Change Management Articles

Creating a High Performing Environment

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 6/5/2015

Leaders play an important role in creating a motivating work environment.  They set the tone by demonstrating respect, valuing employees, and creating a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

While you can’t really motivate someone, you can create the conditions that encourage people to be motivated to perform at their best.

While money is important, it isn’t the most powerful or effective motivator.  People want to be paid fairly, but it isn’t the force that generates discretionary effort. The following factors, when employed on a day-to-day basis, go a long way to creating an environment of high performance.


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First Vision, Then Action

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 2/8/2013

“The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” –Theodore Hesburgh, President Emeritus, University of Notre Dame

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Combating the Challenge of Change

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 1/25/2013

Change is hard at the individual level. The difficulty is multiplied in organizations. Change causes discomfort, even if it is a welcome change. We experience a loss and grief as we say good-bye to a familiar way of doing things and relating to others. The chaos and uncertainty of transition is disruptive and disconcerting. Finally, we are anxious about the risk associated with the change – do we have the skills to succeed? These are normal reactions to change, whether we perceive the change as good or bad.

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Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 11/6/2012

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” —Brian TracyComfort

When is the last time you pushed yourself out of your comfort zone?

If you are a new leader you may be answering, “every day.” For those who are more seasoned, you may have to stop and think about the last time that you felt “awkward” or “uncomfortable.”

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Tap into Talent

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 4/26/2012

“I would rather be surrounded by smart people than have a huge budget. Smart people will get you there faster.”
— former McKinsey associate as quoted in The McKinsey Way by Ethan Rasiel

I recently conducted some interviews and focus groups for one of our clients. They have been experiencing a lot of change over the past several months. Like so many others, they have faced budgetary cutbacks, downsizing, and trying to do more with less. Conducting this assessment was an opportunity to help them better understand current perceptions and lay the groundwork for managing ongoing change.

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Create a Department Vision

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 3/16/2012

Your company has a clear organizational mission and vision.  If you are lucky, the mission and vision can be differentiated from that of other organizations (e.g., “We want to be the premiere…”).   Values are espoused and drive organizational behavior.  So, how do you take the organizational vision and roll it down to your department or team?  How do you ensure that your team’s efforts align with that of the overall organization?

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Increase Resiliency in Your Employees

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 2/28/2012

It is no secret that the pace, speed and complexity of change is greater than ever before.  According to some sources, the estimated rate of change doubles every 10 years.  This accelerated pace of change requires more adaptable workers and nimbler organizations.  Resiliency has become a core competency for employees at all levels.  It is important to recognize that as a leader, you help create an environment which contributes or detracts from employees’ ability to be resilient.

Employees are more resilient when they work in environments characterized by support, trust, and open communications.  What do you do to create this environment?

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Willpower is Not Enough

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 1/10/2012

As January begins, and your New Year’s resolution is fresh in your mind, your will to complete your stated goal is strong. You’re focused, energized, and determined. If you are like many individuals that struggle with your resolutions, if I checked back in March, you’d be much less energized, not quite as determined, and possibly focused on other priorities. For many, the inability to stay on track and see a resolution through to completion is a sign that you lack will power, and will power is all that is needed to meet a goal. The good news is that will power is only a small portion of the equation to success.

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Close the Loop

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 10/11/2011

In our assessment work with organizations we often provide recommended next steps following the completion of a project. One of the most basic steps that can hinder change initiatives following a project is what I call “failure to close the loop.” This is a lack of communication which often leads to a misunderstanding between leaders and employees.

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A Guide to Implementing Change

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 9/27/2011

Organizational change is difficult; yet, change is imperative to remaining competitive. Studies suggest that change efforts fail for a number of reasons, including:

• Changes are not anchored in corporate culture.
• A compelling business case is not made.
• The organization is not prepared for the change.
• The change vision is unclear; outcomes and measures are not well defined.
• Leaders fail to plan for and accomplish short-term wins.
• Communication is inadequate.
• Executives do not get personally involved in leading the change effort.

While change initiatives are often complex, we offer a few quick ideas to increase the success of your next change effort:

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