Personality and Change Management


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There’s a myth that people don’t like change. But as Margaret Wheatley put it:
"People do not resist change—people change all the time. What people resist is having others impose change on them."

Like people, organizations also change all the time. They can either impose change, which leads to resistance, or they can involve their employees in the change to help ensure buy-in. The needs of employees differ based on personality.

The purpose of this presentation is to help you learn how to include the (sometimes opposing) needs of different personality types in a change management strategy.

The handout is available at the following link:

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  • Cats don’t like change. When you go on vacation, you don’t board your cat like you would a dog. You get a pet sitter to come to your house. Cats are highly territorial. They don’t like to leave home.
  • Neanderthals lived in Europe for a quarter million years. In all that time, their technology didn’t change—up until the time that modern humans first appeared in Europe, about 35,000 years ago. Then Neanderthals began copying our technology. But it was too little, too late. Neanderthals couldn’t compete with modern humans, and they went extinct. They lacked our inquisitive nature.
  • Studies have shown that the average 4-year-old girl asks the question “Why?” about 400 times a day.
  • But all too often, the answer we give them is “Because I said so.” Now, sometimes, this is the only way to stop small children from questioning your decisions. They don’t really want to know why. They just want you to give in. But when it comes to adults, “because I said so” is never a sufficient answer.
  • It’s a myth that people resist change. When organizations find that change is necessary, they must get buy-in, or the change will fail.
  • While some people are energized by new opportunities, others may be stuck, unable to adjust, wishing things were back the way they used to be. Effective change management accounts for these extremes and all the variations in between.
  • You don’t need to know the personality type of the people affected by the change. In fact, it may not even be useful to know their type. Many factors other than personality play a role, and you don’t want to treat people like stereotypes.
  • H.J. Heinz’s first business went bankrupt. His second business invented ketchup and grew into a 12 billion dollar company. Entrepreneurship is often the story of failures that lead to success.
  • In the Marshmallow Challenge devised by Peter Skillman, recent kindergarten graduates significantly outperformed recent business school graduates. Instead of trying to devise the single right plan, the kindergartners experimented until they found a good solution.
  • Personality and Change Management

    1. 1. Personality andChange ManagementAndrea J. WengerTwitter: @AndreaJWenger#MBTI #STC13
    2. 2. ObjectiveLearn how to include the(sometimes opposing) needs ofdifferent personality types in achange management strategy.
    3. 3. “People are a problem.”—Douglas Adams,The Restaurant at theEnd of the Universe
    4. 4. “Normal people dont likechange. Most of us whothink change is fun areconsultants.”—Sarah O’Keefe(paraphrase)
    5. 5. Cats
    6. 6. Neanderthals
    7. 7. Why?
    8. 8. Because I said so
    9. 9. “People do not resist change—people change all thetime. What people resist ishaving others imposechange on them.”—Margaret Wheatley
    10. 10. Change ManagementIntentional vs.Imposed Change
    11. 11. Even positive changecomes with a sense ofloss.
    12. 12. Different people react tochange differently
    13. 13. Personality Types
    14. 14. Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorFour scales Extraversion/Introversion Sensation/Intuition Thinking/Feeling Judgment/Perception
    15. 15. You won’t know thepersonality type of thepeople affected by thechange.
    16. 16. Extraversion/IntroversionDirection of energy flow
    17. 17. Type PreferencesExtraversion Focus outward Like noise Talk thingsoutIntroversion Focus inward Like quiet Think thingsthrough
    18. 18. Extraversion Interaction Large groups Informaldiscussions Chance to act
    19. 19. Introversion Privacy Small groups Writtencommunication Chance toreflect
    20. 20. Happy together
    21. 21. Sensation/IntuitionConcrete vs. abstract
    22. 22. Sensation Discrete data Details Facts Observation Specifics
    23. 23. Intuition Patterns Big picture Implications Connections Generalities
    24. 24. Managing ChangeSensation Details Clear directions Continuity Realism ThoroughnessIntuition Context Exploration Vision Imagination Ingenuity
    25. 25. Thinking/FeelingObjective vs. subjective
    26. 26. Thinking Logic Objectivity Planning Fairness Competence
    27. 27. Feeling Values Empathy Inclusion Respect Support
    28. 28. Managing ChangeThinking Logic Planning Competence FairnessFeeling Values People Support Respect
    29. 29. Judgment/PerceptionPlanning vs. adapting
    30. 30. Judgment Closed-ended Decisive Orderly Methodical
    31. 31. Perception Open-ended Flexible Spontaneous Deadline-driven
    32. 32. Managing ChangeJudgment Establishmilestones Followthe plan PreparecontingenciesPerception Adjust asneeded Welcomeopportunities Get moreinformation
    33. 33. Responding to Change
    34. 34. Taking Charge of ChangeAddress your needs Communication Information gathering Decision making Scheduling
    35. 35. Taking Charge of ChangeAddress the needs of others Communicate Participate Respect others Improve but don’t disrupt
    36. 36. Taking Charge of ChangeTake action Get information Ask to be included
    37. 37. “A lot of people are afraidto say what they want.That’s why they don’t getwhat they want.”—Madonna
    38. 38. Resilience
    39. 39. Extraversion + Intuition Explore change with others Look for implications
    40. 40. Extraversion + Sensation Take action Get things done
    41. 41. Introversion + Intuition Conceptualize the change Look for connections
    42. 42. Introversion + Sensation Gather information alone Learn the specifics
    43. 43. ConclusionInclude the needs of differentpersonality types in a changemanagement strategy to makeyour business more successful.
    44. 44. “Do not train children inlearning by force andharshness, but directthem to it by whatamuses their minds…
    45. 45. …so that you may bebetter able to discoverwith accuracy thepeculiar bent of theirgenius.” — Plato
    46. 46. Bibliography Barger, Nancy J. and Linda K. Kirby.Introduction to Type and Change. Baron, Renee. What Type Am I?. “Bouncing Back,” CPP Education Blog, Myers, Isabel Briggs. Gifts Differing. Jung Typology Test at
    47. 47. Contact InformationAndrea WengerSr. Technical Writer, Schneider ElectricIncoming Member, Nominating CommitteePresident, STC Carolina ChapterCommunications Mgr., Technical Editing SIGandreajwenger@gmail.comFacebook: