Things Change, People Transition: Change as a Process

In general, change isn’t complicated, but it is complex. In its simplest form we use terms Ways people respond to changelike; to alter, shift, adjust, move, switch, transfer, etc. Change is a transformation or transition from one phase, condition, or state, to another.

From a change management perspective, assumptions that each individual impacted by a new initiative will always experience change on time, on budget and on schedule, is flawed, because this approach lacks context and doesn’t always consider the people side of change. It may not consider outcomes and results after the change or ask what behaviors need to change and be sustained. Organizational and personal change have to be approached and measured differently . The model is not linear and no two individuals move through each phase the same.

Organizational and personal change have to be approached and measured differently because no one will embrace or resist change the same.Behavior doesn’t happen in a predictive order and as a result, it is imperative to think about change as a process, rather than a project.

Things change. People transition.

The change curve was created in the 1960s by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross as a way to explain the grieving process. Over time, it has evolved as a tool to help people understand responses and reactions to significant change. The curve is a way to understand how people transition and that getting from point A to point B can be complex.

Kakie Fitzsimmons ADKAR Change ManagementSince change is a non-linear process, some people may take two steps forward and one step back along this curve for a number of reasons.

Being successful and getting to the reinforcement and sustain page requires a number of important inputs some of which could include the following.


  1. Leadership alignment  – Does leadership agree on the messaging and go forward plan? Is that senior leader in charge accessible and available to the change leaders?
  2. Communication – Ensuring the right messaging goes to the right people at the right time from the right leader.
  3. Integration – research demonstrates that when project and change management are successfully brought together, the changes can be up to 97% more successful.
  4. Active listening – Is there a two way flow of communication that allows the people on the front lines to be seen and heard?
  5. Involvement– Has everyone involved in the change had the opportunity to heavy input so they feel they are part of the process?

If you found this post hought-provoking, please share it with others and thank you for visiting my blog!

Circles of Meaning

Once in a while, I like participating in the “Weekly Photo Challenge” over at The Daily Post. A new meme comes out each Friday and I think about the proposed topic. I wonder what I could say about it and what my readers will be interested in as well. This week, Cheri asks us to let a shape, a circle, inspire us.

Circles Change Management Business TimeI took this picture at the James J. Hill Business Library because it had a certain old world charm that grabbed my attention. I like the concept of time as it relates to the evolution of knowledge throughout the ages.

Circles have been used metaphorically since the beginning of history. In many cultures, they represent unity, enlightenment, divinity, and protection. At first glance, a circle can seem simple, yet they are one of the most common and universal signs used throughout the history of the world.

Circles have symbolic use in divinity: For example, with Taoism, the Yin Circles of Concern Influence Change ControlYang image embodies two forces in the universe that are opposites that balance one another. Hinduism uses the Dharma Chakra to represent the wheel of law that leads to enlightenment. Artists have used halos in Christianity and Buddhism to symbolize light and holiness. Paganism circles exemplified supernatural forces, and in ancient times Celtics stood inside of circles for protection. Read more of this post

Being Rooted and Branching Out #TreeTuesday

About being rooted and branching out in leadershipWhen I was a little girl, we had a huge willow tree in our back yard that we would climb. It was so big that sometimes there were as many as 6 kids in it at once!

At #TreeTuesday on another social site, there is a community I sometimes participate in, where people share photos they have taken of trees. I love being in the outdoors, and today I selected this picture as part of #TreeTuesday. I took it in 2012 while traveling to SouthEast Asia for a Global Systems Class as we walked from our hotel to the National Museum of Singapore.

The picture and the idea of #TreeTuesday made me think about being rooted in something bigger than ourselves, which for many people is a component of personal growth and faith. A few years back in some coaching sessions I had with Doug Lennick, (he was the coach), he discussed fallibility and that we often carry 2 mindsets with us. One is our ideal self, (who we want to be), and our real self (who we are).

Doug’s consistent message was always that when we ensure our morals, values, principles, and beliefs, are in alignment with our thoughts feelings and actions, it makes us better people, which brings us closer to our ideal authentic selves. This has become an invaluable tool in my personal life and career for building relationships and credibility as a thought leader. Studies have indicated that the four most important characteristics for gaining credibility in leadership include:

  • Honesty
  • Being forward-looking
  • Inspirational
  • Competent

(Kouzes and Posner, 2010).

Alignment encompasses each of those in different ways. We all bring our experiences to the table, so how about you? Are there other traits in addition to the ones above you feel are just as important? Please share below and thanks for stopping by!

Want to be an Extra in a Movie this Weekend? St. Paul & Bloomington!

PeteKWongMy friend Pete K Wong is shooting a movie this Saturday in St. Paul.  He is looking for extras and runs in good circles. His explanation of the project along with RSVP information is below:

.Have fun!!

My short film is a drama/comedy fictional story I wrote but also based on something similar I had experienced. It is about a motivational speaker who is early in his career going through training but each time he’s tested he fails, eventually, he comes to realize something he never expected!

The scene on the 23/24 is the presentation scenes. You would be in the audience listening to the speaker speak and in one scene he gets the crowd upset and they rush the stage after him and the other on Sunday he gets nervous and runs out!”

