SUPPORT FROM WISEWOLF

Wendy Mason has spent many years, both as a line manager and as a consultant, delivering change and support to individuals and organisation going through change   She is happy now to offer this support to you and your organization.   If you would like to talk to Wendy about how she can help email her directly at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439 

Managing transition; moving from unfreeze to freeze

Managing transition; moving from unfreeze to freeze

Managing transition takes time and needs leadership and support! The three stages of change identified by psychologist Kurt Lewin are the basis of most managing transitionchange management approaches today. They are very easy to understand – unfreeze, transition, re-freeze! Recently I wrote here about how to unfreeze. This post deals with managing transition. Sometimes transition can be a pleasant trap – it may feel better to travel hopefully than arrive – particularly for the team leading the change. It is very easy to get caught up in this middle stage.

Here are some techniques to help you in managing transition

Give them a challenge

Stimulate people into change by challenging them to achieve something remarkable. So, show confidence in their ability to get out of their comfort zone and do what has not been done before. This can work particularly well with small groups, as well as individuals. And, once the group has bought the challenge, with some support from you, they will bounce off each other to make it happen.

It is most effective when the people create their own stretch goals. So rather than telling them to do something, challenge them to achieve greatly. Then, when they are fired up, ask them how far they can go.

Coach them

Are people are having difficulty in managing to adapt to change? Do you, or your colleagues, have coaching skills? Plus, have you enough time? If so, working with people one to one can be particularly effective. But you do need to know what you are doing. So it really is worth carefully identifying those who have been trained in coaching. If you can afford it, hire a qualified, experienced, coach to help people through this time.

In a change situation, coaches need time and skills to understand the individual person. This is so they can uncover internal problems which might be creating barriers. The approach seems expensive and it is often reserved for senior executives. But it can be a good investment further down the management chain. And, it is certainly helpful for any senior manager who has to go through change themselves, while leading their team through change

Use Facilitators

Use skilled facilitators to support change activities. If you don’t have any, either hire them in or train your own. Facilitators can be used to guide various group events. For example, this could be brainstorming or planning the change. Facilitators can also act as team coaches, helping people to improve within themselves and work together in better ways. Often in change people know what needs doing. But they do not know how to change or work together in the new context.

Facilitators literally ‘make things easier’. They do this in meetings and group sessions. This is by owning the process whereby decisions and other activities are done. Although facilitators never own the content. Thus, they will help you make a decision, but they will not make the decision for you. Facilitators are particularly useful for leaders who want to engage in a meeting without worrying about its process.

Education and Training

Teach people about the need for change. Show them that embracing change is a far more effective life strategy than staying where they are or resisting. Teach them about the models and methods of change. This is about how to be logical and creative in improving processes and organisations. The approach can include presentations, communications and full-on training sessions. Education, done well, draws out understanding from the other person rather than talking at them.

Leading in change is itself often a process of education. An issue in change is that people often feel powerless. Education gives them the power to change. On the training front, remember usually it’s going to be much cheaper to re-train than to recruit. So, help your people gain the skills they are going to need in the new organisation.

The next post, on Lewin’s third stage – re-freezing, follows shortly.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

Embedding change: how to refreeze successfully

Embedding change: how to refreeze successfully

Refreezing is the third of Lewin’s change transition stages. This is where people are taken from a state of being in transition and moved to a productive, healthy state that is stable. It means embedding change successfully. Embedding change takes time and needs leadership and support!

The three stages of change identified by psychologist Kurt Lewin are the basis of most Embedding changechange management approaches today. They are very easy to understand – unfreeze, transition, re-freeze! Recently I wrote here about how to unfreeze and transition. This post deals with ensuring your change you made is truly embedded in the organisation.

Embedding Change

Here are techniques to ensure your change is truly successful.

Evidence stream

Show your people time and again that the change is real. This means providing a steady stream of evidence of results. It “proves” that the change has happened and is successful.  So, you could plan for change projects to reach milestones and deliver real results to a regular and predictable timetable. This would be accompanied by a stream of regular communications that is also delivered on a well-managed timetable. And it is the opposite of planning for an early ‘big bang’ followed by a long period of relative silence.

You should communicate through a range of media. Get people who have been involved to stand up and tell their stories of challenge and overcoming adversity. And, ensure the communications reach everyone involved, and do so over and over again.  Keep posters and data charts up to date. Regularly show progress, demonstrating either solid progress against plan or robust action to address any slippage.

Institutionalisation

Build the change into your formal systems and structures. The formal systems and structures within the organisation are those which are not optional. So, people do them because they are ‘business as usual’ and they will be criticised or otherwise punished if they fail to do them. After a while, institutionalised items become so entrenched, people forget to resist. And they just do what is required, even if they do not agree with them.  So you can make make changes stick by building them into the formal fabric of the organization. For example:

  • Build them into the systems of standards – “this the way we do things here!”
  • Put them, or elements of them, into the primary strategic plan.
  • Build them into people’s personal objectives including the CEO.
  • Ensure people are assessed against them in personal reviews.
  • Reward people for following the “house rules.”

