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 like; 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 because people embrace or resist change differently. No two are alike.

Organizational and personal change have to be approached and measured differently because no one will embrace or resist change the same. Individual Response to Change Management BestBehavior 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 1960’s 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. Since 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. Some examples might include:

  • Assumed or no role clarity for the change
  • No visible support and commitment from leadership
  • Lack of project, organizational and individual change integration
  • Those impacted do not feel they have had input into the process
  • Leaders and/or impacted people are not engaged
  • No consistency in change messaging formats, channels and frequency
  • Lack of transparency about why the change is happening
  • People impacted don’t understanding of “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM)
  • Business readiness or training may have limited or no understanding of adult learning theory application
  • People don’t feel permission to speak with candor
  • Past performance with organizational change could create assumptions that history will repeat itself
  • Impact on current role and/or fear of losing a job

There are countless strategies and tools we can use to help us to understand where people fall on the change commitment curve and then subsequent strategies to take corrective action. As change management practitioners, we focus on results, outcomes, reinforcement and realization of benefits (including ROI), for the people side of change. We do this using a structured, yet flexible set of tools, processes, skills and principles to achieve the required goals of projects and initiatives.

What challenges and approaches have you experienced or used to help bring people impacted by the changes along for the journey?

Please leave a comment below. I’d like this blog to be a forum where people feel comfortable sharing what they agree or disagree with along with best practices or key learnings. I will honor desired anonymity, so if you would like to leave a response without having your name listed, please feel free to let me know.

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

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Gathering

GatheringOver at The Daily Post, the theme for this week’s weekly photo challenge is posed by Krista, who asks us to document a gathering and share our interpretation of it.

Consider the different ways we can think about the word; Gathering as in material things we can see and touch. Gathering as in knowledge or information we get from various sources. Gathering as in symbolic ritual like celebrations or at places of worship. Gathering as in shared experiences like school plays or concerts. Gathering as in complex systems, where everything is related to everything else. Many may argue that there are interdependencies and that  we can’t refer to one type of gathering without taking into account all the others.

Regardless of the kind of “gathering” we refer to, each person gets to decide which definition (singularly and collectively) is the most important to them.

In life we gather things that we don’t get to take with us when we leave this world.

At work, we gather reports and data. We gather at meetings or to network.

In change management, gatherings are significant because they are considered as a type of symbolic ritual that can help bring a group of people together and move them through transition, from one stage to another.

In communities, we gather to celebrate, to educate, to worship, to grieve, and to share experiences.

Mentally we gather knowledge and information.

Emotionally we gather our thoughts.

At home, we gather as families to make sense of this world. We come together to teach, learn, share, grieve, grow, pray, laugh and to love. We create memories and meaningful experiences that leave legacies.

Do your organizations use the concept of “gathering” as a symbolic tool to move people through change? My wish for you; may your gatherings bring significance to whatever is important in your personal and professional lives.

Please feel free to share your thoughts below and thanks for visiting my blog!

Achievement, Accomplishment, Work Ethic and Success

What is achievement really? How do we get it? Where does it come from? Is it an end goal? A process? Does it take work ethic? Does it mean success? Does it make someone “accomplished” ? Find out here: Projects, perspective, insight, success.

272 steps to forgivenessDecember of 2012 I published a successful academic paper called; “Best Buy Strategic Management Analysis” which I co-wrote with some exceptionally talented people in my cohort. During that time, the company was experiencing revolutionary change, juggling reputation management issues and more. The CEO had resigned, the company founder, Dick Schulze, had written a letter to the board with intention to buy the company back and run it. The competitive market was rapidly changing, they pulled out of markets in China and the UK and had brought in new CEO, Huber Joly.

