Posts Tagged ‘change’

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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Courses and Employee Development

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 9/19/2012

For the last couple of weeks I have been doing some training for one of our clients on goal setting and employee development. The training has primarily focused on helping employees write SMART goals and develop action plans and helping managers enhance their coaching skills. One of the handouts I like to use as part of the training is the 70/20/10 rule of development planning. Studies on how adults learn suggest that a good development plan should have 70% related to on-the-job tasks and assignments; 20% people interaction (coaching, mentoring, others to work with); and 10% courses, workshops and readings (see graphic). For those of us that have reviewed action plans, you know that most employees build development plans around courses and formal training and few concentrate on opportunities for on-the-job learning. My message to the managers in the audience was, “courses are a tool for employees to collect knowledge, but they need to use that knowledge back on the job.”
As several managers nodded in agreement, a manager spoke up with some reservations. He was concerned that “using the knowledge back on the job,” was creating nothing but busy work for his employees. Apparently, within his department, when an employee completes an external course that others in the department may need to learn about, it is the responsibility of the course-taker to create a presentation for the department. I have heard similar stories from other clients that they too encourage course-takers to create presentation for their departments and teams. The manager’s challenge was that the hours spent on a presentation to an audience that may or may not have an interest was indeed busy work and did not help the organization overall.

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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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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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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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Learning About Change From the Hoo Doos

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 5/10/2011


I took a vacation several weeks ago and explored Zion and Bryce National Parks. Both parks were magnificent—fabulous hiking with beautiful scenery and breathtaking views.

At Bryce Canyon you’ll find spectacular rock formations called hoodoos (tall, skinny spires of rock protruding from the bottom of the canyon). They range in size from a few feet to heights exceeding a 10 story building.

Hoodoos are the result of change at work—a constant weathering process—water freezing and expanding to pry open cracks bit by bit making them ever wider. (Bryce has over 200 freeze/thaw cycles in a year.)

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Set Yourself Up for Success

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 3/8/2011

If you’ve read our blog in the past, you’ll notice we spend quite a bit of time updating ourselves on the latest business books. Each year I set a goal to read one or two leadership/management books a month to keep up-to-date. One of my personal foibles is that my interest in a book wanes about halfway through. It may take me 3 days to get halfway through a book but another 3-4 weeks to complete it. Since I’m a stickler for deadlines, I tried setting self-imposed dates for completing a book – no luck. It continued to take me longer and longer to finish reading the books I started.

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Curves In The Path

Author: Paul Dillenburg, Date: 9/27/2010

During my interactions with our clients, I often have the opportunity to ask individuals about their career paths. I enjoy hearing how successful people get to where they are today. Very rarely are the paths leaders take to a straight line to the top. Often there is an event or person, or multiple events and multiple people that throw a curve in the path. It’s often these curves that provide the most insight and direction for the leaders.

Think about your own path. When you were a young adult, what was your plan for your career? Who were the people and what were the events that provided curves in the path? What did you learn from the curves?

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Adapting for Success

Author: Diane Hamilton, Date: 9/14/2010

When communicating with others, one of the key ways to increase effectiveness is to learn how to adapt your own style to meet the needs of the other individual. I spend a lot of time coaching people on adaptability. One of the most consistent themes in 360 feedback surveys is that managers need to do a better job adapting their style to meet the needs of other people (in particular their direct reports and peers). This is a critical leadership skill. To be influential, you need to master it. (We can’t expect them to meet our needs). Successful leaders learn this early on.

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