Embedding Change – Making It Stick And Creating A Culture

Embedding Change – Making It Stick And Creating A Culture

Here are some ways to make sure the change in your organization is successful

  1. Give them the evidence Show people over and over that the change is real. Provide them with a steady stream of evidence to prove that the change has happened and is successful.  Set out to deliver real results at regular intervals in your change process and then tell people about them – don’t just wait for the big bang at the end. Get people involved and then get them to talk about their involvement.  Make sure everyone hears the news.
  2. Financial reward When loyalty and the joy of the job are not enough to keep people, they may need some financial or other rewards.  The promise of future reward may be enough to keep them engaged but make sure it isn’t too far out to be enticing — usually reasonable reward needs to be within a twelve-month timeframe. This risk is that when the reward is gained, you may lose them. If you want them to stay, you may need to keep a rolling “golden handcuff “ system
  3. Build change into formal systems and structures After a while, institutionalized things become so entrenched, people forget to resist and just do what is required, even if they do not agree with them.  So you can make changes stick by building them into the formal fabric of the organization, for example, in standards and personal objectives.
  4. Give them a new challenge A challenge is a great motivator that can focus people on new and different things. Get people to keep up interest in a change by giving them new challenges related to the change.  Make sure the challenges really stimulate them and keep them looking to the future.
  5. Reward people for doing the right things. A surprisingly common trap in change is to ask (or even demand) that people change, yet the reward system that is driving their behavior is not changed. Asking for teamwork then rewarding people as individuals is a very common example.  So when you make a change, make sure that you align the reward system with the changes that you want to happen.
  6. Rites of passage Rituals are symbolic acts to which we attribute significant meaning. A celebration to mark a change is used in many cultures, ranging from rites of passage to manhood for aboriginal tribes to the wedding ceremonies of Christian and other religions. Such ritual passages are often remembered with great nostalgia, and even the remembrance of them becomes ritualized.  When a change is completed, celebrate with a party or some other ritualized recognition of the passing of a key milestone.  You can also start a change with a wake (which is a party that is held to celebrate the life of someone who has died) to symbolize letting go of the past.  Create new rituals to help shift the culture to a new form. Use these, if possible, to replace the rituals that already exist.
  7. Socializing Build your change into the social fabric. A change that is socialized becomes normal and the ‘way things are’.  When something becomes a social norm, people will be far more unlikely to oppose it as to do so is to oppose the group and its leaders. Seal changes by building them into the social structures.  Give social leaders prominent positions in the change. When they feel ownership for it, they will talk about it and sell it to others.

If you have other ideas for embedding change and making it successful, please share them here.
Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Leading Change – People Matter

Leading Change – People Matter

This is not a new post but I thought it was worth re-posting because the message holds good for all time 

I’ve just seen an advert for a “change management lead” for a multi-national facilities management company – they provide everything from reception services to construction.  It asks for Prince2 (project management skills) and Six Sigma (improving the quality of process outputs) certification.  It mentions the enterprise management system used by the organisation and says the post-holder would be required to set up and document SLAs and define KPIs.  Sadly, beyond asking for the candidate to have strong interpersonal skills, the one thing it doesn’t mention is PEOPLE and leading people – this from a company in the heart of the services sector!

Makes you wonder doesn’t it?  If a services organisation doesn’t know enough about change to know that people, and the leadership of people, are at the heart of any change then we really do have a long way to go to spread the message! But something else strikes me as well!  If the applicant is required to lead change then this company doesn’t really know much about leadership either and that has much wider implications!

Wendy Mason is a career coach.  She helps people reach their goals and aspirations, without sacrificing their home and personal life.  Before working as a coach, Wendy had a long career in both the public and private sectors in general management and consultancy as well as spells in HR.  She now divides her time between coaching and writing. You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com and find out more at http://wisewolfcoaching.com

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals For Change

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 5 Select Your Goals For Change

You can find the earlier posts in this series at the links below.  In the last two posts I asked you to start thinking about emotions.  I explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future. On top of that, I asked you to think about what is most difficult for you.  I said that success depends on being very honest with yourself.