Recently, our paper reached 29,000 views in less than two years and we are proud of that. It is an accomplishment and for me, professionally, it highlights the kind of work I am capable of. The in-depth research of this globally expanding company, evaluation of their internal environment and external market conditions was a great learning experience. Read more of this post

Refracting Light Life | Kakie’s Corner

These pictures are from one of our first “free” nights in South East Asia, for the Global Business Systems Executive MBA Global Studies Course, Singaporecourse in the Executive MBA program. This evening four of us opted for dinner on the rooftop in Little India. I heard a calming sound of flapping water, came around the corner and this beautiful scenery, was what I encountered.

This week’s photo challenge asks that we show what “refraction” means to us. Refraction occurs when a ray of light is indirectly deflected by a wave of energy that passes from one medium to another, which causes the illumination to bend and become distorted. For example: water to light, air to glass etc.

I interpret “Refraction” as a metaphor for life. Read more of this post

Educating Our Kids to be Responsible Digital Citizens

Generations kids parents social media technologySometimes it seems hard to remember a world without digital anything. It has changed business models, communication paradigms and how we need to think about what it means to be a digital and global citizen. Technology has shifted the way we shop, pay bills, save money, consume media, get cash, travel, advertise, manage workflows, store information and even how we want to be remembered.

According to the Ad Age Mobile Fact Pack 2013, the average adult in the United States spends an average of 141 minutes per day using mobile devices. Despite that, the good news is that the changes are teaching us how to stay connected to our families. According to Pew Internet, since 1965, fathers have tripled the amount of time spent with their kids. Even mothers spend more time now with their children than they did in 1960Despite loads of information at our fingertips, we still don’t have all of the answers, and perhaps there is some redemption in that.

In presentations when I speak to people about what it means to remain relevant in a digital world that continues to expand, there are still so many people who feel overwhelmed.  There are arguments on all sides about topics like transparency, being politically correct, when to take calls, check email and how to behave in public when talking on mobile devices, etc. Read more of this post

6 Successful Ways to Influence and Lead Change

6 simple ways to get buy in and influence othersMaking meaningful connections is important in leadership. We easily get caught up in “do-and-move-forward” mode which gets in the way of slowing down to value the relationships we have built and continue to grow. 

It helps to remember that people rally around causes and values that resonate with them, especially when leading through times of change. We have been trained to continuously scan internal and external environments and there is no question it takes time to figure out how to bring others with us through the journey that is change. Our role is to anticipate resistance, lead with confidence and have empathy for and redirect individuals who may get emotional. Modeling the behavior is a given and we can’t over communicate the key messaging that is required. Below are 6 simple things we can do to lead and influence people and organizations in times of transition.

1. Reciprocate – Random acts of kindness and helping others in unexpected ways sets the tone and people will respond in return.

2. Leverage scarcity – Have conversations about opportunity and consequences of not following through.
3. Authority: Lead by example – Rituals and setting goals play important roles in bringing others along. That happens when as leaders, we engage in conversation that covers:

• The past (this is where we were, what can it teach us)
• The present (this is our current reality)
• Vision (lets create the future together)

4. Consistency in messaging – People learn in different ways using various processes. We can’t over-repeat the message
5. Practice optimism because it is contagious. Seek synergies and commonalities. What do you like about how you work well together with peers?
6. Consensus – Ask for commitment because when people make a pledge, they are more likely to follow through.

Do you have other thoughts or stories about commitments? If so, make a comment below. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Commentary: Best Buy Keynote Scott Durchslag at MN High Tech Association Spring Conference

MHTA Spring Conf 2013 KeyNote Scott Durchslag SVP Digital and Mktg, Pres .comI have always been an early adopter when it comes to media and technology and early in my career spent 4 years working at Best Buy. So it was exciting to attend the Minnesota High Tech Association Annual Spring Conference to hear Keynote speaker Scott Durchslag, SVP of Digital and Marketing and President of BestBuy.com and e-commerce. Despite the company’s challenges in the past year, they have had a lot of exciting things going on.

Last November we published an academic paper called Best Buy Strategic Management Analysis as part of the Executive MBA Program at The University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business. (I’ll be Graduating in May). Being a person who loves the process of discovery and learning, it was fascinating to uncover companies and brands they own, observe how the Board of Directors and Dick Schulz, the founder and former CEO interacted as he was making attempts to buy back the company.

