Archive | Change Navigation

Strategy & Resilience Take Center Stage at Partnering Resources

Unexpected turbulence

Image: Nicole on flickr.

Organization survival today depends on recognizing and adapting to business environments that bear little resemblance to what we saw five or even three years ago. A quick look at headlines over the past year makes it clear that market-roiling upsets are the new normal:

  • “The Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Means Every Other Retailer’s Three-Year Plan Is Obsolete” (Harvard Business Review, June 2017)
  • “Uber, Lyft Take Down Not Just Cab Drivers, But Also Lenders” (CNBC, July 2017)
  • “While We Weren’t Looking, Snapchat Revolutionized Social Networks” (New York Times, November 2016)
  • “Electric Cars Could Totally Disrupt The Oil Market Within A Decade, Researchers Say” (Fortune, February 2017)

Political upsets have caused similar disruptions; the surprise “yea” vote for Brexit forced many companies to rethink their UK and EU strategies.

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Dispatch from the 2017 Association of Change Management Professionals Conference

ACMP Change Management Dispatch 1

My first time in New Orleans didn’t disappoint! The annual conference of the Association of Change Management Professionals was lively, friendly, and fun. Didn’t attend? Scroll down for my take on what was new and hot at the 2017 conference. Prefer visuals to text? See the Visual Dispatch at the bottom of the page.

What’s Hot: Using Neuroscience for Change Management

Using findings from neuroscience to help guide change is still hot. Speaker Josh Davis of the NeuroLeadership Institute spoke to a jam-packed room about how our brains respond to threats. Change management professionals can minimize those threats with a little education and foresight.

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100+ Tried & True Problem-Solving Tools

Sense making illustration by Kelvy Bird.

Too many leaders choose the wrong tool for the problem at hand. Our infographic, “What’s Your Problem,” explains the four different types of problems leaders face. Once you’ve read it, you may be left thinking: OK, I know what kind of problem I have. What tool do I use?

In this post, we share over 100 tried-and-true problem-solving tools. These are effective and elegant methods that you can use to address the four types of problems.

Simple Problem-Solving Tools

SOP from UCLA.

Simple problems have easily seen cause and effect relationships. Your job is to assess the facts, categorize the facts, and then apply the appropriate best practice.

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Are You Solving the Right Problem?

What's Your Problem - Top

Problems come in many shapes and sizes. Some are small (“I can’t find space for my 2pm meeting”). Others are large (“I can’t get forty coalition members to agree on goals”). All have the capacity to drive you nuts, especially if you’re not solving problems using the right tools.

If You Have a Hammer, Everything is a Nail

Once you find techniques that work, it’s tempting to use them over and over again. Maybe you’ve had great success using Gantt charts. You might like performance charting, root cause analysis, or group dialogue sessions. Perhaps business ecosystem maps rock your world.

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New Case Studies: How to Use Networks Strategically

Blue-Networked-People-cropped

Network maps make the invisible world of organizational transactions, relationships, and knowledge flows visible. But what can they actually accomplish for an organization?

We recently published two case studies based on our work with clients. Each case study shows how one client used network knowledge to advance their strategy.

Case Study #1: Using Network Mapping to Globalize an Organization

In 2013, a new leader was hired to transform the Public & Governmental Affairs (PGA) division into a truly global organization. The leader realized that PGA needed to operate as a network. She used network thinking to guide development in the organization.

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The Most Overlooked Asset in Organization Change

Communication World

Organizations have been changing for millennia, but people still struggle to lead change effectively. It’s difficult to send consistent messages, maintain momentum, and engage employees over the long haul. Luckily, organizations have a hidden asset that leaders can use to accelerate change.

This new article, just published on Communication World, explains this hidden asset and just how leaders can use it to accelerate and improve organization change.

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Three Jobs of the Change Leader

3 Jobs of the Change Leader Image

The sixth in the Tried & True Series: Trusted Models that Stand the Test of Time.

Three things. That’s all you really need to do to be a successful change leader.

It’s surprising to think that the job could be so easy. After all, managing people, especially during change, is complex and dynamic.

Master consultant Stephanie Nestlerode distills that complexity into three basic tasks:

  • Help team members focus on what’s important and get rid of distractions.
  • Make sure team members have everything they need to do their work.
  • Share performance expectations and progress with team members.
  • It might sound simple, but don’t be fooled.

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    Tuning Your Change Strategy

    Six Ways to Influence Change - JPG

    The fifth in the Tried & True Series: Trusted Models that Stand the Test of Time.

    Improve likelihood of change success by 10%? Sounds good!

    I’m a big fan of the work done by Grenny, Maxfield, and Shimberg on what makes change initiatives successful. According to their research, initiatives are ten times more likely to succeed when the change strategy includes at least four of six approaches.

    The trick is to address both people’s motivation and their ability. It’s not enough to want to change. They also have to know how to change. And they can have all the knowledge in the world but, if they don’t want to change, they won’t.

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    Transition: The Human Side of Change

    Transition Infographic

    The fourth in the Tried & True Series: Trusted Models that Stand the Test of Time.

    Why can’t people just get with the program? They question, they challenge, they complain… and it’s all perfectly predictable and normal.

    Transition is the emotional process people go through when adapting to a change in their world. It doesn’t matter if the change is positive, like having a new baby or getting promoted. People still have to let go of some parts of their life (perhaps the luxury of sleeping late!) and learn new things (how to change a diaper while half asleep).

    The process is predictable, according to the work seminal done by organizational thinker and consultant William Bridges.

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    SCARF Model: Anticipating Organization Stress

    SCARF Model Infographic

    The third in the Tried & True Series: Trusted Models that Stand the Test of Time.

    Have you ever felt that your life was in immediate danger? You might remember feeling a burst of adrenaline as your heart race, and you moved into action or froze in your tracks.

    Research shows that other situations, in which there is no physical danger, can trigger a similar response. This “fight, flight, or freeze” response decreases the ability to plan, make rational decisions, and perceive subtle social and cognitive signals. Unfortunately, these skills are needed during organizational change—just when people are likely to be triggered.

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