New challenge

Get them looking to the future. One of the key things that makes people happy is challenge. In particular, people who have discovered this get hooked on the buzz and fall into the psychological flow of getting deeply engaged. Challenge is a future-based motivator that focuses people on new and different things. This is rather than basic motivations such as control and safety that may lead people to resist change. So, get people to maintain interest in a change by giving them new challenges, related to the change. Stimulate them and keep them looking to the future.

Reward alignment

Align rewards with desired behaviours. A surprisingly common trap in change is to ask (or even demand) that people change. Yet the reward system that is driving their behaviour is not changed. For example, requesting teamwork and rewarding individuals rather than teams.  Many people are driven by extrinsic rewards, and the saying; ‘show me how I’m paid and I’ll show you how I behave,’ is surprisingly common.  So, when you make a change, ensure that you align the reward system with the changes that you want to happen.

Rites of passage

Use formal rituals to confirm change. 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 ritualised.  When a change is completed, celebrate with a party or some other ritualised 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 symbolise letting go of the past.  Create new rituals to help shift the culture to a new form. If possible, replace the rituals that already exist with new ways of behaving.

Socialising

Build your change into the social fabric. Society is almost invisible and people accept its rules without even noticing that they are doing so. A change that is socialised 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. So, seal changes by building them into the social structures. Give social leaders prominent positions in the change. And, when they feel ownership for it, they will talk about it and sell it to others.

Golden handcuffs

Make sure you put rewards into your team’s middle-term future. If loyalty and the joy of the job are not enough to keep people, they may need some financial or other rewards. However, this can re-bound. Paying them today could still lead them to leave. But, the promise of future reward, may be enough to keep them engaged. The promised rewards cannot be too far out or they will not be enticing. Usually, reasonable rewards need to be within a twelve-month time-frame. The risk is that when a reward is gained, this could still be a point at which the person leaves. If you want them to stay, you may need to keep a rolling “handcuff” system.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

COMPLETING THE CHANGE – CONSTRUCTIVE WAYS TO EMBED CHANGE

Refreezing is the third of Lewin’s change transition stages, where people are taken from a state of being in transition and moved to a stable and productive state.

Here are some positive and constructive ways to make it happen:

Evidence stream

Show them time and again that the change is real.

Get people to accept that a change is real by providing a steady stream of evidence to demonstrate that the change has happened and is successful.  You can plan for change projects to reach milestones and deliver real results in a regular and predictable stream of communications that is delivered on a well-managed timetable. This is as opposed to the early ‘big bang’ followed by a long period of relative silence.  Communicate through a range of media. Get people who have been involved to stand up and tell their stories of challenge and overcoming adversity. Ensure the communications reach everyone involved, and do so over and over again.  Keep posters and data charts up to date. Regularly show progress, demonstrating either solid progress against plan or robust action to address any slippage.

Golden handcuffs

Put rewards in their middle-term future.

When loyalty and the joy of the job are not enough to keep people, they may need some financial or other rewards. However, this can re-bound -paying them today could still lead them to leave. The promise of future reward, however, may be enough to keep them engaged. The promised rewards cannot be too far out or they would not be enticing — usually reasonable reward needs to be within a twelve-month timeframe. This risk is that when a reward is gained, this could be a point at which the person leaves. If you want them to stay, you may need to keep a rolling handcuff system.

Institutionalization

Build change into the formal systems and structures.

The formal systems and structures within the organization are those which are not optional. People do them because they are ‘business as usual’ and because they will be criticized or otherwise punished if they fail to do them. After a while, institutionalized items 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 make changes stick by building them into the formal fabric of the organization, for example:

    • Building them into the systems of standards – this the way we do things here!.
    • Put them or elements of them into the primary strategic plan.
    • Build them into people personal objectives including the CEO.
    • Ensure people are assessed against them in personal reviews.
    • Reward people for following the house rules – see below

New challenge

Get them looking to the future.

One of the key things that makes people happy is challenge. In particular, people who have discovered this get hooked on the buzz and fall into the psychological flow of getting deeply engaged. Challenge is a future-based motivator that focuses people on new and different things, rather than basic motivations such as control and safety that may lead people to resist change.  Get people to maintain interest in a change by giving them new challenges, related to the change, that stimulate them and keep them looking to the future.

Reward alignment

Align rewards with desired behaviors.

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. Requesting teamwork and rewarding individuals is a very common example.  Many people are driven by extrinsic rewards, and the saying ‘Show me how I’m paid and I’ll show you how I behave’ is surprisingly common.  So when you make a change, ensure that you align the reward system with the changes that you want to happen.

Rites of passage

Use formal rituals to confirm change.

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.

Socializing

Build it into the social fabric.

Society is almost invisible and people accept its rules without even noticing that they are doing so. 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.  Create rituals, utilize artifacts and otherwise build it into the culture.

