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Getting Committed People on the Same Page – Disturb First, Enable Second?

Last month I looked at why so many changes initiatives fail. One thing that struck me after the program was the inability to gain others commitment lies at the heart of so many failures. This is often due to the lack of interest paid by those leading change for those who have to make the change.

Previously, one stat sticks out from our work in aligning companies for change is that over 70% of leaders expectations are not known or realized by those affected by a change. Their people are not on the same page!!

Now, add to that apparently unrelated data…

An estimated 247 billion emails are sent each day

“The number of worldwide email users is projected to increase from over 1.4 billion in 2009 to almost 1.9 billion by 2013. In 2009, 74% of all email accounts will belong to consumers, and 24% to corporate users.
Worldwide email traffic will total 247 billion messages per day in 2009. By 2013, this figure will almost double to 507 billion messages per day.
In 2009, about 81% of all email traffic is spam Source: Press release from The Radicati Group, 6th May 2009 Quoted by Digital Stats.com

Stats vary but most people seem to say each person gets 5000 ads per day.

Now here’s my point in both your personal life and at work how much time do you have to spend listening to somebody drone on about:

The latest, greatest, best, more, more…Their solutions for you….

How often, in your personal and work lives, do you have to spend listening to somebody drone on about  the latest, greatest, best, more, more…their solutions for you….

So, How do you typically react? Why should it matter to Change Management?

It reminds me of a cartoon of a family sitting at a meal table (rare enough of itself) with heads bowed and the son texts mom to pass the fries! This would be funny if I had not enforced a “no device” rule at our family meals – me included!! So, my reflections as to why we get resistant to change are these:.

Firstly, People overall forget what it’s like to be in somebody else’s head, like the research I referenced two months ago. “There’s not enough time…they cry”

Second, instantaneous communication reduces people’s patience from more deliberate consideration – we drift into the white noise, the buzz of attention deficit….but Are we challenged to really think?

Third, access to the internet has produced the most mature and knowledgeable change audience in history.

Why should this matter?

In terms of influencing people to even consider buying into your change process, be careful you are not:

Doing what you’ve always done… not getting what you want …

Whether you are influencing people in your own organization or trying to sell your service or product you will need to be more skilled at understanding where people are in their heads about change than ever before.

Change in West Michigan has come in many forms….change leaders ignore at them at their per. For example, Gilder’s vision of the future of Cathedrals of bandwidth” will affect how people see work and how they see change. trends of exponential growth in technology and application will continue as far as we can see into the future.

The Technology Horse has looong bolted and the “Control Door” is hanging off its hinges……

So let’s stand back and see if we can start being practical. As the snow melts, I am reminded of when it snows. Each snowflake has a similar structure, yet is infinitely complex, and as each falls leads to complex behavior. If each person is a snowflake we must treat them as similar yet unique. (This is Fractal Theory..if you’re interested.

When managing change I find it’s helpful to look at how people change in a rigorous yet flexible way. It can be used to locate where individuals, groups and you are in terms of seeing the world, state similarly. This snowflake or fractal is based on a series of questions which follow a sequence – often shown as a ‘U”. The “U” is one of the most fundamental concepts in the psychology of learning and change. Readerers may remember in the last program that  we consistently think we are better than we actually are – in psychology it’s called “self serving bias”. For Example: 94% of men rate themselves in the top half of male athletic ability

Change Management’s Foundation

So, I am going to make a claim that I have never done before:

If you use the following six questions in your life, it will change your perspective of others and most importantly yourself:

Now let’s use this “U” Map to can locate yourself and those you are trying to bring to your point of view and be committed to the change

1. What is the problem?

  • Do you have one and others don’t?

2. How is it a problem?

  • Do they see the same linkage as you? Structure, recurrence, competitively weak?

3. What are the consequences?

  • Can they see the ramifications that you do?

Now, let’s pause and ask: If you’re at 3. and those you want to influence can’t answer 1 – What is likely to happen?

If they are OK, but are they  disturbed to the degree they are willing to consider changing? If yes, we are at the bottom of the U at the Change Pivot when momentum or change energy starts to be

Now, let’s look at how people are enabled?:

1.  Why solve this problem?

a.  Do they see this change as a priority

b.  Or, Do they think we should do something differently?

2.  How to solve the problem?

a.  Are your technical people see a solution in the same frame from those in other functions

3.  What will be solved?

a.   Does cost of the present outweigh the cost of change?

So, Let’s say you are at 3. and I am at 6. Giving you an ROI ?….

What is your likely reaction?

Resistance; which I have created!

So, now you have the U – Ask yourself how many times has a sales person “Crossed the U” with you?  Ask yourself, How many times have we as change agents “Crossed the U”? with the leadership team? Only to find we left the group “not getting it!” “not on the same page” Yet it was us that left them behind

Great, but how can this help me?

This is probably the first thing on your mind after reading this Blog.
How about asking us?  The first call is free!  Just email me to set it up.
Don’t wait, get The Crispian Advantage working for you!. If our conversation leaves you needing more, we offer at a reasonable fee telephone and video coaching improve bottom line results.
If that still doesn’t do it, we’ll work with you on a solution.

