Archive for the ‘Change’ category

Tribalism loses, optimists win

June 5th, 2018

Optimists Win- ALWAYS

People are most important, be thankful about them – and open to them

I don’t mean the naïve ones, but the tough-minded ones.

I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2016/03/why-the-future-belongs-to-tough-minded-optimists?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+harvardbusiness+%28HBR.org%29

This article is based on a concept of a famous business leader, John Gardner which is called “tough-minded optimism” – is a blend of creativity in ideas, strong convictions about what works and about doing things for the “common good”,and resilience, especially when it comes to the need for change.  To quote, “The future is not shaped by people who don’t really believe in the future,” Gardner wrote. Rather, “it is created by highly motivated people, by enthusiasts, by men and women who want something very much or believe very much.”

According to Gardner, leaders can have a mix of abilities and qualities, but there is no replacementfor what he calls, “the lift of the spirit and heightened performance that comes from motivation.”  I couldn’t agree more. 

As we go into the month, let us remember the WHYwe are doing things and if it isn’t a good enough why, then, find something better to do.  If you really want to do something well, you need to believe in what you are doing. That gives you motivation of the best kind.

Also, here are a few tips to help you remain optimistic: 

1) Smile more. 

There is research that proves that if your carry your body in a certain way, it can change your mood. Smiling really makes you more positive. Ask Amy Cuddy.

2) Stand like Wonder Woman. 

No joke.  This activity also gives you the positive power and presence you might need today to get out there and “win one for the Gipper”.  Try it—but best perhaps at home or in the bathroom, not in front of those you will be presenting to.

3) Reframe the negative with gratitude.

Being thankful for what you have and what is good is a very good practice.  It actually can change your negativism.

4) Avoid Tribalism, if at all possible.

Now you say, “But finding your tribe is the new thing to do!”  Sort of yes, and yet, no, in the end.

We can, and should, learn and get energy from like-minded people.  And now her comes the big BUT:  We can’t ONLYhang out with and respect people only we like and who are like us.

That’s tribalism at its worst, and for me that’s the main issue with our western world (maybe the whole world?) at the moment.  I thought I was being original until recently I googled tribalism and found that there were tons of people talking about how we have to reach out to other people of all kinds, hear from them and not “other-ize”.  Try googling it.  The first couple of entries are definitions and a wiki, but after two or three entries you only find negative articles – from The Guardian, WIRED, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The American Conservative, Bloombergand many manymore.

Wow!  I thought I was being original– but I guess not.  It seems tribalism sucks.

GOOD GROWTH

Another friend would put it this way:  only by getting your of your comfort zone will you actually grow.  And thus, staying inside your tribe will keep you from growing, and achieving what you could, if you rub shoulders with people who are different from you.

Finally, I want to leave you with questions that might help you to think about where are you are regarding optimism and tribalism:  How often do you use the word “they” to separate yourself from another group of people? How often do you use “we” with people who are not like you?

I wish you a very optimistic month of growth!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com          www.jehle-coaching.com

Take off your shoes and pay attention

May 16th, 2018

Time to get away – and reflect

Reflecting

Doing Something for Myself—Enjoying a short break and remembering to take off my shoes at the end of the day and think

Sometimes we have to do something for ourselves, like going to the spa, eating chocolate ice cream, or sitting in the sun.

Self-care is rather individual, unique to each person.  Last weekend I went camping in a VW bus because of the looong Ascension weekend in Switzerland; it was a “we weekend” with my husband and some good “old” friends. I was really tired Sunday night when we returned, but the time, money and energy spent were well- spent on relationships and on fun!

I have my unique set of work and fun passions:  business start-ups and leadership, writing, teaching, meeting with people (“old” friends and gaining new ones) and learning new ideas and concepts.  What are yours?

Now I am taking another short break before a heavy season of correction and meetings, but not in Europe.

What is in it for me:

Friends and family- relationships are key, and we need to care for them. Also, a little “me” time  and downtime is involved, of course.