HELPING PEOPLE TO CHANGE – CONSTRUCTIVE WAYS TO MANAGE TRANSITION

All change models mean there will be a journey from one place/state to another.  This journey is unlikely to be simple and most of us go through several stages of misunderstanding before we get to the destination. Here are four themes that can be explored to help people on the journey. There are others!

Give them a challenge

Stimulate people into change by challenging them to achieve something remarkable. Show confidence in their ability to get out of their comfort zone and do what has not been done before. This can work particularly well with small groups, as well as individuals. Once the group has bought the challenge, with some support from you they will bounce off each other to make it happen. It is most effective when the people create their own stretch goals, so rather than telling them to do something, challenge them to achieve greatly, then, when they are fired up, ask them how far they can go.

Coach them

If people are having difficulty in managing to adapt to change and you, or your colleagues, have coaching skills and enough time, working with people one to one can be particularly effective. But you do need to know what you are doing – so it really is worth using only those who have been trained in coaching. If you can afford it ,you can hire an executive coach to helppeople through this time. Coaches need the time and skills to understand the individual person and uncover their internal problems which are causing them problems. This is an expensive method and it is usually reserved for senior executives. It can be a good investment for the senior business manager who has to go through change themselves while leading their team through the change

Use Facilitators

Use skilled facilitators to support change activities (if you don’t have any, either hire them in or train your own). Facilitators can be used to guide various group events, from brainstorming and planning to improvement projects and change activities. Facilitators can also act as team coaches, helping people to improve within themselves and work together in better ways. Often in change people know what needs doing, but they do not know how to change or work together in the new context. Facilitators literally ‘make things easier’. They do this in meetings and group sessions by owning the process whereby decisions and other activities are done, although they never own the content. Thus, they will help you make a decision, but they will not make the decision for you. Facilitators are particularly useful for leaders who want to engage in the meeting without worrying about its process. Normal coaching feeds people, helping them solve problems without teaching them how to solve problems. ‘Developmental Facilitation’ seeks to teach people to fish, for example by having sessions at the end of meetings where dysfunctional behaviors are surfaced and discussed.

Education and Training

Teach people about the need for change and how embracing change is a far more effective life strategy than staying where they are or resisting. Teach them about the models and methods of change, about how to be logical and creative in improving processes and organizations. This includes presentations, communications and full-on training sessions. Education, done well, is more of a process of elicitation, drawing out understanding from the other person rather than talking at them. Leading in change is itself often a process of education, and may be done in many situations. An issue in change is that people often feel powerless. Education gives them the power to change. On the training front remember usually it’s going to be much cheaper to re-train than to recruit – help your people gain the skills they are going to need in the new organization.

There will be more on this in the coming weeks – each of these topics deserves more time and explanation and there are other things to do which we will explore.

Unfreezing techniques – getting ready for change

Unfreezing techniques! Unfreezing is the first of Lewin’s change stages

Unfreezing techniques are not generally well understood! Unfreezing is the first of unfreezing techniquesLewin’s change stages (the Square). This is about getting people ready to accept change. You need some way of readying people for change in whatever Change Model you apply. The techniques below need to be applied with care and they are best used in combination. I have included what I regard as recommended approaches. Not included is “Command – just telling them they are going to change and expecting obedience. Nor is  the “Burning Platform” – ‘the platform is burning so we must jump’ approach. Those two techniques, I regard as cop-outs in most circumstances. Although they may have their place in a crisis – see the Evidence point below!

Visioning

Done well, visions work to create change. Visions work when they act to motivate and inspire the large numbers of people who are needed to make the change happen. To be motivating,  the vision must be memorable. For it to be memorable, it is usually surprising and short. To be surprising, it should be different from everyone else’s vision. If it is to be believed, it must be a regular part of the conversation of senior people.

Challenge

Inspire people to achieve remarkable things. Stimulate people into change by challenging them to achieve something remarkable. Show confidence in their ability to get out of their comfort zone and do what has not been done before. This works particularly well with small groups, as well as individuals. Once the group has bought the challenge they will bounce off each other to make it happen.  The approach is most effective when the people create their own stretch goals.  So, rather than telling them to do something, challenge them to achieve. Then, when they are fired up, ask them how far they can go.

Evidence

Cold, hard, data is difficult to ignore.  Say you have incontrovertible evidence staring you in the face. For example, the numbers are showing the company in the red or sales sinking into the sunset. Then, it is difficult to put your head in the sand and wish it away.  Cold, hard, evidence is a good way of changing minds. Counter-arguments require better data of sufficient strength to show your data as invalid.

Education and training

There is a gentler way of helping people see the need for change. This is by educating them about why change is necessary and how change can be managed. You could include presentations, communications and full-on training sessions.

Use of  Objectives

This means you agree with people what to do, but not how.  You set formal objectives that they are committed to achieve. But you do not tell them how they have to achieve them. In particular, if you can, give people objectives that they can only achieve by working in the intended change. Set a goal or formal objective that requires them to change.

