Lifted from my Linkedin friend, T. Seamon.
“Here is a Big Idea for 2015 that could make a very big difference for organizations, businesses, and for the world: Stop doing change the wrong way.
The failure rate of large scale organizational change initiatives is unacceptable. While there are many factors that contribute to this sad state of affairs, a vital one is Leadership…
(What) emerges is crystal clear: Management’s failure to take responsibility for the change.
When Management abdicates the change to others, whether to IT, or to project managers, or to consultants, the rot begins. And as the gory maxim says, A fish rots from the head.
This classic mistake is precisely the wrong way to introduce change.
What is the right way?
(RS comment: Different consultant change agents have different ways. I have a unique way that I have put together from study in three Masters programs, two Ph.D. programs and experience in change application in over 1,000 systems. Only twice has my effort failed. Understand the success was on a continuum from good to supernatural or extraordinary transformation)
The right way is known but seldom part of the plan.
To lay it out, here are three powerful quotes for starters:
John Kotter: Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there. They cause change by creating a sense of urgency. They motivate and inspire others to go in the right direction and they, along with everyone else, sacrifice to get there.
Margaret Wheatley: Successful organizations have learned that the higher the risk (and the greater the uncertainty), the more necessary it is to engage everyone’s commitment and intelligence.
Reinhold Niebuhr: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Perhaps the most important piece of wisdom ever uttered about change is the famous line from Jack Welch: “Change before you have to.”
(A) great quote from leadership expert Warren Bennis: “Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things.”
It means connecting with the people who are on your teams. Really connecting. Having many open and authentic conversations about the things that really matter.
Leadership expert Margaret Wheatley has given us much wisdom about change. She once observed that when people care, they can be counted on. She also has said that the wisdom resides in the organization. The people know what needs to be done and how to do it. Leaders must listen.
So as OD legend Marv Weisbord once wisely said, Get the whole system into the room. The organizational change depends upon it! “Getting everyone in the room” means that everyone is involved. Everyone is a participant. Everyone knows that they have a voice and that they will be heard.
Finally, John Kotter has taught us that everyone must be empowered to solve problems and move the change ahead.
Terrence H. Seamon is an executive coach and organization development consultant who provides leadership and team development services. His books include Change for the Better which explores becoming an effective change agent, and Lead the Way which explores the challenges of leadership.
(RS comment Find my dear friend, Terrence, on Linkedin. He always has great contributions. He and I both learned directly from Beckhard. I found the above words right on target. And I add. The past CEO IBM was asked. “Do you want your people to like you or fear you?” His response was, “I want people to fear not changing themselves or their organizations.”
I also wish to add that the 2,500 participants and presenters at the recent Drucker conference in Austria concluded that managers must transform their organizations but the conference participants concluded that they were not clear on how to do so. I am very clear on how to do so. My dream is to share my learnings with you. Still the best way for me to teach organization change is to be Velcroed to my hip. I have a set change structured process now that never fails.
Am off to make great changes in West Africa. In the evenings and wee hours of the morning, I will bring home the online sector of my fourth edition of Practicing Organization Development
And then off to Thailand and Dubai.
Make 2015 your best year ever. I know such will be the case for me.