Now we know what the problems are, we are going to set some goals. Goals are the outcomes that you want from your change. Selecting them sounds very simple but there are things that you would be wise to avoid.

  1. Don’t choose a goal that you can’t achieve or that depends on someone else changing first.  For example, you can decide that you will try to be less jealous in a relationship.  But you can’t control your partner’s behavior so that he does less of whatever it is that triggers your jealousy.  Though, you might decide that in future, instead of getting upset, you will explain to him quietly what has just happened to make you feel unhappy
  2. Don’t select quick-fix, short-term goals that don’t really deal with the underlying problem.  You’ll simply feel more frustrated next time
  3. Do not set out your goals in negative terms,  for example, “I don’t want to keep eating foods that do me harm”.  Instead, focus on the positive – “I want to eat a healthy diet and feel fitter”.
  4. Don’t set yourself unrealistic goals which are either too challenging – “I will run three miles a day” for example – when you first start running.  You will probably fail, feel miserable and give up.  But nor should you set the bar too low – “I will run round the block”. That might be so easy it gives you no feeling of satisfaction, so again you give up.
  5. Don’t be too stoical.  Don’t be so brave that you don’t make a real change that might relieve your pain and make you happy
  6. Don’t be too vague – for example, “I want to lose weight” is far less effective than “I want to lose 20 pounds by Christmas, so starting now, I will lose 2 pounds each week.”
  7. Don’t set goals that conflict with your values. For example,  “I resolve not to upset my husband by telling him how unhappy his behavior makes  me, because I know it upsets him”. His behavior may not be acceptable to you in terms of your values and keeping quiet may damage your self-esteem, as well as feeling miserable and resentful.

Goals you set for yourself are not set in concrete.  It will make sense to review them as you make your change.  This is to make sure they are still relevant and that they stay challenging, but achievable.

The next post in this series on making a personal change will be about challenging and changing the core beliefs we all carry.  They can get in the way of making a personal change to improve our lives.

The earlier posts in this series are below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

Earlier Posts in this series

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

From the Motivation and emotion/Tutorials/Emot...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 4 Identify what is most difficult for you

In the last post in this series I asked you to start thinking about emotions and I explained how identifying your troublesome emotion helps you gain control and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future.

Now, you need to identify what is most difficult for you about the change. 

This is important because it helps you get to the root of the problem and so you avoid spending too much time on the peripheral issues. It saves you energy you would have spent dealing with less important aspects of your change. For example, you might feel angry about something that happened last time you tried to make this kind of change. But what really caused you to feel that way?

When you know what it is that is actually causing your big emotion, you can start to develop a more helpful attitude. 

Find a little time and a quiet space to go through this exercise. Think about what happened in the past to make you feel this way. Now imagine someone telling you the same story. What advice would you give them? Imagine questioning them about what happened and pressing them to tell you more and more about how it happened until you get right down to the root cause. Now what is that fundamental belief about themselves that is making them feel uncomfortable.

What advice would you give them to help them have a more healthy attitude? Now step into their shoes and think about you having the same experience and how you can now apply the new approach. Practice thinking in this new way. 

Success here depends on being very honest with yourself.

If you need support from a coach in sorting out the fundamental belief that is stopping you making positive changes, get in touch, my phone number is below. 

The next post in this series will be about setting goals for your change and how to avoid the pitfalls in goal setting. 

If you have tips to share with others about making changes in your life – please get in touch.

The links to the earlier posts in this series are below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You

emotion icon

Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 3 Be Clear About What Is Troubling You

In the last post in this series  I discussed the need to be quite clear about what you need to change. I said you needed to be as specific and detailed as you could in the way you defined the change.  Starting with a clear and detailed description has a huge impact on how successful your change might be.  And I hope you have now created your description.

