January: The 13 best Change Management resources

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“The only constant is change”. This quote from the Greek philosopher Heraclitus is more true than ever. This is truly an amazing time. I have a feeling that the worst about the Covid-19 will be behind us come August, but how we work and how businesses will change going forward is difficult to foresee. But change will come. So, it is ever more important that we keep abreast of new knowledge that can help us support the changes. That we become true facilitators of change in our organisation.

Conferences will be different this year. Some will be cancelled, some postponed and others held virtually. One that I am looking forward to is the ACMP Global conference. It is normally held in the USA, but this time it is (naturally) held virtually. It is called Global Connect 2021. You can find the details here.

For this month, I have selected the following (in no particular order):

ARTICLES:

1. EMMA DE-LA-HAYE. Turn and Face the Change – Project Management vs Change Management.

How do you integrate change management with your project management? In this article, Emma de-la-Haye from CMC presents four pieces of advice to her readers about the positioning of change management along with project management. She bases them on her extensive experience, which is a strength of the article.

The comments and advice to the integration centres around these four points:

  1. It doesn’t need to be project management versus change management.
  2. Integrate project management and change management schedules and deliverables
  3. Integrate Communications
  4. Get change management on the agenda

Change Management and Project Management has the same objectives; to make projects successful. But it requires co-operation and perhaps even integration of the two disciplines. The more we can integrate change management into our project management, the better.

2. TIM CREASEY. Making the most of good resistance

Tim Creasey is Prosci’s Chief Innovation Officer and a globally recognized leader in change management. He recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with Prosci – congratulations. In this article, Tim elaborates on the matter of resistance, and how to approach it constructively.

Firstly, he presents 3 forms of resistance with the intent to help you identify “good” resistance. The three forms are; Resistance that is natural, Resistance that stems from not managing the people side of change, Resistance that is an informed disagreement with the change. I think that is a really good way of thinking of the different forms of resistance.

Subsequently, he presents several action steps on how to approach such resistance. I will encourage you to read the article to understand these steps. The key is that the different forms require different steps.

“Good” resistance can be used constructively to aid the designing, development and implementation of a change. Use the resistance to gather insights about the change. Maybe it can help you develop a better solution. 

3. SARAH JENSEN CLAYTONAn Agile Approach to Change Management

Agile and CM is an important topic right now. This article published in Harvard Business Review is, therefore, a welcome and important input. In this article, Sarah Jensen Clayton argues, that traditional Change Management won’t be sufficient anymore. Due to COVID-19, many organizations have been forced to rethink several aspects of their business model. We need agile.

Sarah is a senior client consultant with Korn Ferry in the fields of Culture and Change capability. She frequently works at the intersection of crisis management and culture transformation, helping leadership teams to recover reputation and drive behavioural change.

She presents 6 modifications that you can apply to your change management process to accelerate and streamline your process. They are; 1) Declare your change vision, 2) Empower the people who are best positioned to drive change from the beginning, 3) Encourage self-organizing teams to supplement your efforts, 4) Use internal social channels and influencers to drive employee awareness and engagement, 5) Embrace a “test-and-learn” approach and 6) Shift from long-term to short-term accountability.

You will need to read the article to really understand what those headlines mean, and I will encourage you to do that; It’s a really good article. Thank you, Sarah. 

4. MORTEN KAMP ANDERSEN. 7 Communication tips in times of uncertainty

It’s not over yet; Vaccines are rolling out, but uncertainty continues to haunt every organization. In this article, I give you seven communication tips to align your communication efforts in times of uncertainty.

  1. Make communication truly go both ways.
  2. Remember the TTT rule: Trust and transparency in turmoil.
  3. Be proactive; take a campaign approach.
  4. Make it frequent; keep it simple.
  5. Be positive … and frame it in positive terms.
  6. Tailor your message to people’s needs. 
  7. Infuse the situation with meaning to set a vision for a better future.

These seven tips will help you mitigate resistance and get you through the change curve successfully. 

5. LA MARSH GLOBAL. Connecting change management metrics to business success

Leaders and managers tend to distinguish between business performance goals and change management metrics. In this article, LaMarsh Global argues that we should integrate these much more. Communicating the connections between business performance goals and changes in behaviour can clarify the reasons for a change and the desired outcomes.

Firstly, they present common challenges of using metrics (both in terms of business goals and change management goals). Subsequently, they manifest how such metrics can contribute to achieving goals. Lastly, they help us connect specific change management metrics with the outcomes and goals.

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Those of you who know me, know that I love metrics. We must not measure for the sake of measuring (which sometimes happen), but we must keep an eye on a few key indicators which tell us, if we are on the right track or not. This article from LaMarsh Global is a valuable contribution in this discussion about how we do this well. Thanks. 

6. LIZ KISLIK. What to Do If Your Team Doesn’t Want to Go Back to the Office

Liz Kislik is a management consultant and an executive coach and contributes to both Harvard Business Review and Forbes. She helps organizations from the Fortune 500 to national non-profits and family-run businesses solve their thorniest problems. 

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In this article, posted in Harvard Business Review, Liz discusses what to do to help you support your team, if senior leadership remains sceptical of remote working. She presents seven approaches to make an effective case to the senior leaders and come to a reasonable set of accommodations that balance the remote work better for everyone.

In short:

  1. Focus on what your leaders care about.
  2. Determine if their concerns are personal.
  3. Highlight the engagement of all employees wherever they’re working.
  4. Emphasize habits that make things seem as normal as possible.
  5. Mirror leaders’ mode and rhythm of communication.
  6. Encourage employees to treat company leaders as their most important customers.
  7. Reach out for organizational support.