DAY 1: St. Paul
Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013
Location: Recovery Church 253 State St, St Paul, MN 55107
Wardrobe: Casual

DAY 2: Bloomington
Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013
Location: 8120 Penn Ave S 1st floor next to Wally’s Restaurant
Wardrobe: Business attire and Casual option

This is not a paid position. Credits, Copy, and Meals will be provided. If you are interested please send a confirmation to as we’d like to know how many people are signed up and for which date is more suitable for you.

Day 10: Turning to Community: Asking for Help in Times of Need

21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for: 

Why don’t we lean on one another more and ask for help? My experience as a project manager, coach, mentor, and trainer has always been to get people to step outside of their comfort zones by using leadership development strategies to confirm their thoughts, feelings, and actions are in congruence with principles, beliefs, values, and goals. When we understand what is important to others, we can use that as a tool bring out the best in them. People have shared some of the following reasons with me about why they don’t ask for help:

  1. It will make me look too needy
  2. I am too busy to ask for help and haven’t had the time
  3. Requesting help is a sign of weakness
  4. People will assume I am not as smart as someone else because I can’t do it myself
  5. I’m not comfortable with being vulnerable
  6. Rejection
  7. What is the cost?
Experience has taught me that the only valid reason for not asking for help above is number 7. What is the cost?
Not financially, but mentally, emotionally, professionally and spiritually. The real reason for not asking for help can often be related to one simple, yet complex thing.
F.E.A.R (Feelings and Expectations that Aren’t Real).
Emotional competence comes when we challenge ourselves to shift our paradigms towards a new way of thinking, which uncovers an alternate perspective. I have never had one business partner say they regretted being pushed to grow. Humility is an important quality in leadership.  So are relationships and being connected. Communities exist for a reason, we need one another. Sometimes when we ask for help, we are giving a gift to someone who wants to make a difference.
So what are you waiting for? Who do you need to reach out to today?
Three things I am grateful for today:
  1. There is power when we adjust our assumption points to expand our horizons, I am growing and learning
  2. I get to rely on the community of other brilliant people around me and ask for help
  3. The experiences that helped me write this blog post. I hope it will make a difference to someone

Meet Tom Endersbe, Author, Three Commitments of Leadership

A few years back I had the privilege of working for Tom Endersbe, author of Three Commitments of Leadership: How Clarity, Stability, and Rhythm Create Great Leaders, a book that will guide leaders to make the Commitments which will result in a positive impact on your world and the people in it.

When I worked for Tom, he was an Executive in a Fortune 300 firm who got to that level as a result of his commitment to excellence, hard work and impeccable ability to build relationships. Prior to this role, Tom was a district manager who built a successful franchised financial planning practice that was in the top 1% of the company. Read more of this post

Reflections on Leadership: Humility and Empowerment

Leadership and LearningLeadership is an evolution that comes with experience. I am grateful to have had the benefit of working with some dynamic people over the years because they have taught me profound lessons through their words and actions.

I have recently been contemplating my own journey and what it means to be a good leader. As a result of this thought process, I am adding a section to my blog called ‘reflections on leadership’ which will be nuggets of wisdom I have learned and continue to acquire as I grow. Below is the first. I look forward to the discussion. Read more of this post

Passion, Intention and the Power of Words

Self-awareness and emotional intelligence are important for all of us.  So is how we frame our personal brand, which is more powerful than we know. I believe that most of us have good intentions, but that doesn’t mean people will always understand whether or not those intentions are meaningful.

I have known people who are passionate and care about the work they are doing so much you can see their perseverance and determination. When they care about things they do it in a BIG way by taking on a new task, making a difference for others, staying focused, etc. These traits can work for us or against us. Passionate people are often misunderstood and can be judged as trying to be in control because they have high expectations of themselves and others.

What if we took a step back and asked ourselves what their intent is?

The key is positioning. We have to be reminded there is always another way and often a good mentor can help us remember that. The video below does an amazing job of getting the point across.

How did I end up here?

In the face of uncertainty, I do my best to begin from a place of gratitude. As I began setting up this blog I found myself thinking, “How in the world did I end up here?”  It’s because of the one thing in life that is constant. Change. For many years I worked in roles that included marketing, communications, program management, project management, training and leadership development in the financial services industry. I learned the value of getting the right message, to the right people, at the right time, through the right medium. I am grateful for the many gifts those experiences gave, the lessons it has taught and the lessons it continues to teach me.

In corporate America, I faced something not that much different than most. My position was eliminated due to a restructure. Over the past year, I have been trying to figure out what is next. What I am supposed to be learning?  What direction should I take? Do me a favor, if you get the memo, be sure to send it to me.

I graduated from college with a BA with a double major in business management and communications from The University of St. Thomas. Recently, I found myself back at school where I received my mini-masters in Project Management which is recognized by the Project Management Institute.  I think it is so interesting that for over 15 years of my career I worked on and led so many projects, yet wound up getting a degree in PM. I am better for having it.

These days, it can be so easy for us to take communication for granted. In these troubled economic times we are seeing the explosion of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn. It is changing the way we talk to one another, the way we interact with business and how corporate America is sending their brand messaging. My career is a toolbox and with each new beginning, I find and create tools to add to that box. Here is where I will share information about those tools and lessons I have learned. Thanks for coming with me on this journey. I look forward to staying connected.