Now, you need to start thinking about emotions. No significant change is made without some impact on our emotions.  Understanding what they are and knowing how to manage the impact can be key to success.

Troublesome emotions like anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, anger, hurt, jealousy and envy can occur at different times in our lives.  They can be associated with lots of different kinds of events. But sometimes they occur when most people would think there should be nothing to worry about.  And they can be very difficult to deal with.

You can find one theme and one emotion recurs time and again.  It doesn’t actually stop you doing something but it can make it more difficult to do and less satisfying.

Teasing out exactly what the emotion is, is the first step in understanding the thoughts and beliefs behind it.  It can be a way to help you gain control of the emotion and make sure things turn out more positively for you in the future.

What do you feel, when you think about the change you have to make? Exactly what emotion is being stirred in you?

Be very honest with yourself. If you need support from a coach in sorting out the emotions that stop you making positive changes, get in touch, my phone number is below.

The next post in this series will be about what aspect of the change is triggering the emotion and why?

If you have tips to share with others about making changes in your life – please get in touch.

The links to the earlier posts in this series are below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 2 Be Clear About The Change You Want!

A scattering of "brilliant" cut diam...

In the last post in this series  I discussed the need to face reality,  admit that a change is needed and then take responsibility for action.  Now you need to be quite clear about what you need to change.

You need to be as specific and detailed as you can in the way you define the change.  Starting with a clear and detailed description has a huge impact on how successful the change might be.  If you don’t really know what you want, you can still find yourself  very disappointed.

Define the change – tips!

Here are some tips for defining the problem you are trying to solve in making your change

  1. Start with what you know now! Write down as much as possible about the thing you want to change, why you want to make a change and how you plan to make it.
  2. Consider what other information you might need. What gaps are there in your knowledge about the change you want to make.  Do you understand completely how you are going to make the change and what the full effects might be?  For example, will other people be effected?  Do you need their support in making the change and are you likely to get it? How much time and money will it cost to do it and do you have those resources available?  Does making this change mean you will need to make others – what will they be?
  3. Collect the information you need.  This could include both facts and the opinions of others about the change you plan.  What has been their experience in making a similar change – what has worked for them and what has not?  Try to gather as much information as you can.

Now you are ready to define the change you want to make.

If you have gone through the steps above, you are now ready to set down in detail what your change is and how you want to make it.  Write it down and make it as clear, colorful and detailed as you can.

The next post in this series is going to cover handling emotions when making changes in our lives. No significant change is made without some impact on our emotions and knowing how to manage that impact can be key to success.

I would love to hear your experiences in making changes in your life

Working with a coach can help you to change successfully – email me at the address below for information on how I can help you.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

 

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Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

Be Successful – Making A Personal Change – Part 1 Admit A Change is Needed

Personal Development Seminar (21)

Change happens

Yes, change is inevitable – you can’t avoid it but sometimes we do our best to try!  At the end of the day, though, we all get caught up in it.  If you look back at your own life and your career, you will know that this is true.

Some change is positive and some negative but change is inevitable. So how do you make the most of it for you and your career?

Facing reality

You need to recognize when a change is needed and you need to admit to yourself when that change needs to be within you.  Start to  monitor the world around you and how those about you are beginning to respond. How have things moved on and how are you going to respond?   Make scanning your horizons a regular routine.  For example;

  • Read the professional and trade journals for your sector,
  • Take part in your professional organization,
  • Keep in touch on the internet with others in your market place – LinkedIn groups are a great source of information.

Locally, listen to what your boss and your colleagues are saying about the future.

Before you make a change, you need to truly acknowledge and accept that one is required.  Sometimes that change is within ourselves and it is about our own performance.  Are you fully meeting the needs of your job as they are now, not as they were when you were first appointed?

