Tag Archives: organization change

Who Should Be Responsible for Managing Change?

Effective change doesn’t happen by accident.  It is the result of careful planning and thoughtful execution. Leaders play a pivotal role in change because they possess legitimate power to authorize the change, establish the vision, provide direction and resources, and hold organizational members accountable. Everyone looks to the leader for guidance and that person must model the way for the rest of the organization.

Change would be a much tidier process if that were all it took – an effective leader who knows what to do and how to do it and is at the front leading the charge.

But as important as the leader’s role is, it isn’t the leader who ultimately executes change. Change (from simple to complex) is always a matter of people in impacted areas making the transition from the way things are now to the way they’re supposed to be in the future.

Transition at the people level involves, among other things:

  • Answering their questions about why and what it will mean for them
  • Describing how things will be in the future
  • Helping them understand whether or not they will be in that future
  • Involving them to co-create that future
  • Providing a credible plan for moving forward that speaks to them at their level
  • Communicating frequently and reliably about what’s happening now and what will happen next
  • Learning new skills and applying new knowledge
  • Becoming part of a new work group

Pregnant Businesswoman Leads Boardroom Meeting

How does this all get done? Who is leading the charge on this? More to the point, who should be leading the charge on this? Continue reading

The Utility of Resistance

Since man began to sail the open seas, sailors have used a very simple device to figure out how to take maximum advantage of the wind. Pieces of ribbon or yarn attached to the main mast and to the sides of the jib tell a sailor when the wind is up and how to trim the sails to use them most efficiently to make the best headway. These pieces of ribbon or yarn (three red strips in the photo below) are called a “tell tale” and “tell tales” are one of a sailor’s best friends.

Sailing image

When it comes to organization change, leaders, managers, and change practitioners also have a “tell tale.” It’s called resistance. However, resistance is rarely regarded as anyone’s best friend. Quite the contrary, resistance is usually regarded as something to be “overcome,” “managed,” “mitigated,” “addressed” or otherwise “eliminated.”

What if we thought about resistance and used it differently?

Continue reading