  • to identify those most in need of intensive support;
   
  • to identify those who might be able to support others, particularly in specific areas of expertise;
   
  • to help you plan large-scale training aimed at common areas of weakness/ concern;
 
  • to help you plan training targeted at smaller groups (e.g. the English department), based on a better understanding of their skills.

It's best administered online survey and analyzed via a spreadsheet.
Some people will need really intensive support and you will need to make a judgement about who should get your time and what constitutes ‘enough’ progress for this term/ year. Equally, some teachers will resist the change, whatever you do to support them. This is something that many 1-to-1 leaders struggle with, pouring time and energy into trying to shift the most stubborn of refuseniks. Our advice? Put your effort where it is likely to have an outcome and ‘ignore the haters’. If you can create momentum with 75% of staff, they may carry the rest with them. Those who still won’t engage in the face of whole-school adoption wouldn’t be any different if you spent several days time chipping away at their obstinacy. Teach to the top end.
Top tips:
Full support of Leadership team with regular communication;
A defined Director of Technology role for implementation;
Regular training sessions with support available by email, in lessons and 1-to-1;
Model good practice and offer lesson observations;
Implement a student Digital Leader programme;
Identify a staff technology champion in every department;
Remember that use of the technology is always about learning not the device;
Find quick wins that make the change worthwhile for staff;
Focus your time on the positives.

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Digital hives: Creating a surge around change | McKinsey

Digital hives: Creating a surge around change | McKinsey | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

[Successful] "Large-scale engagement of the workforce requires...a determination by management to loosen if not relinquish its traditional top-down approach, and an ability to demonstrate how digital activities complement offline or other real-world events.

   

Four ways to drive change using the digital hive concepts:

       

1. Engaging the workforce in better strategy

Early experience suggests that better results follow when a problem is presented in stages to avoid overwhelming the participants, when a company uses volunteers rather than conscripts, when it offers training on how to think about innovation, when energy- and community-building offline events (such as workshops or weekly cafeteria sessions) supplement the online discussions, and when executives strike an authentic tone.

    

2. Connecting silos with a social chain

One of the biggest organizational challenges is to break siloed behavior and get employees talking to one another and cooperating across intracompany boundaries. …[What’s} promising …the “social chain”: a digital platform that …allows employees to work “out loud” online by sharing how they do things. It also encourages people who were previously isolated in part of the chain to identify areas where they depend on others and to tackle problems or bottlenecks collaboratively. 

       

3. Enlisting key customers to improve the proposition

KLM, the Dutch airline, has successfully used this approach to foster a stronger client-centric mind-set among its employees. The company’s executives opted for a large-scale digital dialogue between KLM and its emerging customers …involving 1,500 participants from small and midsize businesses, who generated more than 1,000 concrete ideas and 4,000 other contributions. Management and customer-facing staff from KLM Netherlands actively participated in these discussions. …It… “opened our eyes to the possibilities of social media to build a far stronger customer focus among our staff.” KLM has since become one of the airline industry’s foremost social-media exponents.

    

4. Uniting a dispersed sales force to drive higher sales

…[A] new network, implemented at minimal cost, puts collective expertise in the hands of each of the frontline reps, binds them more closely to the organization, and generates faster performance feedback. Within a year of the start, the company has increased cross- and upselling rates to more than 50 percent, from 4 percent, realizing an increase in gross margins of $25 million.

    

Leading while letting go

Digital hives involve large numbers of previously “disenfranchised” employees in setting strategy, company-wide transformations, and customer-outreach initiatives. Creating these hives requires a delicate balancing act—not least a willingness by top managers to let go. Managers should not be afraid to commit themselves explicitly to acting on the results of these initiatives and should encourage unrestrained participation, however unpredictable the consequences.


Related posts by Deb:
        

           

              

         


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The quality of conversation, or lack of it, is telling and provides insights about what is current and what is pending. McKinsey offers four solid examples of how to drive change focusing on digital “hives”—designed to solve a particular problem or set of problems as well as to build new behaviors, so they can become new habits.

