Change and you

August 5th, 2016 by Patricia Jehle Leave a reply »

Change Happens


Change, like another entity that goes with the word “happen”, happens. We as human beings are affected by change on a daily basis. As someone who has been working for nearly three decades, I have seen a lot of change, both in my chosen industry and in the world itself, especially the technical world.


As a personal example regarding technical changes, here are some examples: I wrote my bachelor’s honors thesis on the college’s mainframe word processing system, which took learning a whole new computer language just for that one paper. My master’s thesis was written on my old manual typewriter that skipped spaces if you backspaced to correct mistakes. Then I had a commodore computer in the 90s and after that one of those funky green iMacs a few years later, now I have a MacbookPro, after two other Macbooks… As a teacher I began making copies with a mimeograph (google this, if you want) for several years and then I eventually moved to photocopying some time around the year 2000. At the present moment when I lecture at the university I have a desk that has a camera on it –and there is no overhead projector to be found at the university where I teach. The students download the appropriate papers to their computers and other devices for study. We are become much more paperless these days.


Each technical change I have experienced over the years has not been easy for me, but to remain part of the mainstream of my profession I have needed to move on, I have needed to embrace the new ideas and then learn how to use those new ideas to develop the skills required to carry out and make the changes and then finally I have then had to make plans for further positive change. Change is on-going. It is fluid. It happens, with, or without, my approval.


Nobody likes to change


The reason I am thinking about change today is because as a coach, I have been working with CEOs and owners a lot and change is one of THE topics for them.


My friend said one weekend, “nobody wants to change”. He is pretty much right, but does that mean we, as business leaders, don’t talk about change, or do we find a way to engage in thinking positively about change? According to Kotter’s 8-step model of change (see the photo with the books), one of the first things that needs to be done is to establish some sort of sense of urgency, a need for the change. Let’s put this thought for the moment aside and consider when to change.


When is the best time to effect change? Now, and always!


Much energy is expended in order to bring about change. In fact, the energy expended for any change can be seen as a bell curve, but the problem lies in the fact that if you want to bring about a change without expending a whole lot of energy, you need to change while you are still expending energy from the last change. Thus, it is best to start the change-ball in motion and just keep it going rather than starting and stopping all the time. Now, that’s a challenging idea!


Create Urgency: Get them on board


The other issue is on-boarding the team(s). How do you get the people who will be effecting the change behind the idea? That is where your personal leadership style comes into play. I have seen change processes that were well explained with logical reasoning, starting with the urgent need. Those changes went well, considering everything. But I have seen others that were not “sold” as urgent to the employees, and the change management was not well carried-out.


A well thought out reasoning for the change that is clearly communicated to the stakeholders brings the majority of the team on board so that the change can be well executed. But part of it is magic. The magic happens outside our comfort zones. We ourselves want to learn and become better, but to do that we have to start (and keep) moving – out of our personal and professional comfort zones.


This particular blog is re-worked from May, 2015. I thought it needed re-doing, and especially repeating.

Have a great weekend!

Patricia Jehle


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