Restructuring

You can redesign the organisation to force behaviour change. Just as function follows form, so will change follow the re-shape.  It will change how people behave. Newly formed groups that can cohere into separate units are more likely to become very internally motivated. Motivation is good, but the internal facing can be away from the organisation. So you must ensure that group goals are aligned. This is, for example, by regular external communications.

Rites of passage

Hold a wake to help let go of the past.  A wake is a party that is held to celebrate the life of someone who has died. It can also mean something to symbolise letting go of the past. Among unfreezing techniques this is often missed. When a change is completed, celebrate with a party or some other ritualised recognition. Mark the passing of a key milestone. You can also start a change with a wake – some kind of key event. Create new rituals to help shift the culture to a new form. Use these, if possible, to replace the rituals that already exist.

You need some way of readying people for change in whatever change model you apply. The unfreezing techniques described here work and they are best used in combination.

You will find a post on managing the next stage of change; Managing Transition here

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

 

GETTING READY FOR CHANGE – SOME UNFREEZING TECHNIQUES

Unfreezing is the first of Lewin’s change stages (the Square) – this is about getting people ready to accept change.  You need some way of readying people for change in whatever Change Model you apply.  The techniques below need to be applied with care and they are probably best used in combination.   I have included what I regard as recommended approaches.  I have not included “Command “ (just telling them they are going to change and expecting obedience) or  the “Burning Platform” ( the platform is burning so we must jump) approach which I regard as cop-outs in most circumstances – although they may have their place in a crisis – see the Evidence point below!  .

  • Visioning: Done well, visions work to create change. Visions work when they act to motivate and inspire the large numbers of people that are needed to make the change happen. For the vision to be motivating,  it must be memorable. For it to be memorable, it is usually surprising and short. To be surprising, it should be different from everyone else’s vision. To be believed, it must be a regular part of the conversation of senior people.
  • Challenge: Inspire people to achieve remarkable things. Stimulate people into change by challenging them to achieve something remarkable. Show confidence in their ability to get out of their comfort zone and do what has not been done before.This works particularly well with small groups, as well as individuals. Once the group has bought the challenge, then they will bounce off each other to make it happen. This is most effective when the people create their own stretch goals, so rather than telling them to do something, challenge them to achieve greatly, then, when they are fired up, ask them how far they can go.
  • Evidence: Cold, hard data is difficult to ignore.  When you have incontrovertible evidence staring you in the face, for example, where the numbers are showing the company in the red or sales sinking into the sunset, it is difficult to put your head in the sand and wish it away.  Cold, hard evidence is a good way of changing minds as counter-arguments require better data or sufficient strength to show the data as invalid.
  • Education and training: A gentler way of helping people see the need for change is by educating about why change is necessary and how change can be managed. This includes presentations, communications and full-on training sessions.
  • Use of  Objectives: Tell people what to do, but not how. Set formal objectives for people that they will have to achieve, but do not tell them how they have to achieve this. In particular, if you can, give people objectives that they can only achieve by working in the intended change. Set the person a goal or formal objective that requires them to change.
  • Restructuring: Redesign the organization to force behavior change. Just as function follows form, so also will changing the shape of the organization.  It will change how people behave.Groups that can cohere into separate units are likely to become very internally motivated. Motivation is good, but the internal facing can be away from the organization, so you must ensure that group goals are aligned, for example by regular external communications.
  • Rites of passage: Hold a wake to help let go of the past. 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.

MORE ON THE FREEZE PHASE/SQUARE-BLOB-STAR MODEL

Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze or Square-Blob-Star Model of Change

In our last post we described the simple Freeze Phase Model proposed by Lewin.  In 1972  J. S Rhoades used a simple three-step “unfreeze-change-refreeze” model to describe the process of the growth and change during outdoor education programs.  This apears to have been based on the 3-step change process first described by Kurt Lewin in 1951.  It is also described as the square-blob-star model.  It basically means going from State A into an unfrozen, unformed or “blob” change, and then reforming in a different pattern, such as a star.

  1. The first step, “unfreeze” involves the process of letting go of certain restricting attitudes during the initial stages of an outdoor education experience (from the Square).
  2. The second step, “change” involves alteration of self-conceptions and ways of thinking during the experience. (the Blob)
  3. The third step, “refreeze” involves solidifying or crystallizing the changes into a new, permanent form for the individual, a process which takes place towards the end of an outdoor education programme ( the Star).

There are techniques for “unfreezing”, managing “transition/change” and “refreezing” and that is what the next series of post will address.

HEROES – GURUS OF CHANGE

The outstanding names in the field of Change Management whose work has been and continues to be widely quoted  – all have drawn primarily on case studies largely connected with their own consulting practices. These ‘change gurus’ are John Kotter, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Warren Bennis, Chris Argyris, Charles Handy, Ed Schein and Andrew Pettigrew.

