Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes

Management of Change - The Leadership & Emotional Elements of Management of Change

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

One of the core sections of the Management of Change approach is the Leadership & Emotional section. This is the one where you need to spend time, getting into the "shoes" of the people who are going to be impacted by the change; understanding their needs; fears; resistant to change agenda and how you are going to actively and positively manage all of this.

The key elements of the Leadership & Emotional section are listed below and I will try to explain them in more detail:

[a1]. Managing the Change Curve: We discussed in the last post, "Roller Coaster of Change Curve", the details behind the what the change curve is. This deals with how you actually manage the curve. I would recommend the enclosed article from Warwick University as a great reference point for how to manage the curve -

[a2]. Readiness Questionnaire (disruption/impact): You need to understand the impact of the change; the emotional issues people face and elicit from them how to manage this. Nothing works better than asking them directly. I use the "questionnaire" to do this. You can do it via a survey, online, interviews, face-2-face or even a written paper.

[a3]. Getting on the same page: This is all about putting yourself in the shoes of the people that will be impacted by the change. Examples of this include, actually sitting with the people [what I call a "Day in the Life of - DILO"]; least favorable is getting someone outside of the change team to do this and then report back. I would recommend everyone in the change team do a "DILO" before the change occurs.

[a4]. Resource Impact Analysis: you have to understand what the impact is of the changes. As an example, this week I was told that I had to reduce the costs in a part of the business. Costs in Service = People. There is no getting away from this. I won't bore you with the maths or arguments, but the impact of the "cost reduction" is I have to make 18 people redundant. Call it out, these people are going to loose their job, salary, livelihood. It will impact them, their family, savings, life etc.

[a5]. Stakeholder Management: This is so important, I will probably devote a blog post to this alone.

[a6]. Resistance Management: Involve interested parties in the planning of change by asking them for suggestions and incorporating their ideas. Clearly define the need for the change by communicating the strategic decision personally. Identify and try to address the needs of those involved. Disrupt only what needs to be changed. Help people retain friendships, comfortable settings and group norms wherever possible. Design flexibility into change by phasing it in wherever possible. This will allow people to complete current efforts and assimilate new behaviours along the way. Allow employees to redefine their roles during the course of implementing change. Be open and honest. Do not leave openings for people to return to the status quo. Focus continually on the positive aspects of the change. Be specific where you can.

[a7]. People Impact: This is where I "loose my rag" [for non-native English people, get very angry! Do not ever, ever, let a finance person lead a change agenda. Ever. They only think in terms of numbers. I can remember a discussion on reducing costs and was told we had to reduce by "x.5" FTE. Sorry, but what part of a person are you going to fire, remove from your organisation. We are talking WHOLE people, not a 1/2 a leg, arm, or body part. Recognise it, understand it. RESPECT IT.

[a8]. Winners & Losers: There are always going to be winners and losers [not a Auzzie TV drama]. Understand it, recognise it. List the people involved. Talk to them. Get their feedback. Build it into the plan.

[a9]. ME (listening & incentives): Something most change programmes forget is...... How is it going to effect the people leading / invoked in the change? What is the change going to do to me? Am I part of it? When you go through a change programme, you generally choose people that ar involved in the business you are changing. Therefore, they will be impacted.

[a10]. Sponsorship: Again, another that is so important, I will probably devote a blog post to this alone.

[a11]. Speed of Change: Change will always occur at the speed of the slowest person involved. So, who is the slowest person / organisation / group / unit??? You have to balance this against the desired business outcomes for the change i.e "we will see a reduction in xxx, in 3 months", verses the reality of - it takes 6 months to get the change in place.

[a12]. Target Early Adopters: They are restless; are opinion leaders; they pay attention to what the innovators have discovered and find a practical use for the innovation; communicate to their followers the usefulness of the new product / service / function, etc; influence the attitude of the later adopters.

[a13]. Culture Change (customer & internal): You need to understand; map; plan for and manage this element. What is the current culture of the organisation? What will be the impact of the change? Will this result in a significant shift of the culture? A new culture? How long will this shift take? Normally, this is years in the developing.

[a14]. Managing Conflict: Conflict drives change. Organizations that manage conflict will achieve change faster and with better results. There has been a considerable body of research identifying empowerment and employee involvement as important contributors to organizational change. The challenge is to foster an interest-based approach, capturing the individuals desire for change. The core skills of conflict management are: A) understand the nature of conflict; B) utilizing tools for analyzing conflict: and C) interest based negotiation.

[a15]. No going back/Locked down: Lock down the change so that there is no going back, do not change the key requirements.

[a16]. Finally, "Blue Sky Questions": Always think about what if? What could be new.

Tags: management of change, work

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