This is how a culture shift can happen and sustain itself. ~ D

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Classic: The Rules of Antifragility: Learning to Love Volatility, Trial and Error over Research

Classic:  The Rules of Antifragility:  Learning to Love Volatility, Trial and Error over Research | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"Five rules that can help us to establish antifragility as a principle of our socioeconomic life."

__________________

 

Antifragility…is a crucial property of life in general…in the evolution of all things, from cuisine, urbanization and legal systems to our own existence as a species on this planet.

__________________

   

Rule 1: Think of the economy as being more like a cat than a washing machine.

…Natural or organic systems are antifragile: They need some dose of disorder in order to develop. Deprive your bones of stress and they become brittle. This denial of the antifragility of living or complex systems is the costliest mistake that we have made in modern times. …problems hide in the absence of stressors, and the resulting cumulative harm can take on tragic proportions.

   

…The state should be there for emergency-room surgery.   …In social policy, when we provide a safety net, it should be designed to help people take more entrepreneurial risks, not to turn them into dependents. This doesn't mean that we should be callous to the underprivileged. In the long run, bailing out people is less harmful to the system than bailing out firms…

   

Rule 2: Favor businesses that benefit from their own mistakes, not those whose mistakes percolate into the system.


Some businesses and political systems respond to stress better than others. The airline industry is set up in such a way as to make travel safer after every plane crash. A tragedy leads to the thorough examination and elimination of the cause of the problem. The same thing happens in the restaurant industry, where the quality of your next meal depends on the failure rate in the business—what kills some makes others stronger. Without the high failure rate in the restaurant business, you would be eating Soviet-style cafeteria food for your next meal out.

    

Rule 3: Small is beautiful, but it is also efficient.

…Great size in itself, when it exceeds a certain threshold, produces fragility and can eradicate all the gains from economies of scale.  ...So we need to distribute decisions and projects across as many units as possible, which reinforces the system by spreading errors across a wider range of sources. In fact, I have argued that government decentralization would help to lower public deficits. 

     

Rule 4: Trial and error beats academic knowledge.

Tinkering by trial and error has traditionally played a larger role than directed science in Western invention and innovation. Indeed, advances in theoretical science have most often emerged from technological development, which is closely tied to entrepreneurship. Just think of the number of famous college dropouts in the computer industry.

    

…There is a crucial requirement to achieve antifragility: The potential cost of errors needs to remain small; the potential gain should be large. It is the asymmetry between upside and downside that allows antifragile tinkering to benefit from disorder and uncertainty.

    

Rule 5: Decision makers must have skin in the game.

…The Romans forced engineers to sleep under a bridge once it was completed. …This rule would have saved us from the banking crisis, when bankers who loaded their balance sheets with exposures to small probability events collected bonuses during the quiet years and then transferred the harm to the taxpayer, keeping their own compensation.

   

Antifragility…is a crucial property of life in general, not just in economic life but in the evolution of all things, from cuisine, urbanization and legal systems to our own existence as a species on this planet.

   

Modernity has been obsessed with comfort and cosmetic stability, but by making ourselves too comfortable and eliminating all volatility from our lives, we do to our bodies and souls what Mr. Greenspan did to the U.S. economy: We make them fragile. We must instead learn to gain from disorder.

    

—Mr. Taleb, a former derivatives trader, is a professor of risk engineering at New York University's Polytechnic Institute. He is the author of "Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder" (Random House, 2012), from which this is adapted.

Deb’s related ScoopIt news and posts:

   

    

    

     

    

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

These antifragile rules from Taleb's 2012 instant classic book continue to raise awareness of the dangers of stability, size and comfort.  They are good reminders during any phase of business cycles as market reality meets with the natural complexities of change.  ~ Deb

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Richard Platt's curator insight, December 5, 2014 10:07 PM

Great book if you haven't read  it 

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A Key to Successful Change are Inspired Middle Managers | Harvard Biz

A Key to Successful Change are Inspired Middle Managers  | Harvard Biz | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"Research shows manager traits that create success."

     

Nurse Michelle delaCalle faced a room full of people who were discouraged by the organization’s earlier attempts at change. She stood and shared a story of her own about how making people wait for hours in the emergency department seemed like a violation of her caregiving role. Her story seemed to move people. “I could feel my own intensity,” she said, and when she was done speaking, she could tell that people finally understood the need to change.
     