Taking of my shoes and reflecting on each day:

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,

And every common bush afire with God,

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

from Aurora Leigh

Take time to reflect

Each day I try to allow myself the luxury of going “home” and relaxing, taking off my shoes and putting my feet up and reflecting on the day, on the things I’ve heard and seen, and the people I have met, and how all this might all change me and give me new perspectives.  Seeing, as in the poem, brings new perspectives.  I – we all – need to take that time to see.  In the movie I saw on the airplane yesterday (“Lady Bird”), it was said that love and paying attention are basically synonymous.  I can agreed.  Let’s love more.  Let’s pay attention more.  Let’s reflect.

It’s not that I will ever have finished reflecting on my life; in fact, I have much more thinking to do – every day.  But short times in the evenings are a way to begin that process which must continue into the future.

So, what about you?  What are you doing for yourself, to grow, to be encouraged, and when are you going to take off your shoes and reflect on your daily experiences?

Have a great week!

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

 

 

Reinvent yourself for Success!

March 20th, 2018

Re-inventing Yourself – a necessity for many, especially for those over 50, but it’s vital for others, too.

 

For many people facing job-cuts and company reorganization, reinvention is key for continuing in the work force.  Unemployment is the catalyst for many changes.

It just may not be possible, especially if you are at the top, to  do exactly what you have been doing at same level of seniority (and pay, at least in Switzerland).

You will have to reinvent yourself.  This kind of change is possible, but also can be difficult.

Yes, we ALL can change

Based on research, I believe every person is able to change until their life on this earth ends.  So, my answer would be a qualified yes.  I will tell you a story about myself that illustrates this qualified yes.

An example from my teenage years

When I was about 14 years old I was a typically shy teen: bookish, reserved, pretty good at school and pretty uninterested in (most) sports.  But I wanted to be more “popular”, to “have more fun” the way I saw others enjoying themselves.  So, for a while I observed those who I considered more popular that were having fun, and thought about what they did differently than I.  I came to a simple conclusion:

They put themselves forward and volunteered more, for one thing.  They offered to do things.

So, as of that day of realization I began to volunteer to do things for others, starting with easy things and then gradually getting bolder so that, now at this point some five decades later, I volunteer to do the hard things, like pitching at startup weekends (last weekend).

This change simply began by raising my hand and offering my opinion, my time, my voice, my energy, and my creativity.  It actually began at a youth camp with my offering to organize a skit for everyone to watch and playing the “lead speaking” role in it.  Each little success led to another trial of something a little bit harder.

But not every attempt was successful.  Some of them were, of course, failures. Yet, when I tell most people who know me socially that I am an introvert, they are surprised because I have learned to act extroverted, I have learned to put myself forward and the risk involved has become less difficult for me.

I really do enjoy parties and being with people nowadays, but I still love time alone and books more. It took time to learn how to deal with the energy output, to coach myself on how to “do” these kinds of relatively unnatural activities.

The qualification to the “yes, you can”

You can re-invent yourself with a qualified yes.  We all have our general personality traits and we work from a starting point of where we are at.  Yet, we need to challenge ourselves and not use the excuse, “I am introverted and can’t do parties or “I am extroverted and can’t work/be alone.”

We are all able to do a lot of activities we don’t think we can, if we try and learn and try again, and keep trying until we make it.  But those activities may very well be out of our “normal arena of comfort”.  These new activities may drain us more than other more typical to our personality activities do.

Change is hard.  Change will not be easy for you, that is true, but if you want to keep working after being made redundant (especially after he age of 50 in Switzerland), change will be necessary for your success.

Re-inventing your career

When dealing with joblessness over 50, it is vital to re-invent your career, instead of working only within ones’ experience, training and/or personality borders, you will need a “Career Swing” of some sort.  Lately this topic has become more important for my friends and colleagues as the business and the economic reality of Switzerland’s landscape has been changing.

Essentially what the issue is, is that you need a good change process plan, based on the environment, your (realistic) expectations, and your abilities and boundaries.

You may change your type of work, the way you work (perhaps as a consultant), or maybe you will start your own business.  This will, then start even more change processes.  Of course, you may have to learn new things such as more about networking and using social media, too.

And what about your business, if you have one?

Finally, sometimes you need to re-invent or re-vamp your business or business strategies.  This kind of inventory taking for business should be done quarterly or twice a year at the least —depending on the business results from the last quarter and/or semester.