It was intriguing to learn what has evolved over the past few months and hear how everything is unfolding. Best Buy has a new initiative called Renew Blue which was presented at their shareholder meeting in November. Based on MBA learning, and the information Durchslag presented, it felt like they are facing a revolutionary change which is a rare, dramatic transformation that shifts mindsets and culture in the business.

I have a unique background that blends Marketing, Social Media, Digital and Project Management (IT and Business), so it wasn’t much of a surprise to see that early the same morning a press release was posted saying “Best Buy to Sell its Stake in European Business to Carphone Warehouse.” I understand why they did it and think leadership made a good call based on the research done in the assessment we published. Best Buy is using a mindset of “Test, innovate and learn” which is good because it encourages people to take risk and become part of creating a new culture. And Innovation is more important now than ever, so it is definitely going to remain on my radar.

I would love to hear your thoughts! Please share below.

Four Simple Ways to Be More Grateful

Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.  – Melody Beattie

 Want to know benefits to living thankfully?

A Psychology Today article called; “The Benefits of Being Thankful,” explains focusing on gratitude promotes well-being, motivating pro-social  and moral behavior.

Psychologists asked a group of people to spend just a few minutes a day for 13 days in a row thinking about and listing the things for which they were thankful. Compared to other control participants, these gratitude-focused folks experienced:

  •         Higher optimism
  •         Increased positive mood
  •         Greater feelings of belonging
  •         Less physical illness
  •         Lower levels of negativity
  •         Higher likelihood to be of service to others in need
  •         More likely to exercise (Suggesting gratitude promotes healthy living.)
  •         Improved and better quality sleep
The list above doesn’t even cover how gratefulness improves relationships,  enriches the emotional climate of family life, makes us more valued within the workplace and lays the foundation for a life well lived. Isn’t that exciting? Are you looking for ways to be more grateful? Below are a few things to take into consideration.

Stuck in Spin: Stopping the Glorification of ‘Busy’

There are times I find myself off in my own personal “never-never” land. It is a place I refer to as “stuck in spin” and it’s where many of us wander off to once in a while. The first time I came up with the name for it was when my son was in second grade. I had just picked him up from school and as I drove down the road my brain was in full self-chatter mode. Something brought me back into the moment when I realized that he was sharing the exciting things like what he learned in school, what they played in the gym, who made him laugh, etc. I thought:   Am I going to blink and miss my son’s childhood because I was not paying attention? This time is going so fast.  

I could say I wrote the book when it comes to being busy, but then again, couldn’t we all? Me: Full time Executive MBA Student in a one parent household who has been working as a contract project manager off and on for the past few years to diversify my resume. I have wondered about my future and this process of reinvention all while being the Cub Scout and soccer mom, Catechist, the blogger, MBA candidate, writer, author, speaker, job seeker and social media marketing consultant and strategist.

I recently found a quote on Pinterest that said; “Stop the Glorification of ‘Busy‘ ,” which came to me through Robyn Flach. Robyn is a person I know through the social media community here in the Twin Cities. The quote got me wondering how to get out of my “stuck in spin” space when it happens?

At the end of the day, we all have a lot going on as we create our futures. While that is exciting, what really counts is that we are of service to others and fully present for the people in our lives, including ourselves. I talked with a good friend about this and he shared something he pulled from storage in his garage. Notes from a seminar he attended with renowned psychologist, John Selby many years ago. I closed my eyes and my compadre read each statement below three times.

  1. I choose to enjoy this moment
  2. I feel the air flowing in and out of my nose
  3. I also feel the movement in my chest and belly as I breathe
  4. I am aware of my whole body at once, here, in this present moment

That’s it. I don’t have to say all four of them every time, but I can practice. All I have to do is 1. say it 2. do it. Any place, any time.  I can even do it with family and friends to model the behavior because when we teach, we learn. After completing this meditation, I felt centered, present and whole. It is a choice, but also takes practice. One of my favorite quotes of all time:

What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become, has consequences.” -Earnie Larsen

Please share below, what helps you get grounded and in the moment? How do you work to stay fully present in the lives of those around you? Thanks for joining the conversation!

