Archive for August, 2017

Change is good and change is hard

August 28th, 2017

CHANGE! Where are we and where do we want to go?

I am thinking about change this week, and working on a podcast to help some people implement change in their organization, so I will let my readers see a little into my ideas and thoughts.

Which changes and how?

  • change is good
  • change is hard
  • change is natural and normal, we all change; life is about change
  • change goes against the status quo and takes a lot of energy to bring about
  • change brings innovation and new energy
  • change gets stuck somewhere, usually


I believe all these and many more statements to be true about change. Change in an organization can be hard but it is necessary for continued innovation and sustained growth and life. Thus I have written up some steps and ideas to help bring about change within an organization, based on Dr. John Kotter’s seven steps.

Here are some steps to change with a few questions


  • See need and increase urgency
  • Choose your change team and find your first movers/influencers (from a large group of people across the organization at all levels)

Some Questions:

  • Do you see a Big Opportunity that could ignite the hearts and minds of your people?
  • Do you know how to identify, articulate and communicate it?
  • Are you able to connect an external change factor with a special capability of your organization?
  • What are the stakes if you succeed? Consequences if you fail?
  • Can you get at least 50% of your organization to buy in to the change?
  • How will you find a way to engage a formalized network to take on the change initiative?
  • How can this new change be seen as a “want to” and not a “have to”?


  • How might current hierarchical and silo-based structures stop communication and engagement (especially regarding change)?
  • Where in your organization are people aligned around a single idea that inspires them to do things that move ideas forward?
  • Do people within the organization speak about the goals in the same way with the same priority? If not, how can these be aligned?
  • If you asked people around the organization about the Change Vision, how many different answers would you get?


  • Focus- define your vision foundation and values and choose your outcomes
  • Assess- conduct a change readiness assessment and assess where you are at the moment in terms of the chosen outcomes
  • Plan- (get and involve a coach specializing in change management)establish a change leadership team
  • What needs to be in your strategy?
  1. A vision with measurable objectives that are simple to communicate
  2. Think S.M.A.R.T. (look this up if you don’t know about it)
  3. Make a step-by step plan
  4. Involve your first movers/leaders in this planning stage so they are on the same page with you—you will need people from different areas/departments so the seeds can be sown throughout the organization
  • Spread the message- inform your first movers, make concrete change management plans, build organizational support through communication of need and plan
  1. Within and without the organization, but first within!
  2. Remove any expected barriers or resistant systems before making the change
  3. Make sure anything undermining the vision is gotten rid of


  • Enable and empower action- make sure the ones who bring change (leaders, first movers) have the power to implement the change
  • Train- initiate training and coaching of the change agents
  • Communicate- clearly communicate expectations for all involved across the whole organization, including addressing anticipated resistance
  • Implement- mobilize the (change) teams and execute the plans


  • Celebrate- celebrate all, even small, successes
  • Sustain- remember to add energy after the honeymoon stage where change often gets bogged down, don’t stop until it is finished and totally refined
  • Refine – assess progress and see where to change the process and plans
  • Adapt- identify improvement areas via continued checks and feedback
  • Continue to communicate-
  1. Go public with your change(s)- share with all donors and other key stakeholders outside of your organization
  2. Show the public where you are and where you want to go and the way you plan to get there: articulate a clear vision for everyone
  3. Repeat your vision until it becomes know, up to 12 months

Change is hard

Adapted from:



August 22nd, 2017

A time to laugh and a time to cry

A wise man once wrote something like this: “There is a time under heaven for everything: a time to laugh and a time to cry…” And, no it was not a Beatle who wrote it first. Last week I blogged about using your negative emotions about terrible circumstances to get going ( ) and do something, and I must admit, after Barcelona and the other happenings of this past week, it would be good for some of us to continue in this direction.


But there is also a time for celebration and I have just had some good times of celebration, especially over the weekend.


A Wedding

First, I went to a very celebratory wedding. For me a highlight was when the pastor called the (sitting) bride back to the middle of the church and made her pirouette for the whole church to see. The people cheered and clapped in appreciation of the bride and the festivity.



Then there is Badenfahrt. I can’t say “was” because it goes on till the evening of the 27th. But the family has been going to it off an on since it started last Friday night. It is expected that a million people will attend the gala celebration by the end of the week. I have also been able to volunteer for our village’s restaurant/bar, the Freienwil Bergbahn, for a couple of evenings. That was a blast, serving people and working with neighbors to make our guests satisfied. I expect I will be going a few more times before the festival is over, and I am looking forward to more fun!