I would love to have an email (or otherwise, perhaps a Skype or coffee) dialog about this kind of re-invention.  Maybe you are anticipating a big change, or are in the middle of it.  No matter what, though, when dealing with this difficult change process, remember to start by asking yourself what works for others, what has worked for you in the past, and what might work in the future, based on the present situation.

You will then be on your way to a different future, and maybe even in a different place!

Have a great rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle                    patricia@jehle-coaching.com and www.jehle-coaching.com 

Also, should you be interested in joining my LinkedIn Group, SMEs Grow Together, go here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7041402  or like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Jehle.Coaching/

Some News

February 13th, 2018

It’s cold, although Lent is beginning

What’s new?  It’s a new month, and soon it will be the season of Lent and that hails the coming of spring.  Time for a check-in!

What’s new for you?

I am doing quite a few new things:

Starting a new semester teaching Negotiations

This semester is one of the semesters where I will be trying new practice negotiations, one of which I will write myself.  Teaching negotiations is one of my favorite courses to teach.

Speaking three times with three different topics at the American Women’s Club in Zürich

I have volunteered to speak on sustainable eating (March 12th), on bouncing back after a set-back (March 13th) and I will give a Reformation Tour (March 14th).  What a wonderful opportunity to share some of my passions!

I’ve recently been to quite a few interesting events

January 17th I went to the 13th Wirtschaftssymposium Aargau– an excellent afternoon of speakers and networking.  For me the highlight was André Blattmann’s talk on security.

January 18th Was the SVC Prize Award Ceremony for best SME in Zürich- with the Schibli Group winning a much-deserved first prize.

Then I took a helpful Case Study Writing course for professors at the FHNW.

On February 1st I was able to be part of the audience in TEDx Selnau and one of the talks I enjoyed most was that of Dr. Lijin Aryananda’s discourse on simplicity in development (of robotics, mostly, but it can be extrapolated to most problem-solving issues)

TEDx Selnau was a highlight this month

I will go to a few more exciting events in the near future, all before Easter!

In two weeks, I will once again attend the Geneva Writers’ Conference.  Each time I return with ideas and new writing projects.

The weekend after that I will attend the Forum Christliche Führungskräfte in Fribourg.

A friend of mine, Hoger Hendrichs will be heading up a new effort for Christian startups in Switzerland, and I am very much looking forward to it:

christianstartupnetwork.ch

Supervision is on the horizon

I will continue my journey of extending my qualifications this fall, and I am very thrilled about it.

But some things remain the same

I still love (and do) coaching

I had hoped for one or two more clients and that has happened, and I continue to enjoy each session and every new issue and client.

I still love learning and writing

My love of learning has been re-confirmed again in the case study writing course and the other courses I have recently taken.  I still wish one could be paid to learn; I’d earn a million.  Writing is such a passion of mine, I blog, I am in the midst of writing books, and now I am working on case studies.  Even the few podcasts I have done have been a joy to write.

I am and will be a Hygge fan

I now ask myself the kind of mindful question that a Dane may ask.  Hygge is all about coziness, but it is a very mindful way of life.  As the weather takes a colder turn again, I am happy that tonight is “Pancacke Tuesday” (Shrove Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, literally “fat Tuesday”).  As a family we eat way too much: scrambled eggs, pancakes with maple syrup, and fried bacon.  After all, tomorrow is Ash Wednesday, and the start of Lent.  I read in a book that Lent means spring (or spring is on its way).  So, time to finish fattening ourselves up for winter.

Well, that’s my news, what’s new with you?

Patricia Jehle patricia@jehle-coaching.com  www.jehle-coaching.com

Solutions to our problems

January 29th, 2018

Got problems? We all have, but what’s there to do?

We need to see the big picture and understand the problem before finding a solution

My January has had its ups and downs, especially regarding hearing bad news about family and friends, especially about their health.

But I have to balance that with new clients and new beginnings. Maybe your day, week or month has been like that, too. – full of decisions, full of positives and negatives. Life is usually a balance of good and bad, in the end.

Reflect:

At the end of the day the question is always what am I going to do about what has happened? How am I going to process my morning, my day, my week…? Personally, I do two things: I go through the problem-solving set of steps I have made for myself and then remember my “3-a-day”. I bet you have problems and hard days, too, so maybe my steps will help you!

