Is your Organization Embracing or Rejecting Change?

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Last week I shared a perspective and symptom checker to help you determine if your Organization is Designed to Change and invited you to join me on a journey to envision a new way to purposefully design and align your organization to handle the ever-changing market and economy.  This week we are going to determine if our organization is embracing or rejecting change.

My goal is not to reinvent the wheel or to give you another framework to learn in order to figure it out but rather to take a journey with you to determine if there is a need for design and alignment in your organization.

First let’s diagnose any negative bias towards change as described in the following article:

https://hbr.org/2017/07/stop-using-the-excuse-organizational-change-is-hard

Do you or your organization have a negative bias towards change? Shifting our personal mindset towards change is the first step. Understanding our emotional response to change and how to shift the negative into a positive is critical to helping your organization successfully navigate change. If every person is thinking with a negative bias any change effort is going to feel hard.

Second let’s symptom check our organizational posture towards change:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/glennllopis/2016/10/17/5-warning-signs-that-your-company-is-tired-of-change/#4d6cefa02856

https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/14-signs-your-company-has-a-problem-with-change/

Is there anything here that specifically stands out for your organization? For me both articles present change as a problem or a tiring experience – if that is how you feel my sense is that this journey may already be doomed. However, as someone that has embraced change and gets excited about creating solutions and experiences that accelerate outcomes and goal achievement - I am ready to shift your negative to a positive perspective.

Let’s start by reflecting on the number of observations that correlate directly to action or lack of action by people in an organization as described by the articles. For example, both articles establish two categories of people - leaders and employees. The symptoms focus on the two categories or distinct groups by describing gaps between them. The gaps center on a perceived expectations regarding how these categories of people engage with each other during the change effort.

Alright so now we have an opportunity to simplify the perceived negative bias towards change and shift our mindset to see a positive outcome. The success of our change effort depends on understanding and addressing expectations. Or simply put – enabling conversations between leaders and employees that address expectations throughout the change effort.

How do we do enable conversations and manage expectations? Try these four things as a starting point:

  1. Take purposeful action to talk about the change openly with all involved by creating opportunities for conversations and clarifying expectations
  2. Schedule events to discuss expectations and provide a forum to discuss
  3. Use the expectations and feedback provided to develop change plans
  4. Continue the events throughout the change

This is a simple set of actions we can take on without outsourcing it to consultants to enable alignment with the change in our organization. Enabling purposeful conversations to align expectations.

Next week I will focus on culture and how it has a critical role in your organization embracing change for long-term impact.

Jason Luber