Reengineering Municipal Government - Five Stages to Effective Change

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At OHM's Reengineering Municipal Government workshop, Charlie Fleetham, president of Project Innovations, gave five tips to municipal leaders to guide their colleagues and citizens through the tremendous change resulting from the decline of the manufacturing economy. Using Elisabeth Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief, Fleetham compares the effects of decline of the automotive sector in the midwest to the psychological impacts of death.

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Reengineering Municipal Government - Five Stages to Effective Change

  1. 1. A Region Coping with Transitions The New Normality Normal (?) Team Michigan Shock and Denial * They will Acceptance * • New visions emerge • Avoidance • Fear cross the • Planning begins • Energy emerges • Confusion Chasm! * Bargaining * Anger • Reaching out • Anxiety • Telling the “story” • Frustration • Find “reasons” * • Shame Depression Elisabeth Kübler-Ross • No energy Five Stages of Grief • Helplessness • Overwhelmed
  2. 2. It’s psychology, stupid. If you don’t understand the psychology of change, your job as leader gets even tougher, if not impossible. Job 1 is naming the challenge – it’s a Long Emergency or a Economic Hurricane or a Fiscal Pandemic. People need an emotional hanger for their fears. Please note: one thing it is not is a “Structural Change”. Hope is a necessary poison! Give too much hope and you feed a fantasy . . . give too little hope and you feed depression. It’s a big lifeboat, but some people are going to try to throw you off. Build your team and defend it! When it comes to saving money, we are all elephant hunters now. Don’t get caught squirrel hunting!

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