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Entries from May 2015

Are you a Change Manager or Change Enabler?

28th May 2015
Change LeaderLast week I (with a colleague) presented at the
International Coach Federations

UK event: Inspiring Coaching – the next 20 years.

The title of our session was “Harnessing the Dynamics of the
Future’ and in it we referenced a couple of reports PWC 5 Global Megatrends, and
the CIPD
Megatrends – The trends shaping work and working lives.
The purpose of the session was to raise awareness of the
huge shifts taking place globally and then reflect on what that means for us as
leaders, because we are ALL leaders.
So my invitation is for you to do the same and feel free to
read the reports in full, but for now here are the key themes:
  • Economic power shifts are taking place and the gap is
  • Technological breakthroughs are occurring with greater speed
    and less costs
  • Global resource shifts – oil and gas reserves are depleting
  • Changing demographics, there is now greater diversity in the
    workplace, a better educated global population and more people moving to live
    in cities.

The pace of change is increasing and most organisations are
not changing at the same pace!
As a leader how are you preparing yourself to work in a
world that is becoming more agile, complex and ambiguous?
Are you thinking about creating an agile organisation with a
flexible, responsive structure to the management and conduct of work?
Change Enabler 
One thing is for sure the future requires a different way of
leading, one that enables others to
be more agile and responsive rather than manage others.
Which are you?
If not sure of the distinctions, use this rather quick and
dirty checklist to do a little self-assessment.

Change Managers
  1. Initiate change work to the plan where almost everything is
  2. Invite only those of a certain grade to the table to problem
  3. Manage change through a project office
  4. Communicate major changes through a managed timetable with
    carefully honed scripts
  5. Bring back any deviations from the norm back in line
  6. Manage based on past experience and what has proven to work
  7. Work through the hierarchy 

Change Enablers

  1. Create conversations that generate problem-solving activity
  2. Look for internal activist who want to be involved and have
    the courage to challenge the status quo
  3. Invite and encourage commitment by asking people to get
    involved in the how of things from the front line not top down
  4. Discard the notion of the right way
  5. Learn as you go
  6. Experiment
  7. Encourage creative thinking

These two lists are not meant to be definitive. They are
presented to initiate some reflection on how you are leading change currently,
and hopefully, consider how you may adapt to be more enabling. Leading by
harnessing the energies of those around you.

Making real change is a challenge for most of us – just
think of all New Year resolutions that lapse after a very short period of time.
What one thing can you do to ensure the changes you’re
leading come to fruition?
design the future effectively, you must first let go of your past.” 