Wrestling with the problems

What about the hard issues at work, at home, etc?   First ask yourself: Is it really a problem? Do I let the issue go? Do I fix it, or can I find someone else to fix it? Or must I continue working with the problem for a longer time, working on finding an answer or someone who can solve it?

Question one: Is it really a problem? (Evaluate the issue)

First things first, after all. Sometimes our issues are only perceived as problems, but when looked at from another angle, they are actually not problems at all. I had one of those recently. Because I could realize that it wasn’t a problem, I slept well last night. Sometimes it is a little problem, too, and not worth my energy, at least at the time.

Question two: Can I solve it? And how?

Some issues are worth my time (and saving money on a professional); some are not. Some problems are best left to my friends and family to help me solve them.

Some issues are, for the moment, “unsolvable” and then what am I going to do? Steven Covey reminds us to focus on our circle of control. What can I do about it? I may have to let the issue lie, do some research on it, or let it go. Last week I let something go. At least for the time being, it is “not in my radar”, anymore.

There is an upside of not “fixing one problem: because I could let one problem go, I was able to focus on and solve another problem. That solution went on my gratitude list for the day. What a great feeling to have solved a rather complicated issue, and all by myself! I had a great feeling of accomplishment.

Here is a step-by step way of dealing with your problem:

So, if it is a real problem and I have to solve it now, there is a first step of finding out as much as you can about the problem by asking even more questions, for example, the 5 Whys, or using What, Why, How, Where, Who and When:

  • What do I want to achieve, what are the facts, what would happen if no decision were made? Or no solution found? What do I need in order to find the solution?
  • Why do I want to have a solution? Why did the problem happen? Why do I need a solution?
  • How will the situation be different with a solution? How relevant is the information I am gathering? How can I involve others? How can I find out more about the problem and the solution?
  • Where did the problem begin? Where is the impact? IS the “where” important, and if so, why so?
  • Who is involved? Who cares about the situation? Who is affected? Who needs to be informed? Who am I trying to please, if anyone?
  • When did the problem arise? By when does there need to be a solution? When is the deadline for (any) action?
  • The 5 Whys: is a technique to find out the cause – and effect – of a problem. Why is asked 5 times, each time using the answer as the base for the next why. The car isn’t starting: why? The battery is dead: why? The alternator is broken: why? It’s belt has broken: why? It was old and had not been replaced: why? The owner had not followed the schedule for part replacement. (this is the root cause)

Then it’s time to identify solutions. That is a great place to be at, as then you can decide if you do it, do some of it, or delegate it. Then you choose the best solution and break it into manageable steps. Then you try out the solution and evaluate it, refining it. Repeat ad infinitum.

Questions that are well-placed can gain great insights

Finally:

Keep on Problem-solving, remember FLEXIBILITY and Gratitude!

Keep trying the solutions, and keep working on the questions. Because more than one of my problems is large and on-going, as they are something almost totally out of my control, I work on other problems that are more “solvable”, and then do what I can, waiting until it’s the right time to address the other issues.

Thus, flexibility helps a lot with bigger problems, try this, try that. Wait. Then try again another way. Ad infinitum.

My 3-a-day Gratitude List

The three a day gratitude list is a “to do” I not only do myself, but tell everyone I know to do it, as well: friends, clients, and colleagues alike. So ask yourself: “What am I grateful for today?” Then write it down on paper. Some people even keep a gratitude journal. The writing by hand is important, trust me. This will help you focus on the positive at the end of your day.

Still got problems? Me, too!

But don’t worry, if your problem is to be fixed, it will be. By me? By you? By friends, colleagues family? By another? Be assured it will be fixed, one day. Then you can put the answer on your 3-a-day list.

Enjoy the rest of your week, despite your issues!

Patricia Jehle

www.jehle-coaching.com patricia@jehle-coaching.com

A Christmas Greeting from Jehle Coaching, Swiss Expat work and Life

December 23rd, 2017

The time of annual Christmas letters and cards is upon us. This year has been full, although not always of happy and good things, it has been a profitable year, work-wise for Jehle Coaching. I hope your year has also been profitable. In most ways, I am still on “the same path”.

Merry Christmas!