I think this is a real concern. Many people – including myself – are getting used to working from home. Some cannot wait to get back to the office, whereas others may not want to go back. We should tackle this upfront and help as much as we can. Thanks for the article, Liz.

7. DAVID MILLER. 4 Key Change Management trends to look out for in 2021

2020 was a challenging year, and it has affected our home and work life remarkably. In this article, David Miller presents four key trends in Change Management in 2021.

  1. The need for more engagement in a more socially distanced working environment
  2. Need to create and support a more resilient workforce
  3. Real-time data will continue to be a key asset in Change Management
  4. An increasing need to support location-independent target operating models
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Working remote will definitely be a major impact on the year to come. Change Management will be more important than ever. 

8. ABENI EL AMIN. The Impact of Change Management in the Transformation of Online Graduate Education

My primary focus as a change management consultant is naturally on organizations and businesses. Nevertheless, this research paper brings a very important aspect of change management to the table: How Change management can assist the transformation to online graduate education. I have included this article, as I think it can inspire those of us working with businesses as well.

Abeni El Amin argues that organizational decision-making framework is critical when initiating change management for online graduate education. He investigates what it will take online graduate programs to meet global career demands.

This is a critical factor. Our graduates are a strong competitive advantage. How do we maintain this in a transition to online education?

9. TRACY BROWER. Leading Change: 10 Ways Great Leaders Make Change Happen

Tracy Brower is a Forbes contributor, with a focus on the changing nature of work, workers and the workplace. In this article, she provides 10 tips for managing through change when you’re in the midst of it yourself.

Just to give you a few; her tips include being authentic, inspirational, visible, inclusive, clear and much more. Tracy explains it all in detail. Read the article, to get the full picture.

What I like about the article is that it reminds us that we are not just focused on management – despite the misleading word Change Management. We are also focused on leadership. Leadership plays a larger and larger role in Change Management and not just executive leadership but also the kind of leadership promoted at all level in the organisation. Tracy’s advice can be used at all levels. 

10. CHRISTOPHER SMITH. 5 Categories to Include in a Change Readiness Assessment

Is your organization ready for change? Are your employees? Those can be difficult questions to answer without a proper assessment. In this article, Christopher Smith guides us through the most important categories a change readiness assessment should include.

Christopher goes into depth with each category; why it’s important, and how you should include it. But I’ll just give you a quick review of the 5 categories:

  1. Executive Sponsorship
  2. Change Management Communication Strategy
  3. Governance
  4. Employee Training
  5. Individual Readiness

A change readiness assessment gives you vital information as to how you should design your change strategy. Make sure to include these elements to truly understand how you can approach your employees in times of change.

11. KAFILAT. What impact do authentic leaders really have on employees during change? New research

How do perceived authentic leadership influence on employees’ emotions during organisational change? That is the question sought to be answered in a new study from 2019. The study is presented in this article by the Oxford-Review.

The study looked at 288 employees across eight different departments within organisations to see whether their perceptions of the leaders, particularly in terms of their level of authenticity, had an impact on their emotional responses during organisational change.

Based on their research, they found that leaders who were considered to be authentic were strongly associated with a positive emotional response from employees during organisational change. Moreover, they found that leaders can help to create positive emotional responses to change by being:

  1. Self-aware
  2. Feeling a sense of moral obligation and responsibility
  3. Being transparent in their relationships
  4. Being balanced and transparent particularly in decision-making

Read the article, or find the original study here. There are many interesting points. Enjoy.

12. EVAN NESTERAK. Four Things I Learned About Behaviour Change During a Pandemic from Katy Milkman and Jay Van Bavel

Behavioural Insights always brings interesting topics to the table. This time, Evan Nesterak presents the most prominent findings from a conversation with behavioural scientist Katy Milkman and social neuroscientist Jay Van Bavel. They talked about the science of behaviour change during COVID-19.

Evan noted these four reflections to be the most thought-provoking:

  1. Why understanding the root causes of political identity and polarization are key for public health. “If leaders … get on the same page about the seriousness of this [COVID19], you’re going to have much more effective behaviour change, even in a polarized environment.”
  2. The power of megastudies to help us understand how to boost vaccine uptake. Katy has investigated how to bridge follow-through gaps; Those saying they are going to get a vaccine, but never do. To bridge those gaps, they found that messages should be clear, simple and professional. Katy added that “One of the big winners … was also highlighting for someone, this is reserved for you. Almost implying there’s a default that we expect you to get this.”
  3. Are people more likely to change their behaviour if they have personal experience with COVID-19? It’s complicated. One might think, that being exposed to COVID19, or having family or friends exposed to COVID19 would be enough evidence for one to change behaviour. The truth is, that when we experience risk we’re much less likely actually to behave in a risk-averse way. 
  4. Despite challenges, science (and scientists) shone brightly this year. To finish their conversation, Katy and Jay presented some of the bright spots of behaviour change during COVID19.

This article really had me thinking. Thank you Evan. 

PODCASTS:

13. WHAT MONKEYS DO. How to use Dilemmas to Understand Cultural Differences w/Fons Trompenaars

Cultural differences can stand in the way of doing business or having good relationships. Fons Trompenaars is one of the world’s most prominent experts when it comes to exploring and defining culture. He has spent the last 30 years helping Fortune 500 companies manage and resolve cultural dilemmas and business issues.

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In this episode, we talk about how you can understand your culture, how you can use cultural understanding to deal with your intercultural business issues and not least how you can resolve intercultural differences.

Contact

Morten Kamp Andersen Mka@proacteur.com

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