Capitalizing on Organizational Change: How to manage the benefits, dynamics and transitions


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There’s no doubt that organizational changes can lead to challenges, frustrations and decreased productivity. At the same time, each change an organization faces provides an opportunity for growing its people, structures, and systems. When organizations guide their people through the process of change with understanding, clear communication and a willingness to handle the unexpected, the results can be extremely positive.

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Capitalizing on Organizational Change: How to manage the benefits, dynamics and transitions

  1. 1. Sponsored by: Capitalizing on Organizational Change: How to manage the benefits, dynamics and transitions Claudette Rowley September 11, 2013 Twitter Hashtag - #4Glearn Part Of:
  2. 2. Sponsored by: Advising nonprofits in: • Strategy • Planning • Organizational Development (617) 969-1881 INTEGRATED PLANNING Part Of:
  3. 3. Sponsored by:Part Of: Coming Soon
  4. 4. Sponsored by: Today’s Speakers Claudette Rowley Coach, Consultant, Author Metavoice Assisting with chat questions: Jamie Maloney, 4Good Founding Director of Nonprofit Webinars and Host: Sam Frank, Synthesis Partnership Part Of:
  5. 5. H O W T O M A N A G E T H E B E N E F I T S , D Y N A M I C S A N D T R A N S I T I O N S S E P T E M B E R 1 1 , 2 0 1 3 P R E S E N T E D B Y C L A U D E T T E R O W L E Y Capitalizing on Organizational Change
  6. 6. Take Aways Learn the difference between change and transition Understand the five stages of organizational change Discover tools, strategies and tips for capitalizing on organizational change
  7. 7. Your Change Style Examine how you typically transition through change: 1. How do you react to the change? 2. What have been your past experiences with change? 3. In what ways do you respond well to change? 4. How would you like to improve your response to change?
  8. 8. Change and Transition Change is the event. * Transition is the psychological process of adapting to the change.  Ending  Neutral Zone  Beginning *Based on the work of William Bridges, author of Transitions and other books.
  9. 9. Stages of Transition Transition is: “a natural renewal sequence of letting go, embracing and exploring the time between realities, and then setting off on the chosen path to the future”. –William Bridges The end – “the letting go” The neutral zone – “exploring time between realities” The new beginning – “setting off on the chosen path to the future”
  10. 10. Transitions Assessment William Bridges’ website:
  11. 11. Questions to Ponder  How does the change benefit the organization?  What are the benefits for me?  What am I losing?  What are the opportunities for me and for others (even if I wouldn’t have chosen this change)?  What can I learn from this change?  What is available for all of us?
  12. 12. The J-Curve: Five Stages of Change Stage 1: The Plateau Stage 2: The Cliff Stage 3: The Valley Stage 4: The Ascent Stage 5: The Mountaintop From the work of Jerald M. Jellison, Managing the Dynamics of Change
  13. 13. The J-Curve Diagram
  14. 14. Three Camps People fall into one of three camps: “Let’s change” “Wait and see” “Resisters”
  15. 15. Stage 1: The Plateau  At the beginning of change, employees are on a performance plateau – they know what they’re doing.  Range of reactions to change: excitement, resistance, doubt, fear.  Execution of change comes down to people doing things differently. Need to understand people who are negative or resistant to change.
  16. 16. Stage 2: The Cliff Begins when people start trying to do things in new ways. Performance drops – failures outpace successes. For some, resistance can increase as mistakes increase. Thoughts and emotions can turn more negative; “buyer’s remorse” may surface.
  17. 17. Stage 3: The Valley  Things starts bottoming out – mistakes aren’t as frequent or large.  More is happening right than wrong.  Negativity decreases; successes start to accumulate.  Employees still feel uncertain and as though they’re trying to master new skills and responsibilities.
  18. 18. Stage 4: The Ascent Performance is improving impressively. Success becoming reinforcing and motivating. Skills are sharpened, new procedures are established, coordination is better. Employees are in stage 4 when they view problems as solvable and look for constructive ways to deal with issues.
  19. 19. The Mountaintop During stages 2, 3 & 4, performance was below pre- change level. Now it’s climbed to matching the old ways of doing things. Some will find innovative ways to apply new approaches, invent solutions, and creativity will fuel productivity. Celebrate people who have made biggest contributions.
  20. 20. Change Happens at Different Rates Different parts of an organization will move through the process of adapting to and accepting change at different rates and at different times. Leadership may already be moving through stages 4 & 5 when change is announced.
  21. 21. Questions to Ponder  Where are you on the J-Curve? If you have direct reports, where are they?  Are different departments at different stages?  What resistance do you experience? What behaviors do you see? What has helped? What has hurt?
  22. 22. Three-Legged Stool of Change  Communicate the implementation  Reward and acknowledge  Create accountability From the work of Jerald M. Jellison, Managing the Dynamics of Change
  23. 23. Communicate the implementation 1. What are the actual changes people are being asked to make? 2. What are the doable steps? 3. Stay away from abstract and general words. 4. Focus on specific behaviors or outcomes:  What do you want people to do (and not do)?  In what specific situations?  How would you know if they were doing it?  What would a good performer do? From the work of Jerald M. Jellison, Managing the Dynamics of Change
  24. 24. When to Use/Not Use This Communication Tool? When people are learning new behaviors and are struggling. Don’t use with people are already motivated; they may feel micro-managed. Avoid micro-management by asking open-ended questions: How, what and why questions.
  25. 25. Rewards and Acknowledgment Employees want and need rewards when performance is dropping in stages 2 & 3. They are learning, making mistakes, and not performing as well, and need help finding the benefit/positives in what they’re doing.
  26. 26. What stops us from praising? Might show favorites. Think people already know. They should be performing well. Could appear soft or unprofessional.
  27. 27. Specify the Praise  Not just “Great job”, but “Great job. The extra effort you put into that report really made the difference.”  Watch for opportunities to praise anything – even effort or trying.  People do not like to perform below standards or make mistakes.
  28. 28. Personalize Your Praise Jellison suggests these questions to personalize your praise:  How have the person’s actions helped you?  Why is their contribution helpful at this time?  Exactly how did they do it?  How did it help the organization?
  29. 29. When People are Emotionally Blocked Strategies to help them: - Acknowledgment: Use their language. - Make it safe to learn and make mistakes – how you react to mistakes makes a difference. - Overcome objections: What can I do to … • Make it easy for you to try this? • Reduce the work involved in initiating this change? • Remove obstacles that make it hard for you to try this new approach? • Make it less frightening to experiment with this new situation? • Support you in beginning this transition? From the work of Jerald M. Jellison, Managing the Dynamics of Change
  30. 30. Create Accountability Accountability answers the question: What have we agreed to do?  Behavior  Specific action steps  Mindset During transition, accountability needs to be grounded in “where are we in the change process?”
  31. 31. Concrete Accountability 1. Mutually set expectations for performance 2. Specify the outcomes of positive and negative performance 3. Link accountability to larger organizational goals 4. Plan for problems and obstacles 5. Decide how to communicate progress: who, what and when 6. Build in specific opportunities for feedback, praise and acknowledgement