Change efforts often crumble into excruciatingly dull meetings and PowerPoint presentations. This hospital’s effort won’t, I believe, because of people like delaCalle. A mid-level manager in this 5,000-employee hospital, she is leading a 70-member group on patient flow as part of a larger organizational effort. Her ability to lead and inspire — to become a change leader from her position as a mid-level manager — is helping her team produce results.


For instance,

  • flow is improving:  patients are moving from the emergency department to beds faster
  • the number of patients discharged before 11:30 a.m. doubled from 20% to 40% between July and December 2013, and has stayed at that level since.
        

I studied large-scale change and innovation efforts in 56 randomly selected companies in the high-tech, retail, pharmaceutical, banking, automotive, insurance, energy, non-profit, and health care industries.

  • My research found that the majority of the efforts failed. 
  • A hallmark of the successful 32% was the involvement of mid-level managers two or more levels below the CEO. 
  • In those cases, mid-level managers weren’t merely managing incremental change; they were leading it by working levers of power up, across and down in their organizations.
        
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

There can be change leaders at every level as well.  This example helps illustrate the wisdom of whole system change, where all levels of leaders have the opportunity to share the business case for change throughs stories, as well as lead change and the organization forward.  ~ Deb

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3 Things to Know About Increasing the Productive Change Power of Networks and Wirearchy

3 Things to Know About Increasing the Productive Change Power of Networks and Wirearchy | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"...competitive advantage is no longer the sum of all efficiencies but the sum of all connections. To win in today’s connected economy, you need to deepen and widen networks."


_________________


...small world networks...form naturally. The best way to build them is to stop inhibiting them.

_________________


Excerpted:

1. Networks Are Usually Not Random, But Structured


 Small world networks are very powerful because they manage information incredibly well.  ...they shrink distance, so connections feel very local, but also scale globally.  Just by getting in touch with a friend who, in turn, calls another friend, you are actually sorting through thousands of small, coherent groups with important information.

 ...small world networks...are essentially organic and form naturally. The best way to build them is to stop inhibiting them.  In a study of Silicon Valley firms, ....a law curbing non-compete agreements [was found to enhance] connectivity and innovation in the industry.

 2. Social Networks Can Be Quantified And Mathematically Analyzed

...social network analysis techniques have become highly advanced...  these techniques became highly publicized when it leaked out that the NSA was using metadata to map terrorist networks, but in reality the agency has been using social network analysis since at least 2001. After 9/11, it was able to publicly release not only the identities of the hijackers, but their leadership structure as well.


...in business...Valdis Krebs of Orgnet ...advises firms to look beyond the hierarchy represented in organizational charts and focus on the “wirearchy” of informal relationships...yielding practical results. In one case, he used network analysis to help a firm integrate after a merger. In another, his analysis identified crucial subject matter experts that were planning retirement and helped his client take steps to alleviate the damage.


3. Network Structure Determines Organizational Performance

In a study of Broadway plays, researchers found that if the cast and crew had never worked together before, performance suffered.  The more preexisting relationships, the better the plays did—up to a point—and then performan...ce would decline. 

   

MIT’s Sandy Pentland ...develop[ed] a wearable device ... the sociometer, which tracks human interactions in everyday environments. He’s found that even tracking the amount—not the content—improv[es] productivity.  ...at a call center, he advised management to schedule working groups to take breaks together, ...and increased productivity by $15 million. In other settings, [simply] increasing the length of lunch tables—to encourage more mixing—made for measurable gains.


As always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo, video or title to see the full version of the Scooped post.

    

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The nuances of networks and communication can make a LARGE difference in productivity.  The answer to the age-old, "Can't we just get along?" is yes, with some increased attention to what improves productivity in teams and groups, and a little less obsession with metrics and measurement of individuals.  ~  Deb
 

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Culture & change management key to digital delivery at AGL

Culture & change management key to digital delivery at AGL | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"Culture is one of the biggest hurdles AGL faces as it seeks to tackle digital disruption head-on and better respond to rising customer expectations."


Excepted:

AGL’s head of digital and customer experience, Josephine Monger, [spoke] at the Sitecore Digital Trendspot event in Sydney. She said the energy company’s 185-year heritage and conservative corporate culture had initially made it difficult to adopt the dynamic and interactive approach required in a digital-first environment.