All have advanced the field substantially with detailed qualitative analyses of successful and unsuccessful change programs. From reflection on their extensive experience with organizational change, they have developed descriptive schemas to describe key phases in corporate change and prescriptive formulae for effectively managing these stages. We should be grateful to all – there are others

John Kotter

Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter is widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change.  His is the premier voice on how the best organizations actually “do” change.

In his newest work, A Sense of Urgency, Kotter shows what a true sense of urgency in an organization really is, why it is becoming an exceptionally important asset, and how it can be created and sustained within organizations.

John Kotter’s international bestseller Leading Change—which outlined an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations—has become the change bible for managers around the world

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments. The former Editor of Harvard Business Review (1989-1992), Professor Kanter has been named to lists of the “50 most powerful women in the world” (Times of London), and the “50 most influential business thinkers in the world” (Accenture and Thinkers 50 research). In 2001, she received the Academy of Management’s Distinguished Career Award for her scholarly contributions to management knowledge, and in 2002 was named “Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year” by the World Teleport Association.

Professor Kanter is the author or co-author of 17 books, which have been translated into 17 languages.  Her recent book, Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End (a New York Times business and #1 Business Week bestseller), describes the culture and dynamics of high-performance organizations as compared with those in decline, and shows how to lead turnarounds, whether in businesses, hospitals, schools, sports teams, community organizations, or countries.

Warren Bennis,

Warren Bennis (born 1925) is a laid-back silver-haired professor at the University of Southern California who has been an influential authority on leadership for decades. He has been consulted on the subject by at least four American presidents and by some of the best-known occupants of corporate boardrooms around the world.

His fundamental tenet is that leaders are made, not born. The worst problem they can face, says Bennis, is “early success. There’s no opportunity to learn from adversity and problems”. Other myths about leadership that he dismisses are that it is a rare skill; that leaders are charismatic (most of them are quite ordinary people); and that leaders control and manipulate (they do not; they align the energies of others behind an attractive goal).

Being a leader is very different from being a manager, says Bennis. So being a manager in an organisation is not necessarily the best training for being the leader of that organisation. But it is the only training that most CEOs get for the job. Managers, however, can learn to be leaders. “I believe in ‘possible selves’,” Bennis has written, “the capacity to adapt and change.”

“I think a lot of the leaders I’ve spoken to give expression to their feminine side. Many male leaders are almost bisexual in their ability to be open and reflective…Gender is not the determining factor.”

In “Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge”, Bennis lists four competencies that leaders need to develop:

• forming a vision which provides people with a bridge to the future;

• giving meaning to that vision through communication;

• building trust, “the lubrication that makes it possible for organisations to work”;

• searching for self-knowledge and self-regard.

Chris Argyris

Chris Argyris  is an American business theorist, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, and a Thought Leader at Monitor Group. He is commonly known for seminal work in the area of “Learning Organizations”.

Action Science, one of Argyris’ collaborative works with Robert Putnam and Diana McLain Smith, developed together with Donald Schön as well, advocates an approach to research that focuses on generating knowledge that is useful in solving practical problems. Other key concepts developed by Argyris include Ladder of Inference, Double-Loop Learning, Theory of Action/Espoused Theory/Theory-in-use, High Advocacy/High Inquiry dialogue and Actionable Knowledge.

Chris Argyris’ early research explored the impact of formal organizational structures, control systems and management on individuals and how they responded and adapted to them. This research resulted in the books Personality and Organization, 1957 and Integrating the Individual and the Organization, 1964. He then shifted his focus to organizational change, in particular exploring the behaviour of senior executives in organizations (Interpersonal Competence and Organizational Effectiveness, 1962; Organization and Innovation, 1965).

From there he moved onto an inquiry into the role of the social scientist as both researcher and actor (Intervention Theory and Method, 1970; Inner Contradictions of Rigorous Research, 1980 and Action Science, 1985 – with Robert Putnam and Diana McLain Smith). His fourth major area of research and theorizing – in significant part undertaken with Donald Schön – was in individual and organizational learning and the extent to which human reasoning, not just behavior, can become the basis for diagnosis and action (Theory in Practice, 1974 ; Organizational Learning, 1978; Organizational Learning II, 1996 – all with Donald Schön). He has also developed this thinking in Overcoming Organizational Defenses, 1990 and Knowledge for Action, 1993.

Charles Handy

Charles Handy (born 1932) is the son of an Irish Protestant vicar whose broad interests spread from religion and philosophy to the organisation of the workplace. In “The Gods of Management” he identified four different management cultures which he likened to four Greek gods: Apollo, Athena, Dionysus and Zeus. His vivid use of metaphor and his accessible writing style have made his books extremely popular. It was once said of Peter Drucker ( that he was a man “practising the scholarship of common sense”. Charles Handy added “I would like that to be said of me.”

Handy began his career as an employee of Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch oil company, and was sent to work on a drilling operation in the jungles of Borneo, where he made mistakes and was given (as he put it) a chance to redeem himself. He later vividly described how little relation his life on the job had to the goal he had been given by corporate headquarters—namely, to maximise the company’s return on equity. Handy’s subsequent written work has almost always been a search for ways in which companies can go beyond the pure pursuit of profit. How can they be transformed into communities and soar above being mere properties to be bought and sold?

