Reality Check for Change “Managers”

Throw out all your change management books and methodologies and theories.  Burn every PowerPoint presentation filled with diagrams and flow charts and tools and templates.  Delete your change project plans.  Forget agonizing over deliverables that your change work team must produce.  Fire every project manager or internal auditor or procurement specialist who minimizes your change … More Reality Check for Change “Managers”

Mastering the Obvious

Sometimes the best solutions are the most obvious, and unfortunately, the ones least considered. Organization change is hard because leaders and project teams forget to do the simple, but important things, while spending extraordinary amounts of effort in the glitzy and complex.  Technology projects focus on the technology.  Outsourcing focuses on cost analysis.  Mergers focus … More Mastering the Obvious

Despots, Group Think and the Ugly Side of Institutional Optimism

In my personal life, I am an optimist.  I believe fully in the power of positive thinking and the value of spreading good cheer wherever I go, if only because it makes life more fun and enjoyable. But when it comes to managing change, I believe in realism.  A key component of the Architecture of … More Despots, Group Think and the Ugly Side of Institutional Optimism

It’s All In Our Head

Nicholas Kristof’s column in yesterday’s New York Times shared that the origins of political judgments may in part be the result of our fundamental personality type and even in the hard-wiring in our brains.  While even the researchers agree there is more work to do to validate these findings, it is consistent with the growing body … More It’s All In Our Head

Review Meetings: When Talking Is Effective

A number of years ago I had a boss who was so focused on staying on schedule during meetings that he forgot we were actually gathered to accomplish something.  He thought nothing of interrupting a productive dialog to remind everyone that we needed to move to the next agenda item.  The poor fellow thought “accomplishment” was … More Review Meetings: When Talking Is Effective

The Practice of Adaptive Change Management

Ronald Heifetz As Ron Heifetz states, “people in authority are under tremendous pressure to provide easy and decisive solutions to problems.”  This is true for government leaders, business executives, and project managers.  Unfortunately, some problems don’t have easy technical solutions.  They are what Heifetz refers to as adaptive challenges, and they require very different kind … More The Practice of Adaptive Change Management

More on the Importance of Emotion When Leading Change

John Kotter It is a big deal, as John Kotter suggests.  The reason so many change initiatives fail is that they rely too much on fact gathering, analysis, report writing, and presentations—the logic—instead of an approach aimed at grabbing the feelings that motivate behavior change. This reason for failure can be best understood with a … More More on the Importance of Emotion When Leading Change