_________________________

   

....a customer’s service expectations are not being set by the energy industry, but by digital giants such as Amazon. 

_________________________

“In the digital environment, you have to think quickly and make decisions faster. That test-and-learn, ‘fail fast’ approach can be scary for a lot of senior and middle management to take on-board. They want to do it, but have to take that leap of faith and become more agile in the way they work.”


Despite the challenges, AGL has made significant steps forward in building a digital strategy… [The] first major step was consolidating its collection of customer-facing websites into a single platform. …Another key to driving a digital-first mindset across the organisation was positioning change as an advantage, he continued.


“The trick is not to overthink things – if we do something and it’s right, then we carry on, but if it’s not, we’ll adjust or take that out.”…“Change is the benefit, rather than the enemy, and perceiving things that way has allowed us to become good at change,” says digital lead, Nigel Page,


The success of the digital team’s more agile approach opening up constructive debate around risk and management, Page said. “What we’re seeing now is an eagerness to start adopting these approaches more broadly through the organisation, so the benefit has been more than just in the pure digital space,” he said.


Monger pointed out a customer’s service expectations are not being set by the energy industry, but by digital giants such as Amazon. This makes it vital for organisations to start building better digital credentials.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Here are some examples of an energy company making changes even though the culture was initially resistant.  As the late Kathie Dannemiller used to say, resistance is a resource.   The statement about digital giants setting customer experience expectations, such as Amazon.com, is provocative for making a culture change internally.  It seems to be working for them.  ~  D

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Classic: Different cultures challenge authority in different ways | Allon Shevat

Classic:  Different cultures challenge authority in different ways | Allon Shevat | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

..Do not assume that agreement with what you say is real; do not assume that those who challenge you are against you; and don’t ignore gossip but factor it in in societies where harmony is more valued than “truth”.

Explicit hardball challenging: Gilad (m, Israel) argues with his Israeli boss all the time. ...US based colleagues who have observed Gilad believe that Gilad shows no respect for his boss. However, once a directive is given, Gilad will carry it out to a T, never trying to stand by passively as things go bad.  Gilad and his boss play on the same soccer team and socialize together at the beach.

   

Pragmatic Controlled  Disagreement: Karen (f USA) believes that her American boss has made several critical errors over the last month. Karen i...asks some mildly  “challenging” questions after adding “well, let me play the devil’s advocate”. ...When one of her boss’s directives goes bad, Karen will be remain composed, and not go out of her way to help, allowing things “to take their course”.  Karen needs her boss’s recommendations after she leaves to “further her career”. Karen and her boss socialize only at the Christmas party.

     

.   


Posts by Deb:
     

Think like an Entrepreneur: Be Anti-Fragile No Matter Where You Work

         

Two Tried & True Change Models – Evergreen for Agile Change 

     

Co-Creation in Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges & the Road to Commitment

     

  • Stay in touch with the monthly Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  9 multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.

           

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.  


 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Allon lists four examples in the full post.  It's a good test of your own degree of enthnocentricism to notice if you identify with the biases and blind spots he identifies so well in his posts.    His posts are very helpful for building your global citizenship and for the USA, minimizing the inept, ugly American syndrome abroad.  ~  Deb

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Letting Go: 6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals

Letting Go:  6 Steps Beyond Industrial Age Performance Appraisals | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

"It takes courage, tenacity and teamwork to let go of performance appraisal practices and industrial age thinking.  In our  post 9-11, post financial meltdown, "New Normal,"  business will never be as it was.  Can we let go?"


A1998 article about ending appraisals in favor of the APOP, the Annual Piece of Paper is one way to go.   Using an approach like the APOP or a two box annual conversation method, Meets [or Exceeds], Does not Meet, as mentioned in the video, is a step in the right direction. It is a form of incremental change, very similar to the Adobe Systems “check-ins” featured here in more detail.  Adobe’s 2012 system moved away from individualized ranking and ratings.  