Badenfahrt on the bridge

Celebrate creating

Last week I got to play and celebrate with kids, too. We celebrated their creations. I went and volunteered with a group who helps refugees, and this time we went to a center and made bread with about 14 refugee children. It was sweet to see the smaller ones knead and eat the dough, while the older ones were seriously focused on their creations of bread-art (turtles, people, snails, braids, etc.). A few kids kneaded their dough so long that the chocolate bits in the dough melted from the heat of their hands. At the end we all celebrated the children’s accomplishments, as the beautiful bread creations came out of the oven smelling wonderful, and looking great!


What are you celebrating?

It is good to celebrate with one another. Are you celebrating a new “win” for your business or for your career? Are you celebrating with others, as they celebrate, you can too! Are you going out to something like Badenfahrt, or attending a wedding? There is a time for these good things and sometimes, like vacation, we need celebrations. They are good for our souls.


This week I wish you one full of joy and thankfulness as you celebrate!

Patricia Jehle     blog:

contact me at:


Also, if you are a SME owner or leader, I invite you to join my group, “SMEs Grow Together” on LinkedIn:


Don’t just cry, DO Something!

August 15th, 2017

A walk can help you think

A Walk and a PLAN

This morning I had a walk with the dog and made a plan for the week, after shedding even more tears over the past weekend in Charlottesville. What can I do in light of the polarization and violence? What can we all do to bring about positive change? This week I will be doing most of these actions listed below, and if not this week, next week. Will you join me in some ACTION?

  • Hang our with people who are different from you

The mere fact you are learning from someone with differences will make you more open, and a better person. Mostly listen, don’t preach or teach.

  • Give of your time

Volunteer- at your local refugee office, at your homeless center, at the free meal service at the church down the street (the one I know of in St. Paul is called “Loaves and Fishes”), do whatever.

  • Give of your money

Put your money where your mouth (or tears) is

  • State your pain and speak out

Call your local representative, write letters, go to meetings, say prayers with others.

  • Join a group of bridge-builders

One of the things that helps positive change most, is to intentionally meet up with people who want to make a peaceful difference and build bridges between differences.

  • Cry if and when you need to

Tears of anger, of sadness, of grief, of repentance. We need to repent of our silence. We need to speak out and do something, for our world, but for ourselves, too.

Benefits of tears: go ahead and cry first

Besides being precious tears are important for health. We cry to release intense feelings, but also the body is able to rid itself of impurities. Tears are also important for emotional health. Then after a good cry or two, take action.

So, are you sad about, grieving about Charlottesville? What your you going to do about it?

I wish you a good week, thinking, feeling, and taking action.


Patricia Jehle     blog:

contact me at:


Also, if you are a SME owner or leader, I invite you to join my group, “SMEs Grow Together” on LinkedIn:


Returning to work from holidays? Tips:

August 7th, 2017

Review your photos to relive your time on vacation

We as a family have just had more than two weeks of holiday. It’s been great, but at leas for me, returning to the job can sometimes be difficult. Returning to work can be emotionally or even physically difficult, especially if you have really had a mental break from your every-day schedule. It can feel like you are a deep-sea diver coming to the surface again, facing a foreign world from where you have recently been.


This was the case for me- I was far away, mentally, emotionally and physically from all my work. But then I came back to a few important deadlines. I had to resurface fast. Here are some things I try to do to make the re-adjustment smooth; maybe you can do them too!


Start on a Wednesday, or even Thursday

Make your first work-week lighter by only working a few days, or perhaps schedule something “fun” first, such as a training day, or a team building day where you have no choice but to ignore your email list. This time I only focused on the deadlines.


Alternatively, check the email list immediately when you return (at home – and be brutal with your triage, no replies, just deletes – reply in the office).


Start slowly, with lowered expectations

Do not plan a long first day or two, but slowly set and get into your list of “to-dos”; don’t expect to get finished with your list, but try to focus on one or two key goals for the first few days. Remember to reacquaint yourself with the team, the space, and the food, too. Perhaps you have a souvenir you want to put on your desk to remind you of the great time you have just had.


Revisit your vacation memories

Speaking of souvenirs, maybe you want to review your photos, or try and make that green curry you learned to make in Thai cooking class. As a family, we always bring back food and the most recent trip was to places that allowed us to bring back our favorite American comfort foods. We will make a meal to re-live our holiday experience in our own home, and will anchor it in our memories.


Have -or make- future holiday plans, have something to look forward to

Not only are we attending a wedding at the end of the month, but we also have some friends are visiting next week. So, although we will be working, we have very positive activities to look forward to. This helps when work gets tough: we can look ahead to the next enjoyable activities that break the work stress. These plans help make the days pass with positive thoughts.


May your resurfacing be successful and the next holidays be planned soon!

Patricia Jehle