They say April showers bring May flowers. I suppose those May flowers must wither away and die throughout the course of June considering how terribly hot it gets. Despite how uncomfortable the heat can make you feel, June isn’t all that bad when you think about it. It marks the beginning of good summer vibes, and hey, at least it’s not hot like it is in July or August yet. Weather aside, this past June was especially notable because of the great change management articles I was lucky enough to come across. These 7 were too good not to share.
In this thought provoking article, leadership expert Mark Murphy discusses one of the most common, but least discussed issues facing change management initiatives in the workforce today. Murphy uses a Leadership IQ study to illustrate the fact that many change initiatives fail because organizations seldom preface those initiatives with an open discussion of the problems that necessitate said change. Murphy urges leaders to shift toward openly discussing issues so that movements toward change won’t come as a shock to employees. Murphy’s point is worth considering, and this piece is certainly worth reading.
While researching the latest trends in change management, I was fortunate enough to happen across this insightful (and pretty cool) graphic illustrating the 10 core principles of leading change initiatives. Though I immediately got the rough idea of what the graphic was trying to convey, I was happy to find a link to a more in-depth examination of these 10 principles. The in-depth article from which the graphic originates offers a comprehensive analysis of each principle, delivering important insights in a straightforward and interesting way. It even includes a video!
Don’t have time to read a comprehensive analysis of what makes change work? That’s okay. Fortunately, I came across this cogent Management Today list of tips for guiding successful change initiatives. Before you try to push change on your employees, you absolutely need to understand these 7 big-picture bits of advice.
4. How to Vet Leaders for Crisis and Change Management Skills
In this relatively short post, Terry Gallagher of Manufacturing Business Technology Magazine discusses the steps one must take when interviewing potential employees to get a feel for what crisis and change management skills they possess. Gallagher urges a specific and direct approach to vetting these skills, advocating a departure from asking open-ended interview questions that fail to force candidates to display their change management skills. Stating skills is one thing, showing them is another.
What’s the most persistent and exhausting internal struggle in human nature? The head versus the heart. Often times, we don’t want what we know we need. It’s a battle so complex, so intense that it can bring an organizational change initiative crashing to the ground. Though your employees may understand the practical value of whatever change you’re proposing, their heart may tell them, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
This internal struggle is discussed in a recent post on CIO.com, where Morag Barrett draws on personal experience to illustrate just how toxic poorly managed change initiatives can be. The takeaway from Barrett’s piece is that sustained change is difficult, and it requires a fine balance between understanding what you need and feeling content with how those needs align with your desires. In other words, the head and the heart must work as one to facilitate change.
Keeping with the theme of highlighting the importance of the emotional approach to presenting and facilitating change initiatives, I recently came across an article on WashingtonTechnology.com in which John Hillen discusses the critical role a CEO plays in explaining – clearly and sympathetically – the reason for setting change into motion. Hillen rejects the conventional notion of what a CEO should be, suggesting that such a leader must not only possess operational skills, but an ability to manage change in a way that connects with employees. For all of you budding CEO’s out there, this read is an important and enjoyable one.
It’s the 21st century, whether you like it or not. We’re long past the dawning of the Digital Age. If you don’t adjust your organizational practices to fit modern trends, you’ll fall farther and farther behind your more tech-savvy competitors. That said, introducing change centered on digital adoption can be daunting for employees who are relatively unfamiliar with complex technology. Paul Boag addresses this dilemma in a recent blog post, touching on four core factors that impede digital change management, ultimately offering advice as to how to overcome these impediments.
I’ll take this opportunity to toot my own horn for a second. Of the posts I published in June, this one was by far the most fun to write and most well-received. After hearing great feedback in the aftermath of our “5 reactions to organizational change demonstrated by cats,” I thought it would be fun to do something similar with emojis. Behold, here’s your guide to understanding the pains and jubilations of change management as conveyed in the most 21st century way possible.