The full post includes a short video that features asking a "beautiful question:      


Why are we doing things the way we’ve been doing them the past 20 years—what if we tried a whole new approach?      Thank you Warren Berger, author of “A Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthrough Ideas (2014)


It also covers why using Pass / Fail evaluation systems can help.


See the video and full post here.


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is my own video and post about performance review systems or appraisals.  It  is embedded within change principles, which is why I've posted it here as well as in the Talent & Performance Development curation news.    The video embodies the D X V X F > R, change model, originally invented by Gleicher and popularized by Kathie Dannemiller.   The video covers assessing readiness, Dissatisfaction, the need to explain why make a change, the Vision, and First Steps to overcome Resistance to Change - along with our our Industrial Age / command and control, Theory X (McGregor) mindsets.  

A new path is emerging, but it is a slow path in business.  ~  Deb 

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, August 19, 2014 1:05 PM

This is my own video and post about performance review systems or appraisals.

The video embodies the D X V X F > R, change model, originally invented by Gleicher and popularized by Kathie Dannemiller.   The video covers assessing readiness, Dissatisfaction, the need to explain why make a change, the Vision, and First Steps to overcome Resistance to Change - along with our our Industrial Age / command and control, Theory X (McGregor) mindsets.  


A new path is emerging, but it is a slow path in business.  ~  Deb 

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Change Management: The Tool of Disempowerment & How to Overcome It

Change Management: The Tool of Disempowerment & How to Overcome It | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

Kotter’s 5th step, can also be called, The Empowerment Delusion
…This is where the “theory versus practice” problem really takes over…[it] breaks down in practice. One of two things generally happen during the implementation

The change plan is either …

1. too exclusive, a.k.a. “they never consulted us,” or
2. too inclusive, a.k.a. “they didn’t think this through.”

You are the “perplexed” …because you can’t make everyone happy. 
[If] The leader’s change plan is too macro in nature. It does not take into account the diverse local issues in different parts of the organization.


…The enhancement for stage 5 is …
Agree on Boundaries & Guidelines for Empowerment (horizontal and vertical) and connect it with: the enhancement for Stage 4 is … Communicate the change vision interactively - Two-Way Communication

DN:  From the link to the earlier post, here's a key, in Ron's earlier post:     The Golden Rule of Organizational Change:

If you're not getting the response you need, 
change the stimulus.   (YOU)


In the communication context, this means "ask better questions" and/or structure your meetings to move beyond the complaints to a constructive place.

As always in our ScoopIt news, click on the photo, video or title to see the full Scooped post.

       

Related tools & posts by Deb:

               

     

      

  

  • Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  9 multi-gold award winning curation streams.  Preview it here, via REVELN Tools.

       

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.    
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Colleague Ron Koller's post shows how to get beyond the pitfalls of the Kotter change model that can trap the inexperienced consultant working through change.  ~  D

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Face Your Tiger: Courage for Those Dreaded Conversations

Face Your Tiger:  Courage for Those Dreaded Conversations | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

The great First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You must do the thing you think you cannot do."In other words, you must face your tiger.That is the beginning of overcoming fear.

Excerpts:

Prepare yourself before entering the tiger's lair. As the saying goes "Success happens when preparation meets opportunity." So preparation is key for these conversations. Here are a few questions to consider in advance:

  • What is the issue you need to discuss with the other person(s)?
  • Why is it important to you?
  • What is the biggest obstacle in the way of having this conversation?
  • What is the cost of avoiding this conversation?
  • What would you gain by having this conversation?
  • What would it take for this conversation to go well?


So if you have been dreading and avoiding the conversations you should be having, now is the time to "do the thing you think you cannot do."

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a helpful companion post for my last Scoop minutes ago on courage.   In my own training in Crucial Confrontations, I learned that sometimes the conversation is not worth having as the issue may be about YOU, not them.  Other times, it is highly important to to "face your tiger," for your own self-worth, honoring your values and for self-efficacy - a fancy term for your belief in yourself getting the job done well.   

Judging the risk of falling on your sword is part of the job.  Hopefully THAT is not a scenario in your organization.  If it is, may your exit plan be a strong one.    ~  Deb

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Preach to Your Choir, Critical Mass in Change Depends on Follower Networks - John D. Adams

Preach to Your Choir, Critical Mass in Change Depends on Follower Networks  - John D. Adams | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

Professor John D. Adams helps us understand some of the “soft” barriers to change and how to chart a path toward change by developing a critical mass of supporters for the desired change.