Transparency And The Journey To Truth

Transparency, it’s an interesting concept. How much about ourselves and our lives should we share online, in public, with another human being and as leaders?

The truth is there is no answer because it is a decision we must seek individually. The most important person in the world that we ought to be transparent with, is ourselves.

Recently I found myself re-watching the movie; “Eat, Pray, Love,”  based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert and there is a quote in the movie that rings true for all of us.

It discusses how the Physics of the Quest is a force in nature governed by laws as real as the laws of gravity and it goes something like this:

If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.

So what are your thoughts and feelings about transparency online? I really want to hear from you so please, share below what this means for you and let’s talk!

Day 16: Your Neighborhood – Ten Second Leadership

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

When I was a kid, I was mesmerized by Mr. Rogers because he was stability during a time there was confusion in my house which no one talked about because they didn’t know how. They loved us and wanted to protect our little souls. But with Mr. Rogers, there was understanding and hope that came with the numerous times we would hear him say; “I like you just the way you are.”

Mr. Rogers said we leave a little of our selves with every single person we meet. The ability to keep this idea top of mind takes true, authentic leadership and those of you who know me have heard me say that I believe when people make a difference in our lives, tell them. Can you imagine the humanity that would come in a world of individuals who remember to let each person know they count?

 I can, because I am here to tell you today you matter and to thank you for stopping by to join the conversation.

What about you?  Your thoughts count. This is an open forum,
please leave your comments below.
This post was inspired after watching the documentary called:

Mr Rogers and Me. PLEASE watch the trailer below. I ordered it OnDemand and the reflection that came as a result was moving and profound. If you buy it and watch it, I bet you can’t do it without a few tears to the eyes.

Three things I am grateful for:

  1. My community of family, friends, educators, mentors, medical professionals, leaders, coworkers, cohort, Benjamin Wagner and of course, Fred Rogers. 🙂 All of whom nurtured me into being.
  2. Every single person I have met who has chosen compassion over judgement
  3. My ability to pay it forward
And of course, thanks to Benjamin Wagner for his brilliant talent

Day 11: Imperfection, Realignment and Leadership

We have been traveling down the road trying to figure out life, made decisions for valid reasons and our intentions have always come from the right place. Perhaps there have been situations where we said or did things we wished we hadn’t because we felt pressure or fear. We’ve had regrets and pangs of anxiety when we’ve heard the ongoing question in our heads; “What were you thinking?” and sometimes wish there was an undo button.

Then we are somehow reminded that imperfection is universal and our response is just a symptom of the problem, but not the result. We eventually come around, back to the place where we feel grounded and tell ourselves it is time to realign our thoughts, feelings and actions with our values, principles and goals. It is the spot of acceptance and redemption because we acknowledge being wrong, that we make mistakes and that the human condition is designed with perfectly imperfect flaws. Beauty and broken-ness teaches us there are rewards to staying on our path and to trust that nothing happens by chance.

Being a good leader means remembering we have all the tools we need and it is up to us to use them. Leaning into discomfort teaches us what we are supposed to be learning. Regret gives us the invaluable lesson that there is power in how we choose to use circumstances to move forward and do better.

On this journey of 21 days to happiness, I have wanted to go through this process the right way. Then I realized I get to define what it means to do things the right way. Although I have not written a post every single day, I am thinking about and practicing gratitude constantly because I am writing about it. That is progress, which I think is delightful.