Admitting we have a weakness, can be very painful.  It is far more comfortable to blame the boss, our colleagues, the customers or a supplier.  It is easier to make excuses and rationalise, rather than admit to things as they really are.

Making the first step

Facing reality,  admitting there is a problem and taking responsibility for action will setup the conditions needed to make progress.  They contribute to that first step to the personal change needed for career success, now, and in the future.

Look out for the next post in this series. It will be about defining the change properly, so that it will be successful.

I would love to hear about successful changes you have made.  Meanwhile, If you need support in making your change, my email address is below.

Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com

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Corporate Panic and lessons from the Wolf Pack!

Eleven-member wolf pack in winter, Yellowstone...

I left the UK public sector five years ago.  At that time people management skills appeared to be in the decline.  I noticed this particularly in how restructuring exercises were being handled.  It was the main reason I chose to go!

I had always been very proud to be part of the UK Civil Service! Sadly that ceased when I saw how some of my colleagues were being treated. No, not because we were being downsized – it was how we were being downsized.

Well, the UK public sector has changed a lot since I left and I do not mean in terms of the colour of the government.  In terms of managing change, few lessons seem to have been learned and a good number seem to have been forgotten.

There have always been good and bad employers – bosses with more and less finesse when dealing with their employees.  My encounters with large private sector corporates, has led me to think they are not better or worse at handling people than those in the public sector.  Good practice in small and medium-sized bodies varies widely in both sectors.

Recently I have heard some very strange and rather sad tales from those in both the public and private sectors. I have heard about organizations going through their third and fourth restructuring in a few months.

On top of that, I am being told of people who have had to reapply for their own roles three and four times in those exercises. As you will understand the effect on staff morale is devastating.

Running large corporate change programmes – even when well handled – costs a lot of money.

Right now, not only is there a lot of change but it is very clear that it is not being handled well.

As one former colleague with vast experience of managing public sector change successfully said to me;

“They try to manage a restructure themselves and can’t. So then they bring in one of the large consultancy firms to help and they just seem to make it worse. They are being told to finish the change quickly, so they don’t try to find out what we do really but they get well paid.”

What is going wrong?  Well yes, I do know about the economy and the need to make “cuts”.  And yes I do know we live in a world of constant change.

But there seems to be a kind of corporate panic/frenzy around and that is the worst way to respond.  Now more than ever we need real leadership and we need leadership confident enough to be serene when all about are running round like headless chickens.

Think about a wolf pack!  Wolves have to flex and change all the time as they hunt.  The constants are that they are quite clear why they are there, the strengths and weaknesses they possess and their roles. The leader sniffs the wind and off they go in very good order.

The weather may change about them and the quarry may lead them into new and difficult terrain.  But because they are well led, have a strong commitment to the pack and are clear about their roles they succeed often enough to thrive even in the most challenging times.


Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. 

She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those;

  • looking for work
  • looking for promotion or newly promoted
  • moving between Public and Private Sectors
  • facing redundancy
  • moving into retirement
  • wanting to do a mid-life review

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

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Leading Change – lessons from the NHS – making sure your change is properly embedded!

The Department of Health headquarters in Whitehall
The Department of Health headquarters in Whitehall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve worked on a lot of business change programs.  But when I first started working on them that was not what they were called; around the NHS, we had lots of “reorganizations”!

The longest period of my career was spent with the UK Department of Health.  Not long after I started, the Government initiated a major re-organization of the NHS – the one that led to the first appearance of “Area Health Authorities”, if I remember it correctly.  Not long after the start of the program, victory was declared and the change was regarded as complete.

But, of course, it wasn’t complete – the change was not embedded; things started to go wrong!

Guess what? We had a further reorganization to put things right.  And, of course, victory was acclaimed again.  And again, things went wrong.

So, it became a repetitive cycle, as governments of different political colors learned the hard way that changing the NHS just ain’t easy!  It really doesn’t do a great deal for your political career and, hard as you try to, you can’t de-politicize it and give all the risk to someone else.  But that doesn’t stop the brave cavaliers in each government trying again, does it?