Based for most of his working life in Britain, Handy became the UK’s leading management spokesperson. He came up with catchy concepts such as “the shamrock organisation” (which, like the eponymous plant, has three leaves: management; specialists; and an increasingly flexible labour force) and “portfolio working”, a lifestyle in which the individual holds a number of “jobs, clients and types of work” all at the same time.

Handy’s main interest was organisations, and his message was that they are “not machines that can be neatly designed, mapped, measured and controlled”. He once used his experience of moving his kitchen seven times within the same house as a lesson to managers who try to fit “a modern organisation into old-fashioned spaces”.

“I told my children when they were leaving education that they would be well advised to look for customers not bosses.”

He had a key role in shaping British management education in the 1960s and 1970s. After a year in Boston observing MIT’s way of teaching business, he returned to Britain, a country that had no management education other than the ersatz activities that then passed for it—an accountancy training or a spell in the British army. On his return he helped set up London Business School, drawing heavily on educational programmes (the MBA in particular) that he had much admired in America.

Later on he seemed to have some regrets about this. While accountants were not trained to be managers, he wrote in “Myself and Other More Important Matters”, “the way they and their kindred professions of law, medicine and architecture had been educating their future professionals did seem to have stood the test of time. They all consistently mixed formal learning with some form of apprenticeship.” As The Economist once said of Handy  “More common sense is what he stands for, and fewer common rooms.”

Notable publications

“The Empty Raincoat”, Hutchinson, 1994

“The Gods of Management”, Pan, 1985; new edn, Arrow, 1995

“The Age of Unreason”, Hutchinson Business, 1989; 2nd edn, Arrow, 1995

“Myself and Other More Important Matters”, Heinemann, 2006

Ed Schein

Ed Schein was educated at the University of Chicago, at Stanford University where he received a Masters Degree in Psychology in 1949, and at Harvard University where he received his Ph.D. in social psychology in 1952. He was Chief of the Social Psychology Section of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research while serving in the U.S. Army as Captain from 1952 to 1956. He joined MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1956 and was made a Professor of Organizational Psychology and Management in 1964.

From 1968 to 1971 Schein was the Undergraduate Planning Professor for MIT, and in 1972 he became the Chairman of the Organization Studies Group of the MIT Sloan School, a position he held until 1982. He was honored in 1978 when he was named the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, a Chair he held until 1990.

At the present he is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and continues at the Sloan School part time as a Senior Lecturer. He is also the Founding Editor of “Reflections” the Journal of the Society for Organizational Learning devoted to connecting academics, consultants, and practitioners around the issues of knowledge creation, dissemination and utilization.

Schein has been a prolific researcher, writer, teacher and consultant. Besides his numerous articles in professional journals he has authored fourteen books including Organizational Psychology (3d edit., 1980), Career Dynamics (1978), Organizational Culture and Leadership (1985, 1992, 2004), and Process Consultation Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (1969, 1987, 1988), Process Consultation Revisited (1999), and The Corporate Culture Survival Guide (1999).

Andrew Pettigrew

Andrew Pettigrew OBE is Professor of Strategy and Organisation at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. A British professor, he was formerly dean of the University of Bath School of Management. He received his training in sociology and anthropology at Liverpool University and received his Ph.D from Manchester Business School in 1970. He has held academic appointments at Yale University, Harvard University London Business School and Warwick Business School.

Pettigrew has published many academic papers and books that consider the human, political, and social aspects of organisations and their strategies in contrast to the purely economic view in which the main unit of analysis is the firm or industry as typified by Michael Porter. This is known as the strategy process school as opposed to the strategy content school.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[1]

Despite his intellectual preference for fewer distinctions between content, process, and context, he still tends to be viewed as a researcher in the process tradition simply because it, as he, is interested in more than static decisions. He argues (2003b) that:

  • The link between formulation and implementation is not unilinear but interrelated time
  • Understanding the change associated with strategy requires understanding of continuity over time
  • Strategy, and its impact on future outcomes, are shaped by power and politics

This view of strategy requires the strategy researcher to be historian, anthropologist, and political analyst.

Pettigrew, AM, Strategy as Process, Power, and Change, in Cummings, S, & Wilson, D, (2003b), Images of Strategy, Blackwell Publishing, pp. 301-330

Heros – Gurus of Change Mnagement

The outstanding names in the field of Change Management whose work has been and continues to be widely quoted  – all have drawn primarily on case studies largely connected with their own consulting practices. These ‘change gurus’ are John Kotter, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Warren Bennis, Chris Argyris, Charles Handy, Ed Schein and Andrew Pettigrew.

All have advanced the field substantially with detailed qualitative analyses of successful and unsuccessful change programs. From reflection on their extensive experience with organizational change, they have developed descriptive schemas to describe key phases in corporate change and prescriptive formulae for effectively managing these stages. We should be grateful to all – there are others

John Kotter

Harvard Business School Professor John Kotter is widely regarded as the world’s foremost authority on leadership and change.  His is the premier voice on how the best organizations actually “do” change.