😀

Three things I am thankful for today:

  1. The fresh smell of clean laundry
  2. Starting each day with intention
  3. That I am practicing gratitude each day

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. Rejection
  6. What is the cost?
Experience has taught me that the only valid reason for not asking for help above is number 6. What is the cost? Not financially, but mentally, emotionally, professionally and spiritually. The real reason for not asking for help is about one 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. My experiences that helped me write this blog post. I hope it will make a difference to someone

Day 9: Then is Now: Letting Go of Resentment

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

Years ago I attended personal growth and leadership seminars by Earnie Larsen, who used the analogy of “Who is driving your bus?” to illustrate how people hold on to resentments and that often, “then is now.” So let me give you an example of what he meant by that.

When Johnny was 7 years old, his parents were constantly at odds and one day, while they were fighting, he began screaming at them to stop, started sobbing and ran outside. No one came to console him, apologize or explain the argument was not about him.

It broke a part of his spirit and sample messages he could have carried from that might be “love hurts, nobody listens to me anyway, I will never allow others to be that much in control again,” etc.

Now, what if we put that seven-year old’s outdated lie in charge of driving his life (aka bus) for 50 years? Who is behind the wheel? That is an awful lot of years of pain and false data from which he establishes his viewpoint. The reality is, his parents were probably young and just trying to figure things out themselves, but that was not what he took from the experience.

Examples like this play out every day at home and at work. As leaders,we manage people with various backgrounds and social styles. Perhaps if we keep stories like the one above in mind, it can help us incorporate emotional intelligence and compassion into our professional environments in ways that are healthy. Intent, usually comes from the right place and situations are not always as they seem at first glance.

Hanging on to resentment is a painful form of abuse that prevents us from having self-compassion, but all too often, we may not even realize we are clinging to a given injustice. That resistance gets us emotionally jammed and a majority of people do not have any idea how to get unstuck.

One solution? “And acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today.”  Someone once told me there are four stages that shine in the face of love. They are:

  1. Allowing
  2. Acceptance
  3. Approval
  4. Appreciation

These four things are at the core of who we are when we are born. What if we made it our goal to live these principles in every aspect of our lives daily as a way to get back to our core being? Including loving all of our resentments and saying yes, accepting the things we can’t control. What if this was your personal growth homework? What have you got to lose? Try it for a few days and let me know how it works for you. Who is driving your bus today?

Three things I am grateful for today:

  1. The process of allowing, acceptance, approval and appreciation.
  2. The idea that “If you don’t give yourself any options, you don’t have any choices.” There is always another way, we get to seek the counsel of others to help us with that.
  3. That I have learned how to give myself permission to let go of old resentments and lies

Day 3: Rewiring Our Brains: The Power of Affirmations

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

What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become, has consequences”                                                                         -Earnie Larsen

Believe it or not, consequences can be good! A while back I wrote a post about it called “Affirmations: Kids, Empowerment and Healthy Families,” because we used affirmations at home when I was a child. I believe those declarations played a role in giving me my optimism and helped me persevere when times got tough. I have unwavering faith that when we put positive energy out, it returns to us in ways we never imagined.

I recently read The Mind Map Book: How to use Radiant Thinking to Maximize your Potential and discovered the concept of synaptic learning, a process in the brain that literally rewires how we think by transferring activity from one cell to the other. Regular use of affirmations reinforces chemical pathways in the brain, making linkages between two neurons stronger. There is a saying “Neurons that fire together, wire together,” which is a great way to illustrate the point.

It takes 21 days to form a new habit. There is  proof that affirmations done right, work. In order for an affirmation to be effective, they should be stated in the present tense, express a positive statement or new truth, and be short. A couple of examples below could include:  

  • There is a great leader within me today and it is reflected in everything I do
  • Today, I take charge of my life, I am valuable and stand firmly in my belief in myself
  • People are drawn to my authenticity, positive attitude, work ethic and leadership style
  • Doors of opportunity and abundance are opening for me every day
  • I accept feedback with humility, gratitude and as opportunities to learn and grow

Three things I am grateful for today:

  1. There is power in choices and I make ones that affect my life positively
  2. My faith, because it has taught me that compassion over judgement is a reflection of who I am
  3. My commitment to life long learning, personal growth and healing for myself and others