Charles J. Givens

My Top 10 Favourite Quotes on Change

14th May 2015
Change LeadershipI decided to do something a little
different this week and share with you my top 10 favourite quotes on change and
why I think they are relevant.
I hope they have some meaning for
you too!
‘Challenges are what make life
interesting, overcoming them is what makes them meaningful.’
Joshua J. Marine
change, whether organisational or personal, involves a challenge of some
degree. That challenge may be how you influence others, how you overcome
resistance, how you do more with less….. The important thing to remember is
what you learn in the process that makes you a better manager, leader,
‘You gain strength, courage, and
confidence with every experience in which you look fear in the face. You must
do the thing which you think you cannot.’
Eleanor Roosevelt
It is
easy to back away from things you don’t know how to do, or that seem
overwhelming, or that we haven’t done before. Any growth, and I see change as
growth, requires you to face up to your own fears, often they aren’t as scary
as you make them out to be. What you learn in the process always feeds your
self-esteem and self-confidence – so go for it!
‘To get
others to come into our ways of thinking, we must go over to theirs; and it is
necessary to follow, in order to lead.’
William Hazlitt
So often, in change scenarios, there is a sense of ‘pushing people’ to do something new and different with a
bit of a one size fits all method of communicating.
If only we put ourselves in an
others shoes. If you can find a way to understand what is going on from the
others perspective you can tailor your message in a way that makes them feel
heard and understood. They are then less likely to resist and certainly more
open and engaged.
You may not always be the best person to lead on something, it may be one of your subordinates, or a peer. We all have to follow at some point and you can always learn from this position.
‘Whatever the mind can conceive
and believe the mind will achieve.’
Napoleon Hill
open-minded. You are more likely to see possibilities and find alternative
solutions. When you begin to think it can’t be done, sure enough you’ll find it
not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work
with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be
found as you go along.’
George Herbert
have never been involved in a change programme where the time is just right, or
you have all the resources you need. Starting any change from this place can
seem a little scary and maybe daunting and I’m a firm believer in taking a step
forward. The moment you start moving circumstances change and you can then
adapt along the way.
‘One can choose to
go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and
again; fear must be overcome again and again.’
Abraham Maslow
brings transitions that will often require you to let go of things that no
longer work. This may be people, processes, parts of your business, or systems.
You have to ‘let go’ of those things that no longer serve you to provide space
for the new to emerge.  
It is easy to hold on to the things we know, they provide us with a sense of comfort.Moving forward into the unknown can evoke fear and resistance, take comfort from this as it’s a sign you are heading in the right direction. 
‘Nothing is terminal.
Everything is transitional. What looks like the end of the road will turn out
to be a bend.’
Robert Schuller
You may think you have
arrived at the end of your change programme, systems implementation or new
product development but there is always work to be done. You will be able to
slow down for a little while and catch your breath. Then consider the
fine-tuning you identified, or additional improvements and adaptations required
to meet customer needs. Change is constant.
‘The biggest problem with communication is 
illusion that it has been accomplished’
Bernard Shaw
You can never communicate
enough. Communicate, communicate, communicate!! To groups, one to one, face to
face, in writing, via the internet etc.
‘If one desires a change,
one must be that change before that change can take place.’
Gita Bellin
As a leader you have to
be prepared to model what you are asking others to do and be congruent about
‘To design the future effectively, you
must first let go of your past.’  

Charles J. Givens
We can often limit ourselves with
our thinking, relying on past experiences and beliefs we have. This can
actually be a block to creating the ideal solution and you could inadvertently
recreate existing problems. Sometimes you need to get out of your own way and
be creative to see what could be possible.  
I hope some of these have
resonated with you and it would be great to hear any of your own stories or
favourite quotes around change, so please share.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Ending your Day on a Positive Note

1st May 2015
Positive ThinkingHow do you end your day at work?
Do you rush out of the office to ensure you catch the train
knowing there are still things to do and you’ll do them once you get home,
feeling stressed?
Do you finish your task and then prepare for the next day
carrying forward the things you didn’t get done today?
Do you finish what you are doing and then switch off to now
focus on what needs to be done at home?
Do you spend a few moments reviewing your day recognising
what has been achieved and feeling good about it?
A lot has been written about positive emotions and how they enhance
cognitive, affective, and physical resilience and broaden our repertoire of
thoughts and behaviours.
Hundreds of studies have reported associations between
positive emotion and tangible outcomes such as higher wages, customer
satisfaction, and creativity, big picture thinking, physical health, quick
cardiovascular recovery and work engagement.
So what can you do to begin to think in a more positive way?
As human beings we are all very good a identifying what is
wrong, what hasn’t been done, what is unfinished, so you have to make a
conscious effort to look at the positive and recognise it.
An end of day
To help you create a new habit, and to end the day on a
positive note, here are some things you can do to establish an end of day
  1. Write down 3 things that went well about the day. This has been
    shown to increase happiness.
  2. Write down everything that you
    have achieved today. We are all very good at thinking about all the things that
    didn’t get done rather than pat ourselves on the back for all the things that
    did get done.
  3. Where did you perform at your best today? We often take
    these for granted and overlook them and yet they are the things that make our
    reputation – our brand.
  4. If you are angry with someone and you feel the need to
    counterproductively chastise him or her – STOP! Identify things the employee
    has done to inspire you, that you are grateful for. Take a more balanced
    approach of the individual and then decide on the best course of action.
  5. What did you really enjoy doing today? Savouring life’s
    pleasures both subtle and spectacular can enhance wellbeing.

You may choose to do all of these or just one and if every
day is a step to far start with doing this at the end of the week and make it a
regular practice.
Cultivate a ratio of positivity that will generate success.
“Don’t let people; places and things determine your moods. Take charge
of how you feel each and every day.”
Michael Barbarulo

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