In his newest work, A Sense of Urgency, Kotter shows what a true sense of urgency in an organization really is, why it is becoming an exceptionally important asset, and how it can be created and sustained within organizations.

John Kotter’s international bestseller Leading Change—which outlined an actionable, eight-step process for implementing successful transformations—has become the change bible for managers around the world

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Rosabeth Moss Kanter holds the Ernest L. Arbuckle Professorship at Harvard Business School, where she specializes in strategy, innovation, and leadership for change. Her strategic and practical insights have guided leaders of large and small organizations worldwide for over 25 years, through teaching, writing, and direct consultation to major corporations and governments. The former Editor of Harvard Business Review (1989-1992), Professor Kanter has been named to lists of the “50 most powerful women in the world” (Times of London), and the “50 most influential business thinkers in the world” (Accenture and Thinkers 50 research). In 2001, she received the Academy of Management’s Distinguished Career Award for her scholarly contributions to management knowledge, and in 2002 was named “Intelligent Community Visionary of the Year” by the World Teleport Association.

Professor Kanter is the author or co-author of 17 books, which have been translated into 17 languages.  Her recent book, Confidence: How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End (a New York Times business and #1 Business Week bestseller), describes the culture and dynamics of high-performance organizations as compared with those in decline, and shows how to lead turnarounds, whether in businesses, hospitals, schools, sports teams, community organizations, or countries.

Warren Bennis,

Warren Bennis (born 1925) is a laid-back silver-haired professor at the University of Southern California who has been an influential authority on leadership for decades. He has been consulted on the subject by at least four American presidents and by some of the best-known occupants of corporate boardrooms around the world.

His fundamental tenet is that leaders are made, not born. The worst problem they can face, says Bennis, is “early success. There’s no opportunity to learn from adversity and problems”. Other myths about leadership that he dismisses are that it is a rare skill; that leaders are charismatic (most of them are quite ordinary people); and that leaders control and manipulate (they do not; they align the energies of others behind an attractive goal).

Being a leader is very different from being a manager, says Bennis. So being a manager in an organisation is not necessarily the best training for being the leader of that organisation. But it is the only training that most CEOs get for the job. Managers, however, can learn to be leaders. “I believe in ‘possible selves’,” Bennis has written, “the capacity to adapt and change.”

“I think a lot of the leaders I’ve spoken to give expression to their feminine side. Many male leaders are almost bisexual in their ability to be open and reflective…Gender is not the determining factor.”

In “Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge”, Bennis lists four competencies that leaders need to develop:

• forming a vision which provides people with a bridge to the future;

• giving meaning to that vision through communication;

• building trust, “the lubrication that makes it possible for organisations to work”;

• searching for self-knowledge and self-regard.

Chris Argyris

Chris Argyris  is an American business theorist, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, and a Thought Leader at Monitor Group. He is commonly known for seminal work in the area of “Learning Organizations”.

Action Science, one of Argyris’ collaborative works with Robert Putnam and Diana McLain Smith, developed together with Donald Schön as well, advocates an approach to research that focuses on generating knowledge that is useful in solving practical problems. Other key concepts developed by Argyris include Ladder of Inference, Double-Loop Learning, Theory of Action/Espoused Theory/Theory-in-use, High Advocacy/High Inquiry dialogue and Actionable Knowledge.

Chris Argyris’ early research explored the impact of formal organizational structures, control systems and management on individuals and how they responded and adapted to them. This research resulted in the books Personality and Organization, 1957 and Integrating the Individual and the Organization, 1964. He then shifted his focus to organizational change, in particular exploring the behaviour of senior executives in organizations (Interpersonal Competence and Organizational Effectiveness, 1962; Organization and Innovation, 1965).

From there he moved onto an inquiry into the role of the social scientist as both researcher and actor (Intervention Theory and Method, 1970; Inner Contradictions of Rigorous Research, 1980 and Action Science, 1985 – with Robert Putnam and Diana McLain Smith). His fourth major area of research and theorizing – in significant part undertaken with Donald Schön – was in individual and organizational learning and the extent to which human reasoning, not just behavior, can become the basis for diagnosis and action (Theory in Practice, 1974 ; Organizational Learning, 1978; Organizational Learning II, 1996 – all with Donald Schön). He has also developed this thinking in Overcoming Organizational Defenses, 1990 and Knowledge for Action, 1993.

Charles Handy

Charles Handy (born 1932) is the son of an Irish Protestant vicar whose broad interests spread from religion and philosophy to the organisation of the workplace. In “The Gods of Management” he identified four different management cultures which he likened to four Greek gods: Apollo, Athena, Dionysus and Zeus. His vivid use of metaphor and his accessible writing style have made his books extremely popular. It was once said of Peter Drucker ( that he was a man “practising the scholarship of common sense”. Charles Handy added “I would like that to be said of me.”