Change leadership is only half of the story. A movement for change requires followers, ...they rarely show up and commit to the change without considerable effort on our part.

Adams offers us some insight into three major barriers to effectively cultivating enough followers to get your change off the ground:

 

1) The auto-pilot mindset:   Adams reminds us that this is why, even when we agree that a change must be made, we often don’t follow through with a new way of doing things. 

 

___________________

  

…training is not the goal. The goal is the goal.

   

___________________


     


2) Bias toward training:   Of course, training is essential for change .  However, the training does not accomplish the change — it simply lays the groundwork.   …Confusing the training with the change is a common mistake.


The training is not the goal. The goal is the goal.

 

3) Absence of support for novelty management: Change automatically brings …uncertainty…anxiety…distress…surprise, unfamiliarity, uncertainty.  …Many leaders forget to support people through the emotional challenges that novelty can bring. 
 

People will need new information, a chance to learn new skills, time to develop attitudes and values that support the change, and rewards for adopting the change. Being deliberate and patient in these areas will help speed the change along.

     

___________________


PREACH TO YOUR CHOIR. ... “...creating a critical mass of people …who will ensure that the change process becomes self-sustaining.” 

___________________


    

Perhaps the most important message Adams offers is this: PREACH TO YOUR CHOIR....it is actually “the most important mechanism for creating a critical mass of people who are solidly behind a change program and who will ensure that the change process becomes self-sustaining.”


…the easiest path is to start with those who are willing to get on board immediately. Don’t take them for granted; stay focused on them to build momentum.


Related tools & posts by Deb:

      

          

    
    

           

  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I was not familiar with John D. Adams' work, until yesterday.  His tools for understanding stress, transition (similar to William Bridges) and change is useful and may resonate with change practitioners who like to review models that may provide a useful reminder of the basics or clarify common mistakes in change leading.
   
Besides, if there is one thing that provokes curiosity to change and OD practitioners,  it is discovering a model and/or perspective that may shed light in the dark corners of the mysteries of leading change successfully.
   
As I was offering programs in stress in the early 80s, 9-10 years later than Adams.  He started offering health and stress workplace programs and coaching in 1975.

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Shared Leadership and the University - Approaches to Change, Time to Lead

Shared Leadership and the University - Approaches to Change, Time to Lead | Change Management Resources | Scoop.it

While we often look to one hierarchical leader to guide us through difficult changes, in business and in public life, this may not be what is most effective.


__________________________
 
...shared leadership strategies, though messy, were more effective in establishing change....
even though the academy leans strongly towards hierarchical leadership reliance. 

__________________________



In cases where a large scale strategic or transformative change needs to occur, leadership responsibilities need to shift and often become shared between various individuals or groups. 


Professor Duin and forum participants all shared personal cases where singular leadership was misaligned with the needs of the organization and shared leadership strategies, though messy, were more effective in establishing change that would be by all the parties involved.   
This type of buy-in is often needed in the University setting, even though the academy leans strongly towards hierarchical leadership reliance. 


Whether restructuring colleges and departments to be a more competitive and well aligned university to developing ways for various technology centers to work together to delineate responsibilities, meet the needs of users, and continue evolving with the fast pace of new technology offerings, developing inroads for collaborative co-leadership is key to making broad innovative changes. 

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  • Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here,via REVELN Tools.    

      

    

     

        
  • Are you local to SE Michigan?  Find out more about horse-guided leadership development sessions (no fee demos) for individuals by contacting Deb, after reviewing her coaching page here.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Here's a reminder of the basics of change, from a higher education perspective.  It's interesting to see the siloed, bridged and shared scope definitions, appropriate to the hierarchies natural to higher education. 

In my own hometown, we have a new president about to begin, along the task of filling key, top-level vacancies in administration. Professor Ann Hill Duin, University of Minnesota has shared forum perspectives on change in academe, particularly what works, and what does not work.   ~  Deb

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Pascal Vedel's curator insight, July 19, 2014 3:15 AM

Une bonne synthèse des divers types de changements...