Jehle Coaching

2017 has been a productive year with my coaching business really getting busy! Much has been tried, refined and there is growth. The plans for 2018 are also shaping up, and the networking continues, as well. I had a great year and went to some training, such as Organic Quality Management and a CAS in Coaching from the FHNW-PH. Here is what I have been doing:

  • General business coaching
  • Executive and management coaching
  • Career and job transition coaching (both at beginning and middle management levels)
  • Life and career choices coaching (for young people, but also for those who are making decisions after about 10-15 years of work)
  • Moving into management coaching
  • Expat coaching (intercultural transition and adjustments)
  • Time management coaching
  • Decision-making coaching
  • Conflicts at work coaching
  • Burnout coaching
  • Coaching people with slash careers
  • Start-up business coaching (both regular and for creative businesses)
  • Starting a coaching business coaching and mentoring
  • Assisting friends who are artists and creative (this has been a pro-bono passion of mine)
  • Masterminds (a kind of (small) group coaching)
  • Life Coaching

I still love teaching business communications at the FHNW

It’s amazing that I have stayed with one job so long and that means something: I love it! This year has been no different and I look forward to next semester, and the following school year with great anticipation.

Enjoy the holidays!

Still writing after all these years!

I haven’t stopped and, have two on-going projects (both books in rough draft form, now)– and I do like writing these blogs, too! I expect to be at the next (2018) Geneva Writers’ Conference for some input and motivation.

Still revving up my training and qualification, too! (more a bout that next year)

REFLECT and LOOK FORWARD TO 2018!

Finally, I look forward to this holiday season, where I can step back, take a breath, reflect on the good and the hard, and anticipate a great 2018 to come! I hope you are doing the same. What has 2017 been like for you?

Training is a key to success

May you and yours be blessed this season and throughout 2018!

Patricia Jehle patricia@jehle-coaching.com       www.jehle-coaching.com

 

Get out of your own way!

October 24th, 2017

Business not going well? You have all your ducks in a row, but something seems to be stopping you? Is something intangible slowing down your business? Maybe you have inner conflicts with yourself that need addressing so you can start moving forward again.

This past week I read a wonderful book by negotiation expert Professor Dr. William Ury of Harvard Business School called Getting to Yes with Yourself and I found some treasures to help us out of those stuck places in business and in life.

Get out of Your Own Way

Here’s Ury’s 6-Step Model:

  1. Put yourself in your shoes
  2. Develop your inner BATNA
  3. Reframe your picture
  4. Stay in the Zone
  5. Respect them, even if
  6. Give and Receive

What this means, step-by-step:

  • Put yourself in your own shoes means you need to understand your own feelings and needs before you can go anywhere near the business negotiation/ the other person you are dealing with. Ask yourself questions regarding your feelings and your deepest needs.
  • Develop your inner BATNA refers to the famous Fisher/Ury negotiation concept Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement- what are you going to do if the deal doesn’t work out? In other words for yourself, take care of the deepest needs you have in this (and every) situation, no matter what happens. You are not a victim, take responsibility for your own needs.
  • Reframe your picture is about how you see the world, and even the universe. See it as working for your and “the” good, and you will not live in the trap of scarcity. Remember, scarcity leads to decisions made out of fear, which is to be avoided. Take decisions from a place of trust and abundance instead.
  • Stay in the Zone refers to being in the present, not focusing on the past or future. It means letting go of the past and its problems and freeing yourself from anxiety about the future. Staying in the zone allows you to succeed. Hanging on to past regrets and hurts or worrying about tomorrow are not going to help in any way, and in fact, they hinder you from moving forward. Avoid all those “should” statements. That show you are either judging yourself or someone else, instead ask yourself, “what is the smallest thing I (or someone else) can do now to make a change?”
  • Respect them even if is about how we treat each person with the respect due every human being. I don’t have to approve of the persons actions or beliefs. I don’t need to like the person. I just need to make a decision to treat the person with respect. I also can try and understand the person by “walking in their shoes” and trying to see the issue from their experiences and background.
  • Give and Receive means that the most successful business people are givers and not takers, and that is according to research (Wharton Business School).

When you understand this concept you are very likely to become unstuck and move forward in business, in negotiation, and in life. There are good questions I as a coach can ask you about each step in Ury’s model to help you along your way to success.

