Change Management must adapt and change itself. What worked a year ago is not likely to work today. Yes, human nature is the same as it has always been, and we are dealing with people, but how we do it [change management] must change.
November has seen many great articles, and many of them have been about effective management of change in a hybrid or remote workplace. Naturally. How do we use change management to work effectively at home? How do we give feedback effectively remotely? Who should we pay extra attention to when we work with safety in a Covid-19 world? How do we foster purpose? All these questions are answered in the articles, podcasts and video I have selected in November.
Let me know of resources you have found interesting in November. Or if you have written anything, we all should know about. I’d love to hear about it. As always, comments and reflections are welcome.
So in no particular order, let’s get started…
1. LAUREL FARRER. Incomplete WFH Change Management Puts Companies At Risk
Laurel Farrer is a thought leader when it comes to remote working. With remote working on the rise, she has written an article on the difference between allowing remote working vs Adopting remote working.
Laurel suggests that a more sustainable development requires a comprehensive change management process that encompasses these six categories:
- Workforce. Virtual collaboration requires a different skillset.
- Management. Monitoring the wellness, output, and engagement is still possible, but requires different tools, habits, and training.
- Culture. Proximity does not ensure connection and leaders must intentionally design channels, activities, and engagement expectations that will help unify their teams and create a sense of belonging.
- Workplace. Ensure that home office conditions have adequate features to support sustainable health and productivity, such as natural light, compatible equipment, ergonomic seating, and a hazard-free workspace.
- Infrastructure. It is critical to carefully determine what functionality is missing from the current toolkit, identify tools that match the habits and culture of the team, and design an adoption plan that will minimize disruption.
- Compliance. Without a comprehensive remote work policy, remote workers are at higher risk for miscommunication, discrimination, isolation, and legal breaches.
This is a great article and I think it is relevant to ask yourself if you are working as a distributed team or just working remotely. Read the article to find the answer.
2. ENCLARIA. Four Emotions That Keep People From Embracing Change
People respond to change emotionally. But what emotions exactly come into play? In this article by Heather Stagl from Enclaria, she addresses four emotions that keep people from embracing change.
- Grief. In many cases, change means loss of comfort and the past. To help people let go and process their grief, they need time and space. So, give them that.
- Fear. As change unfolds, people tend to fear an uncertain future. Therefore, transparency and early communication are essential when dealing with fear.
- Frustration. Trial and error when learning something new can cause frustration for people. To avoid frustration, ensure that people have what they need to succeed.
- Apathy. In this context, it is a lack of motivation to change. To avoid this, find a way to link the change to something they care about.
Read the full article to get a more profound understand of how to deal with such emotions. It is excellent when managing resistance to change.
3. DAVID WILKINSON. Evidence-based practice makes people more flexible and adaptable
In this article, David Wilkinson argues why an evidence-based practice makes people more flexible and adaptable. For me, who loves the evidence-based approach to business in general and to change management in particular, this caught my attention.
To make his point, David initiates a little “game”. The has two planets; The Good Planet Certainty and The Planet Argument. The game sets out to prove that an evidence-based world, where people rely on the best (but not necessarily the “right”) decisions and arguments makes people more adaptable and able to cope with uncertainty.
He rests his argument on the fact that when people understand that there is no “final word”, no right or wrong, but that the best argument wins, then they engage and take responsibility and thereby become more flexible.
The article is a good read because David accomplishes to engage you and make you reflect upon your approach to problems. Thank you for yet another great article, David
4. HUGO HARPER ET AL. (Behavioural insights). A Small Number of People Account for a Large Amount of Coronavirus Risk
If you have any interests in nudging, bias or behavioural economics, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is a must-follow. They publish research at a high level and set the standard for our use of nudging.
In an extensive survey of 3,702 adults in the UK, BIT has investigated how coronavirus spreads. Behavioural Insights Team firstly measured how many different people the respondents had met and under which circumstances – if it was outside, how long the meeting lasted if they kept a distance etc. Based on the best available evidence on coronavirus transmission risk, they weighted each parameter in a way, that allowed them to quantify the meetings in terms of transmission risk.
What is interesting is that they found that 8 % of the respondents accounted for 60% of the total transmission risk. Hence, most people don’t pass the virus on, but a few ends up infecting many. This is likely also true for your organisation; a few account for the majority of your Covid-19 risk. So, why don’t we focus our efforts on that 8%?
5. DAVID MILLER. How to Communicate Change Successfully
Today, organizations increasingly rely on written communication – they send out email presentations with the idea that it will suddenly engage people in a change. But it doesn’t. Written communication goes directly against the human need for dialogue. Two-way communication is a crucial step to powerful engagement processes.
In this article, David presents four ways to communicate change effectively.
- Use face-to-face, two-way communication wherever possible.
- Enable your sponsors to demonstrate a real commitment to communication.