Handy began his career as an employee of Royal Dutch Shell, an Anglo-Dutch oil company, and was sent to work on a drilling operation in the jungles of Borneo, where he made mistakes and was given (as he put it) a chance to redeem himself. He later vividly described how little relation his life on the job had to the goal he had been given by corporate headquarters—namely, to maximise the company’s return on equity. Handy’s subsequent written work has almost always been a search for ways in which companies can go beyond the pure pursuit of profit. How can they be transformed into communities and soar above being mere properties to be bought and sold?

Based for most of his working life in Britain, Handy became the UK’s leading management spokesperson. He came up with catchy concepts such as “the shamrock organisation” (which, like the eponymous plant, has three leaves: management; specialists; and an increasingly flexible labour force) and “portfolio working”, a lifestyle in which the individual holds a number of “jobs, clients and types of work” all at the same time.

Handy’s main interest was organisations, and his message was that they are “not machines that can be neatly designed, mapped, measured and controlled”. He once used his experience of moving his kitchen seven times within the same house as a lesson to managers who try to fit “a modern organisation into old-fashioned spaces”.

“I told my children when they were leaving education that they would be well advised to look for customers not bosses.”

He had a key role in shaping British management education in the 1960s and 1970s. After a year in Boston observing MIT’s way of teaching business, he returned to Britain, a country that had no management education other than the ersatz activities that then passed for it—an accountancy training or a spell in the British army. On his return he helped set up London Business School, drawing heavily on educational programmes (the MBA in particular) that he had much admired in America.

Later on he seemed to have some regrets about this. While accountants were not trained to be managers, he wrote in “Myself and Other More Important Matters”, “the way they and their kindred professions of law, medicine and architecture had been educating their future professionals did seem to have stood the test of time. They all consistently mixed formal learning with some form of apprenticeship.” As The Economist once said of Handy  “More common sense is what he stands for, and fewer common rooms.”

Notable publications

“The Empty Raincoat”, Hutchinson, 1994

“The Gods of Management”, Pan, 1985; new edn, Arrow, 1995

“The Age of Unreason”, Hutchinson Business, 1989; 2nd edn, Arrow, 1995

“Myself and Other More Important Matters”, Heinemann, 2006

Ed Schein

Ed Schein was educated at the University of Chicago, at Stanford University where he received a Masters Degree in Psychology in 1949, and at Harvard University where he received his Ph.D. in social psychology in 1952. He was Chief of the Social Psychology Section of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research while serving in the U.S. Army as Captain from 1952 to 1956. He joined MIT’s Sloan School of Management in 1956 and was made a Professor of Organizational Psychology and Management in 1964.

From 1968 to 1971 Schein was the Undergraduate Planning Professor for MIT, and in 1972 he became the Chairman of the Organization Studies Group of the MIT Sloan School, a position he held until 1982. He was honored in 1978 when he was named the Sloan Fellows Professor of Management, a Chair he held until 1990.

At the present he is Sloan Fellows Professor of Management Emeritus and continues at the Sloan School part time as a Senior Lecturer. He is also the Founding Editor of “Reflections” the Journal of the Society for Organizational Learning devoted to connecting academics, consultants, and practitioners around the issues of knowledge creation, dissemination and utilization.

Schein has been a prolific researcher, writer, teacher and consultant. Besides his numerous articles in professional journals he has authored fourteen books including Organizational Psychology (3d edit., 1980), Career Dynamics (1978), Organizational Culture and Leadership (1985, 1992, 2004), and Process Consultation Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (1969, 1987, 1988), Process Consultation Revisited (1999), and The Corporate Culture Survival Guide (1999).

Andrew Pettigrew

Andrew Pettigrew OBE is Professor of Strategy and Organisation at the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford. A British professor, he was formerly dean of the University of Bath School of Management. He received his training in sociology and anthropology at Liverpool University and received his Ph.D from Manchester Business School in 1970. He has held academic appointments at Yale University, Harvard University London Business School and Warwick Business School.

Pettigrew has published many academic papers and books that consider the human, political, and social aspects of organisations and their strategies in contrast to the purely economic view in which the main unit of analysis is the firm or industry as typified by Michael Porter. This is known as the strategy process school as opposed to the strategy content school.

He was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2009 New Year Honours.[1]

Despite his intellectual preference for fewer distinctions between content, process, and context, he still tends to be viewed as a researcher in the process tradition simply because it, as he, is interested in more than static decisions. He argues (2003b) that:

  • The link between formulation and implementation is not unilinear but interrelated time
  • Understanding the change associated with strategy requires understanding of continuity over time
  • Strategy, and its impact on future outcomes, are shaped by power and politics

This view of strategy requires the strategy researcher to be historian, anthropologist, and political analyst.

Pettigrew, AM, Strategy as Process, Power, and Change, in Cummings, S, & Wilson, D, (2003b), Images of Strategy, Blackwell Publishing, pp. 301-330