Remember to get to yes with yourself and you are more likely to move forward in business and in life.

Have a successful week!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

Podcasts and Penguins

October 3rd, 2017

CHANGE and Penguins

What have you been thinking about? I have been thinking about change, a book about penguins and my podcast to help some people implement change in their organization has just gone live.

The reason I am thinking about change partially has to do with what I am teaching this semester at university. I am using the book “Our Iceberg is Melting” by Dr. John Kotter in one of my classes. It’s not (really) about global warming, but instead about change management. It’s a fable showing how you get an organization to enact change well.

 

The first step is to get your leaders, movers and shakers (influencers) on board and to do that you communicate the great urgent need for the change- the BIG WHY. And your urgent need has to scare people a little- to a penguin a melting iceberg is a very scary situation, indeed.

 

You need a majority to be on board with the change. Mr. Kotter says you should have at least 50% of an organization on board with the change, and it would be better to have about 75% in full agreement. That’s a lot of people! Thus, your communication of the NEED is really the key to the whole change process.

After that it’s all about communication, organization, planning and seeing the change completely through. This process is nothing to take lightly. Change must be managed well and thoroughly for it to succeed.

 

Here are the steps:

  • See and communicate the need
  • Decide and Prepare (plan!)
  • Manage the change
  • Reinforce the change

 

The other reason I am thinking about change is that my third podcast on the topic of change and decision making is now up and running and should you be interested, it gives a more in-depth look into the change process than this blog does. https://qt4cm.org/037-make-decision-regarding-major-change-ministry-part-3/

 

May you have a lovely rest of the week!

Patricia Jehle patricia@jehle-coaching.com         www.jehle-coaching.com

 

Courage after Failure

September 5th, 2017

We all need courage

We all need courage to do the hard things in life and get ahead, but what happens when you lose your courage?

Maybe you had a bad annual review. Maybe you were fired. Perhaps you failed an exam and now see no way forward. Somehow, you failed and all the platitudes about everyone failing and needing to get back in the proverbial saddle just make you want to puke. So, what is to do?

Grieve. Breathe. Envision. Care. Move and PLAN for success.

GRIEVE

You need to grieve the failure, because it is a loss of a plan, an unreached goal. Before you can move on, you have got to take some time and grieve. It’s normal and necessary to go through this, but it will take some time to do it well. There has been much written about this process, I am sure you can google it, but here is a good place: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-5s

BREATHE

We need to calm down before we can get our courage back. Breathing of any kind, especially breathing exercises, are great for this. You can also distract yourself with positive activities like listening to music or reading a book. Whatever you do, it should be positive for you, body mind and spirit, and not harmful to anyone else. Here is something on breaking up stress: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-nd with these breaths, you can realize what you have learned from this failure–and then you should remember to start caring for yourself, too.

CARE

Put some self-care into your day and week. Be grateful, take a bath, go for a walk, call a friend, have a tea or coffee. Those are all activities that help me care for myself. What would it be for you? Schedule some of those activities into your week, and then keep scheduling them. Here is something on self-care: http://wp.me/p5Y10a-3w

Move and PLAN

One of the laws of physics says that to expend less energy, an object needs to stay in motion, and this goes for us, too. So, except when you are on holiday, keep the ball(s) rolling while you plan your next moves.

PLAN and then move (keep on moving)

To get somewhere, anywhere you want to go, you will need a plan, so while you are still moving, make a new plan with SMART goals and steps that are just as smart. When you have that new plan in place move in the new direction.

Maybe your failure is not so big, and you just need to get up, brush yourself off and move on, but for the bigger failures you will need to grieve, breathe, care, and move and plan. Failure is part of life and it may just lead you to your biggest success.

May your failures be stepping-stones to success! May you find your courage to continue again!

Patricia Jehle www.jehle-caoching.com     patricia@jehle-coaching.com

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 THE NEED

  • 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”?

AND

  • 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?

DECIDE & PREPARE

  • 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

MANAGE

  • 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

REINFORCE

  • 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: http://go.kotterinternational.com/rs/819-HHR-571/images/8%20Steps%20for%20Accelerating%20Change%20eBook.pdf