02.2012 - Change Response

It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.

Charles Darwin

Change Response

Imagine 100 people linked by hierarchy trying to create change. We’ve all experienced this at one time or another -- when it's a challenge to get to flawless execution on the part of the whole.  Imagine these same 100 people united by a deep commitment and sense of urgency connected in ways that create open-mindedness, support fluid information sharing and responsive solutions.  Which group is more likely to get to the desired change through flawless execution?

Coalition Potential

How we’ve done change in the past mostly hasn’t worked.  To get significant results, organizational research demonstrates that we have to think COALITION. And, we have to continually focus on expanding COALITION POTENTIAL.

The Perils of Decide and Execute

Most organizations recognize that they can’t keep doing change the same old way.  So many organizational processes, perfected in the 20th century, are based on our extraordinary abilities to Decide and Execute.  In today’s turbulent environment though, too often figuring out what information/data/perspectives result in good decisions can be a baffling challenge even for experienced executives – whether it’s shifting regulations, the impact of political elections, tightened quality expectations, or imploding global economies.

Urgency and Commitment

For leaders at every level, the challenge is to sustain meaningful urgency.  Without urgency or dissatisfaction, change doesn’t happen or doesn't happen sustainably. How can leaders continually fuel a change message that links the need to change to a rationale that inspires people to engage?

Positive Future Orientation

Leaders can help by ensuring that people in the coalition are drawn to the positive promise of the future.  Creating effective individual and organizational change responses system-wide will likely be the central guiding quest of organizational leaders in the next decade.  

  • What opportunities is your organization blind to?
  • What are the smallest things you could tackle that would make the biggest difference?
  • How can you strengthen a sense of coalition?

Mindsets are Critical

Hazard or Opportunity

How can we do a better of job of ensuring that we are making decisions based on the “right” information?  Brain research tells us that we humans are attracted to Hazards (burning platforms) rather than to Opportunities.   It appears we may be wired that way.  The burning platform feels real; the opportunity ephemeral or risky.  Yet it's seeing opportunities that propels us forward and gets results.

"Out of the Cage" Thinking

How can we discipline ourselves to stay open, really open, to opportunities that we tend to be blind to?  Hierarchy creates blindness by keeping people in “cages,” if you will.  People create cages -- whether you cage yourself or let others cage you.  How can we create “out of the cage” thinking?   One way is to link diverse perspectives in new ways to create new organizational seeing.