by Anne Yurasek on July 22, 2008
I am currently working a viewpoint article to support our design of an organizational intervention around information management. The article is about our view of change management - what do we believe is an appropriate model for thinking about change and what do we see as the critical success factors for implementing change. Over the years, there have been tomes of research and writing around this topic - from John Kotter to William Bridges to Rosabeth Moss Kanter to Peter Senge. Change is an ever-present condition of humanity that, candidly, most people struggle with. Honestly, do you like change? Especially imposed change? Or unwanted change? I decided to poll my Twitter followers on their thoughts around critical success factors for implementing change in organizations - below are a few of their tips:
- @jefferybiggs An employee base willing to embrace the changes. (And to get that he suggested…) Motivation. Lots of motivation. It's difficult, but emphasizing the benefits to come from the "growing pains" or difficulties helps.
- @sondernagle Buy-in from those directly affected by the change in question.
- @TheLadyV An excellent communications person to provide the right info to the right people at the right time in the right amount. (Best-in-class suggestions for approaches?) Face2face btwn mgrs & direct employees is best. But you'll need a matrix of comm tools for different purposes.
- @missashe This sounds obvious, but buy-in. real buy-in (not lip service) from the board, ED, and staff (And how do we get that? Information? Inclusion? Dissatisfaction?) I think it can happen in all of those instances. but I think active & intentional communication re: changes (& their rationale)...
- @egculbertson Just one? what comes to mind is: endurance, keeping focus on the goals and acknowledging that change is in fact, taking place.
- @bloodandmilk Being able to demonstrate some level of impact immediately.
- @vanessamason At least one cheerleader that will encourage people to follow through and have authority to back that up
Their responses reinforced the concept of buy-in and ownership - but how do leaders achieve this? I am considering a model for change that includes leadership and communications as key components -- as well as the development of a clear vision, an analysis of the change (what & who & how much change?), and a tactical plan for moving the organization - would include communications plan, training plan. What am I missing? How do you inspire the hearts and minds of your staff to embrace change? Suggestions are welcome from our readers….and thanks to my Twitter pals for their contributions - all are welcome to come on over and unpack their thoughts here! Read More
by Anne Yurasek on July 15, 2008
Just returned from counseling a new Acting ED (who would like to be the Board's choice as the new ED) on how to engage with the staff of an organization that provides hospice services. This is an agency with a traditionally large gulf between direct care staff and management.
While business acumen is absolutely required to build a successful organization in a competitive environment, a hospice organization (as well as many other health and human service agencies) is a profoundly emotional entity. From my perspective, the successful candidate will bring a unique set of capabilities…the ability to relate empathically with the direct care staff, to acknowledge the extraordinary nature of what they do and to create an environment that supports and nurtures them while also having the ability to think and act strategically. It has been some time since this organization has had a leader who could actively reach out to and inspire the staff…touch them at the profound emotional level at which they do their work.
There are many nonprofits that need CEO's with somewhat ambidextrous brains…that can operate out of both the feeling and thinking sides of their psyches. This Acting ED should start by asking, "How do you feel?" as well as "What do you think?".
Photo Credit: e3000 Read More
by Anne Yurasek on July 15, 2008
Beth Kanter and team have been diligently working to create an open source curriculum for npos considering embarking on a social media effort. It is a fascinating effort to both observe and contribute to.
The project has made me think about how truly difficult the introduction of new ideas and technologies can be within established organizations. I contributed some information to piece around resistance - but am feeling like there may be more tools around change management that may be helpful...
1) Developing allies Read More
by Anne Yurasek on July 03, 2008
How are you doing? More importantly -- how is your organization doing? If we locked you in a room for three months and didn't let you speak with anyone but gave you only the reports that routinely cross your desk, would you know?
Even without those drastic circumstances, as an Executive Director, how would you answer the question? What documents or reports would you look at? To whom would you speak? How would gather enough pieces of information to know how your organization is doing? In my recent discussions with clients and those in the sector, there is not an obvious textbook answer - or a standard set of tools or reports that can be used by multiple organizations.
Executive Directors and program managers "know" how things are going. When pushed, they may say, "Well, our funders will let us know if we are not performing.", or "I just have a sense.", or "I speak to our clients and they are happy with our services." If they look internally at management processes or to their Board, EDs tend to lean towards the anecdotal - "My board seems to be functioning alright.", "Our management processes get the job done." Wouldn't it be nice to know? From an objective perspective how are you doing?
I have realized that the tools our firm has to offer - including our NPO development framework, Board survey, and organizational climate survey (as well as our Mid-Manager Assessment and Organizational Learning Survey) - provide an objective basis of information about an organization. A neutral foundation. A foundation of information that is not based on anecdotal evidence, or the "sense" of its leadership, but based on the actual observation of behaviors and activities. It is also a group effort to gather the information - which gives voice to various stakeholder groups involved in the organization. Therefore - the information gathering process can be a engagement process for all involved.
You may see this as a pitch. Well, it is. I have so been struck by the lack of neutral information for decision-making in organizations - that I believe figuring out ways for Executive Directors and Board Members to truly gain an understanding of what is REALLY going on in their organizations is imperative. Our tools are one option.
Flickr Photo Credit: Mister Scratch Read More