- Tailor messages to the receiver’s perspective. Make sure they understand the language you’re speaking
- Seek feedback and, where possible, take it on board.
Moreover, he presents four components to successful change communication
- Major change initiative communications often benefit from a distinctive brand, as it can create an identity for the change.
- A communication strategy entails the objectives of the communication and the overall approach.
- A communication plan specifies the objectives and activities for the communication
- To measure if the plan is becoming a reality.
A communication plan should engage people in the change and make them more committed. I think it is an important aspect of change, that should not be neglected.
6. HENRICO DOLFING. Change Management and your CAST of Characters
All projects result in change. And change affects people and their roles. To help us find out how to tend to the needs of those people, Henrico has written an article describing four characters you will meet in times of change.
Henrico describes the CAST characters:
- Champions: Those who want the change and work to gain commitment to it.
- Agents: Those who implement the change in terms of planning and executing.
- Sponsors: Those who authorize, legitimize and demonstrate ownership for the change
- Targets: Those who are called on to alter their behaviour, emotions and practices.
In his article, Henrico further presents a number of ‘character rules’ to help your change to be effective and fast.
7. STACY BARR. How to Measure Change Management
The urgency of change management is increasing. Prosci reports that 40% of their research participants must report on how well CM is working in their projects. But CM is a soft science, so it can be difficult to measure. In this article, Stacy Barr provides us with a handful of clear, quantitative performance measures of CM meaningfully. Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix change metrics.
Stacy defines three kinds of performance (based upon Prosci’s framework); organizational performance (preferably measured based on strategic goals), individual performance (measured with ADKAR), and change management performance (measured based on a flowchart of your CM process). With a point of departure in those definitions, Stacy argues that the organization should be clear as to which of the three parameters their goals and results relates to.
Because once you are clear about the specific organisational, individual and change process results that matter to your unique situation, it’s a simple procedure to design great measures using PuMP’s Measure Design technique.
Measuring CM is difficult, but we must not forget it. This is a good way to get started.
8. MARGARET HEFFERNAN. How the Best Leaders Answer “What Are We Here for?”
Purpose. It is as obvious as it is forgotten. In this article, Margaret Heffernan further emphasizes the importance of a meaningful purpose in organizations. Especially, during crises like COVID19. However, she believes it should be created in concert with all those affected by it–employees, customers, patients, neighbours, and leaders.
Margaret remains distant to the command-and-control culture, where employees look to the CEO to find their purpose. Instead, you should collect groups of stakeholders and ask what they need and expect from you now.
Based on a number of examples, Margaret sustains her point. And I think she is right. We should engage our stakeholders much more, when searching for our “what are we here for”.
9. LAMARSCH GLOBAL. Teaching leaders how to change
In a case study on Shaw Communications, LaMarsch found that the biggest challenge on a variety of different projects, was the acceptance and adoption of the new solutions.
In this brief case study, LaMarsch describes the solution to a problem posed by Shaw Communications. The goal was to identify the issues and implement programs to improve the success of the future projects at Shaw. By developing customized training programmes, coaching executives and delivering change management training, LaMarsch developed an actionable program for key leaders and change practitioners. By those means they accomplished their objective.
This article provides a very concrete example as to how you can approach projects with Change Management.
10. WHAT MONKEYS DO: Jim Loehr. PEOPLE WANT YOUR ENERGY – NOT YOUR TIME
You can spend hours doing something with no return. Maybe you were with your family for three hours, but all you could think about was tomorrow’s presentation at work. Or at yesterday’s meeting, where you were too tired to listen. You weren’t fully engaged. In this episode of What Monkeys Do, Jim Loehr talks about investing your energy – not time – in a meaningful way.
And how do you do that? If you ask Jim, purpose is the ultimate driver. If you find the right purpose, you are well off. Of course, it’s easier said than done. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist and has worked with hundreds of World Class performers. He will help us become fully engaged.
11. ZENGERFOLKMAN. 6 Lessons from the Most Effective Coaches
Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman have surveyed 4,212 leaders to give you a highly practical set of behaviours that you can use to become an effective coach.
The most effective coaches do the following; 1) Carve out the time, 2) Focus on specific actions versus more general resolutions or platitudes. 3) Inspire others via positive interactions. 4) Add your ideas and experience. 5) Freely give honest praise, and 6) Foster collaboration.
Jack Zenger and Joe Folkman are always a massive inspiration to me, and I appreciate this podcast. It is always based on an evident best-practice background. Thank you for that
12. DEAR HBR. Remote feedback
Giving feedback can be difficult. Doing it virtually can be even more difficult. Listen to HBR’s advice podcast to hear Alison Beard and Dan McGinn talk about how you give good feedback virtually.
13. SIMON SINEK. Where Change Starts
In 4 minutes, Simon Sinek explains where change starts. It’s pretty simple – it starts with you.
Simon is an author of multiple best selling books and knows a thing or two about change and personal development.