The Industrial Thinking Mindset

Dance_Reflect_Move-1The industrial mindset has been much of our world view since the mid-1700’s and many of its scientific breakthroughs evolved out of Newton’s laws of motion[i] where forces act respond. Everything is in motion and process dynamics influence results. For generations, organizations have been built and have operated out of this concept. The industrial thinking approach is a dance which has four basic characteristics.

  1. Productivity & Perception: Focus on productivity first because scientific efficiency maximizes productivity. Individual thoughts and perceptions are not valued and as a result, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, values, intuition or things which motivate people aren’t important.
  2. Scarcity exists everywhere and assumes that there are solutions and resources, but they must be found.  Focus on things that aren’t working, taking on a perspective of inefficiency. (resulting in attitudes of defeat.)
  3. Isolated measures happen because it is easier to see the things that make up the system, instead of how they relate to one another. An example of this would include silos or departments in organizations. It is easy to see what makes up the system, but it is harder to see how they relate to one another because it is a lot of work to isolate reality into smaller and smaller parts. The challenge lies in answering the question; “How can these parts work together to ensure the whole system wins?” As opposed to fighting for my budget over yours. (see table below)
  4. Disconnected incidents. Change happens in separate episodes, so we can provide assessments at any given moment and analyze where the organization is at a point in time. Isolating each of these pieces across time could discount the process nature of change.

Change Management Isolated Measures as Part of the Whole

Change practitioners often refer to delta as evolutionary, transactional, operational or transformational. In more recent years, a newer emerging mindset has evolved that would form the basis for revolutionary change in an organization.[ii] Revolutionary change is larger than transformational change and occurs in a different way, which will be covered in a series of posts as a follow up to this one. It is a dance in a world of continuous motion and evolution. More importantly, it requires thinking differently about organizational agility because entities with this capability will possess a competitive advantage.

Please feel free to leave comments, thoughts or perspectives below! Thanks for visiting my blog!

[i] Jacob, M. C. & Stewart, L. (2004). Practical matter: Newton’s science in the service of industry and empire, 1687-1851. Harvard University Press.

[ii] Burke, W. W. (2008). Organization change: Theory and practice. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Next: The Emerging Mindset – Revolutionary Change

Weekly Photo Challenge Photo Details theme: Glass.  Distortion=7. Smoothness=4. Texture: Blocks. Scaling 78%

Individual and Organizational Change Management Integration Plan

Individual and Organizational Change Management Integration Plan

The complexity that accompanies change and the process that goes along with it means different things to different people. As a result, we must view change through two lenses of individuals and organizations  because they are parts of a complex system. This intricacy blends art, science, culture, inputs, outputs, feedback, leadership, strategy, governance, competency, internal and external forces, change impacts, individual needs and values, management practices, change activities, skills, communications planning and more.

Convergence, the concept that there are always many ways to get to the same result, is a reality when we are creating strategic plans for new endeavors. Good change leadership involves anticipating how we will navigate potential impacts to individuals, teams and organizations collectively because they are inextricable. Assessments and coaching tools are available which can help us in performing readiness temperature checks, identifying potential pockets of resistance and understanding where people are on the change curve so we can determine appropriate action plans.

The three-phased Prosci® approach in the diagram is an example of a tool that I like to use with leadership early in the process because it clarifies the mystery of change management. It illustrates that we have a structured approach to managing people (teams, and organizations), processes and technology from a current state towards the program’s desired future state. In addition, it builds off of previous posts where we examined using Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement (ADKAR®) as a tool for gaining commitment from individuals to increase adoption. It is also tied to how we implement strategic engagement by partnering with the PM and Senior Leaders to integrate change management into the project plan. This is important because according to Prosci’s annual benchmarking research on change[1], the greatest overall contributor to project success is active and visible sponsorship

There are countless templates, tools, and approaches used by Change Management Practitioners everywhere. It is important to me that this blog is a forum where people feel comfortable sharing what they agree or disagree with along with best practices or key learnings. As a result, below are some questions I invite you to answer:

  1. What approaches (good, bad or indifferent) have you taken that integrate changes experienced by people and organizations and what did you learn from it?
  2. What approaches have you observed and what did you think about it?

I look forward to hearing from you, thanks for visiting my blog!

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!