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However, one thing is pretty universal: the kinds of change that "just happen" are seldom the kinds of change you want. Happenstance change tends to come about when processes break down and unexpected results start to happen. Scientists call this entropy: the slow and eventual loss of order and organization toward a simpler (less controlled) chaotic state. Try telling your board of directors that your strategy is to follow an "entropic change course"... but only do so if you are independently wealthy and don't need your job.
50This is why change agents are so valuable. Organizations need someone who can come in and bring
change... whether it's elevating the level of organization and sophistication (the opposite of entropy) or changing to a different (sic better) course of approximately the same complexity and sophistication. Organizations that stay static for too long, begin to die. Or the market begins to render them irrelevant. A couple thoughts about change agents. They tend to be an uncommon breed... here are some things I've learned are true about them. 1. Change agents are never satisfied doing the same thing over and over. Repetition is the enemy of a change agent. Put someone in a situation like that and they will begin to tinker automatically. Not because they know of a better way, but because they are probably bored. There is a skill set for optimizing and fine tuning operations, but it is not a change agent skill set. What would challenge an Operations Excellence person all day long, just might put a change agent to sleep. 2. Change agents know how to lead change efforts. I remember the first time I was put in charge of an organizational change team. I was petrified and completely insecure. I had no idea how to start (even though I had several thoughts about how I wanted it all to finish). I didn't know how to organize it, lead it, communicate it, recruit for it.... That was a skill I had to learn. So does every change agent. Over time, they will gravitate to these kinds of challenges and develop a competence about them. Now leading a change team isn't daunting to me at all. In fact, I find these kinds of teams some of the most interesting to lead. 3. Change agents learn to filter the interesting from the important. I had someone in my office today tell me that he liked the way I was able to get to the heart of matters. This is an important skill for a change agent. It's unfortunate if a person is trying to drive change, but is focused entirely upon peripheral items. No matter how hard they work, they won't get what they are looking for until they can get focused on the levers that matter. Whether that means finding the right person, or the right data or the right idea. 4. Change agents must be patient. Change seldom happens on schedule. Many times, the change agent needs to bide his or her time until the circumstances align. The real key here is to do as much as you can to be ready for that Most often creating change is as much about creating an environment where change can happen effectively as is about crafting the change itself. So this means waiting and being patient. Which is hard. Being a Change Agent can be very fun - if that's what you are cut out for. If it isn't I'll bet it's a hard, scary venture. Every organization needs one though. Large scale or small scale, it's someone you might want to look around to find and get on your side.
Change is the biggest constant in today’s business world. Even charities and educational organizations are finding that they need to constantly innovate not only to compete for donation dollars, clients, and members, but to remain relevant to the changing social landscape around them as well. But people hate change. Right? The management literature is loaded with tales of corporate innovation gone awry – product launches flubbed, reorganizations that caused productivity to plummet and workers to flee en masses, hideously stupid morale programs that mandated chipperness and received resignations in return, and so on. When
No. all for the sake of breaking out of unsatisfying routines and gaining control over the conditions of their own labor.workers at any organization get together. A vast number of books have been written about how to resolve this problem: companies need change. Employees end up overtaxed by new responsibilities. I think it’s safe to say that Pacific Telesis was a company that got change wrong. they swap stories of corporate inanity. In People Don’t Hate Change. they just hate having change rammed down their throats. and resentful about all the work they’re doing with no extra compensation. Instead. Three principles for change people love Kanazawa got his start as a corporate strategist at the same company where Scott Adams gave birth to Dilbert. Outsource it. and what is no longer a priority. more thinking. and more activity on less stuff. and get rid of the rest. It appeals to our core values of thrift and efficiency. people don’t want change. They change companies and jobs. this idea of doing more with less. Doing more on less means doing more work. There’s no such thing as buy-in . frustrated by lack of resources. These fears are confirmed when management invites them into the conference room or meeting hall for the inevitable ―pep rally‖ and gushes about the new program – and then tells them that they must ―do more with less‖. laughing at each other’s tales of programs too stupid to have been thought of in the first place. But in the end doing more with less is impractical. They launch their own businesses. Much to our general amusement. he lays out the three principles companies need to embrace to create real innovation that their employees will get behind: Do more on less Workers fear the latest new program to come across their desk because they’ve learned that change means more work – for them. People love change. They hate being sold a bill of goods. It sells us – a little. Kanazawa sought out a different way of approaching change. People LOVE change People don’t hate change. they even change careers.Give workers a clear sense of what they should be focusing on. they love it. the common wisdom goes. Repeatedly. Executives wring their hands over the tension between their needs and employees’ unwillingness. Graduate management programs dedicate countless semester-hours to coping with this conflict. instead of splitting their attention twenty different ways. let alone implemented – yet they were. They buy selfhelp books and personal development books seeking to become better at their jobs. or better yet cut it entirely. and too many corporate innovations feel like a bill of goods to the workers expected to implement them. Kanazawa suggests that management demonstrate clearly what the new priorities are. They want the steady footing of corporate constancy. Frustrated by the ham-handed – and almost always unsuccessful — way that change was managed there. but workers hate it. Workers constantly seek promotions and new job responsibilities. It means focusing employees’ efforts where they count.
Buy-in is that sense among workers that they hold a stake in the success of a project. or project group in a division to design a new program.People Don’t Hate Change. they’ll go to the employees who will be responsible for implementing the new plan for a buy-in meeting. though. Follow their lead. there’s no need for hand-wringing. somehow – they’ve ―bought into‖ the new program. It is important for leaders to have vision. Make change lovable I’ve had Kanazawa’s book in my ―to read‖ pile for a while. rely on their practical experience and expertise and incorporate their ideas into the plan. They ―sell‖ the plan. Leaders who don’t do this. self-defensive position. companies will assign a leadership team.‖ By empowering those around them to do more. and visionary you are. Kanazawa advocates a different approach to innovation – bring employees in from the start. it’s not their plan. I debuted at Lifehack with a post on leadership. but it is more important for them to reach out to others all along the chain of command to make sure that everyone feels involved in the process of change. And that dissolves entirely the tension between companies’ need for change and workers’ distrust of it. In the meantime. outside consultants. there is no need for buy-in because the ideas arealready theirs. true leaders drastically increase their own leadership power – their power scales with the ability of those around them. saying that leadership wasn’t about power. decisive. they don’t. Once the plan is finalized. it was about empowering others. . authority. it is about how you bring that out in others. but which is hollow and empty. They may think it’s a great idea. Except. who attempt to impose their vision from the top-down. they may be enthusiastic about it. but in the end. They Hate How You’re Trying to Change Them gives a good introduction to the approach to change that Kanazawa has developed since leaving Dilbert-land. and ambition. Leadership is not about you A year ago. When you make change lovable. meaningful change – instead of working against that love and forcing their employees into a reactionary. writing. When workers are instrumental in creating change in their organization. Typically.Companies know the value of ―buy-in‖ when pushing radical new programs. might manage to achieve something that looks like their vision. ―Leadership impact is not about how aggressive. Kanazawa concurs. that it’s theirs. and I’m anxious to make time to read it. Keeping Kanazawa’s principles in mind can help any organization to leverage the love that people already have for true. and employees ―buy in‖.