I spent too long as a Civil Servant to now indulge in Party Politics.  Enough to say, that it was watching those repeated failures that got me interested in large scale change in the first place.

What seemed rather grotesquely obvious to me (ex-nurse and, oh, too many years in the Department), was that none of these changes was allowed time to truly embed!

Politicians live within the election cycle – democracy in action.  Their Political survival requires quick results to convince voters.

Unfortunately, large and complex and very organizations (like the NHS), can’t be turned round quickly.  Behavior takes time to change and culture usually lags long behind behavior.

Most of us don’t have anything as complex as the NHS to change.

But we do need to make our own changes stick/embed (Kotter Stage Eight).  We need to make the change become part of the core of the organization!

What can you do to help this along?

Well you need to make efforts continuously to ensure that the change is seen in every aspect of your organization. This will help give that change a solid place in your organization’s culture.

It’s also important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and any new leaders who are brought in. If you lose the support of these people, you could end up back where you started.

What else can you do?

  • Continue to talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear. Give everyone a clear picture! But DON’T talk about the change being “over”.  If you do that, some people will just sigh a sigh of relief and revert to the previous state.
  • Include the ideals and values of the change in every new corporate event.
  • Remember those ideals and values when hiring and training new staff or making deals with new contractors.
  • Publicly recognize the achievement so far.  Make much of those who have worked so hard to get you this far!
  • Recognize and reward publicly those who truly demonstrate the change in their behavior – even if that recognition has to be quite modest in the present climate
  • Don’t throw up your hands and declare a failure just because the outcome isn’t perfect – no change is perfect – good enough is what it needs to be..
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

I would love to hear about your own experience of large scale change. As for the NHS, well it belongs to all of us in the UK and everyone of us has a view – talk about Soccer Mums!

Kotter Reading List for you;

Related articles

  • Leading Change and the virtue of patience (wisewolftalking.com)
  • Leading Change – dealing with fears and facing up to resistance(wisewolftalking.com)
  • Leading Change – get your vision into people’s minds and keep it there!(wisewolftalking.com)

Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. She has managed or advised on many different kinds of transition and she has worked with all kinds of people going through personal change. If you would like her help, email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)2084610114 or ++44(0)7867681439 or

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Leading Change – bad advice and frightening people!

October 4: Optical Boundaries: An Evening of 1...

I wanted to take my earlier post on creating urgency further today and discuss how you can avoid creating panic.  So I started to do some research.

On what is a very “well respected” website that probably should be nameless,  I came across the following headline

“Let it rip: announcing change all at once may hurt in the short term, but it gets the pain over with quickly and then employees can move on!”

Further on in the same article I came across the following,  from a communications’ consultancy in response to the question of why change announcements are often badly received.

“They don’t take change well because when it comes to communicating changes to employees, every company does it badly.”

You could say they would say that wouldn’t they.  But I regard it as a dangerous statement and the degree of naivety around both these pieces of advice is sad to behold!

Yes, people do need the truth about change and as much information as you can give them about how it is going to affect them. You need to tell them what you know and what you don’t know and how you are going to bridge the gap.

But you don’t let rip!  That way lies panic!

Information needs to be given in a measured and honest way.

However well you do it, if it is a significant change, I am afraid there is likely to be pain.  And, no, it won’t be over quickly because you “let rip”!  But being honest and conveying the message (and your vision) well, can lessen the pain and avoid panic.

All kinds of feelings may emerge when people are faced with change.  How the message is conveyed is only part of the picture.

Nor is it true that every company does it badly but unfortunately many don’t do it well.

So on Friday, I’ll be writing here about how to give your own people bad news and how to control your own feelings in the process.   I want you to be able to do your best to help them!

In the meantime, I’d welcome your thoughts and observations.

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Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her awendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)786768143