_________________________________________________________________________
For Help in Getting Your People on the Same Page 
Nick Anderson, The Crispian Advantage

E-mail I Web I Linkedin

© Copyright All Rights Reserved, The Crispian Advantage and Walk the Talk – A Blog for Agile Minds, [2010-2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nick Anderson, The Crispian Advantage and Walk the Talk – A Blog for Agile Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Family Business Transition – Focus on Things You Can Control

Listen to this Radio Show

I was reminded of the topics we covered two years ago through a number of conversations with Financial Planners. Two things stuck out in terms of their frustrations, especially with business owners.1.  Clients don’t want to reveal all their assets the planner2.  Clients will “dither” on the end game. Some listeners will be thinking, rather skeptically, about the self interest motivating such frustration. But, for a minute, most  financial planners are well motivated and they can’t build a book of business by not doing two things really well:1. Know their clients really well2.  Act in their best interests

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Other related conversations with businesses owners about when and how to transition:

  • A fast expanding food broking business which is rapidly expanding and the founder is59yo and his son is 32yo have no transition plan
  • A printing company where the 52yo owner was returning to work after a major illnessand his 28yo son ran the business very well in his absence. The owner wants to retireat 60 yet thinks it is too early to plan his transition
  • A environmental remediation company’s owner got caught by the recession and had topull back control from his inexperienced management team.

So, Nick, what is your theme this week?

“May you live in interesting times” Old Chinese curse. Readers don’t want another recital
of the recession litany. Yet, there is opportunity in any downturn.Yes, conditions are unpleasant with loads of “turbling” BUT….

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you; If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, But make allowance for their doubting too; . . . If you can meet with triumph and disaster AND treat those two impostors just the same . . Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.” (Kipling)

My message is for business owners in this blog is  –

Don’t waste time worrying about things you can’t change – Direct things to things you can control: this choices on how are you going to move forward.

That’s easier said than done, in this economic climate
Oh, I am not talking about easy but I am talking about the need to be proactive…
Since the recession started, for Baby-Boomer business owners face the same dynamics of their condition.1.  78m Boomers of whose wealth is held in 12m privately owned businesses2.  70% will change hands in 10-15years3.  Trillions of dollars will transferNow think of the business owner with 180,000 hours, say, invested in their business;
What are they thinking?

  • Will I be able to work  less in next five years?
  • Consider leaving the business?
  • How do I get out?
  • I don’t know what the business is worth?
  • What is the best time to sell?

Surely, though, most owners are in survival mode and need to protect their business these days

Why not combine the two?Expand strategy to accomplish both – the reality is they are not mentally exclusive.
In fact, there are real problems if you don’t keep them integrated.Remember the quote “keeping your head”
This is not the time to abandon business planning.It takes at least 2-3years to successfully implement in NORMAL Times. You can argue now
is the right time to put in place tactics that will increase business value when the recession ends.

OK. So what can business owners do now?

Well, the business cycle is alive and well, there’s still timing when you business is at its optimal value.

If you don’t think ahead: you will be in the herd!
9 out of 10 owners who don’t get  anywhere close to what they expected or want for their business, delay in making a decision and for mature businesses “
dithering” erodes the transaction value.

The fact is that less than 40% of businesses successfully transition their business…. Yet,
84% say the need the proceeds to finance their retirement.

There’s been no change to owners lack of urgency:

  • 58% don’t have any plan
  • 33% informal
  • Only 9% have a formal written plan

Ummm, what’s the connection between 1 in 10 get what they want and 1 in 10 have a formal plan.

When are owners thinking of exiting their businesses?
28 % within 5 years, 52% plan on exiting within next 10 years.
Like retirement and personal planning, transition planning works best the longer the timeline to plan and
implement = optimal value.
With such compelling stats for just how much is on the line, what’s holding people back?
There are the three fears of transition:

  • Fear of Loss Wealth
  • Fear of Loss of Control
  • Fear of Conflict
What are the main reasons for not having a succession plan?
It’s a bit like Letterman’s Top Eight Reasons (Excuses) for not getting the right return on 180,000 hours of:

“Blood, Sweat, Toil and Tears! (Churchill)

Top 8

8. Too scary

7. Thoughts of the end

6. Family/Employee conflict

5. Don’t want to think of leaving

4. Can’t get adequate advice

3. Too complex

2. No Time

No. 1 – No time to plan!

In this recession why has transition planning become even more important?
Good question,There will be  more market competition – fewer buyers than sellersWith downward pressure on business values a premium will be placed on well run businesses that stand out
from the pack and can differentiate themselves in the market placePlanners – IO Non-Planners – O Which team do you want to be on?

How does the Family put a brake on transition planning?

Well. Many owners consider passing their business on to their children,It’s one of the most challenging
decisions a parent-owner faces.Impartiality is critical in addressing these emotional family issues and the effects on the business

What are the main reasons for no or little planning?

Sadly, many family-owned businesses are shut down because the Family didn’t handle the succession issue: Why?

  • Parents stays on too long
  • Parent steps down too soon before successors are trained or sufficiently experienced in the leadership roles
  • Fail to face the realities that many children don’t want to be involved with the business or at very least shouldn’t be forced into working together

The reality is that the odds are not stacked in their favor:

30% – 2nd Generation survival

12% – 3rd Generation survival

3% – 4th Generation survival

My Blog Tip
Ask Yourself:What comes first? The Transaction?OR The Management of the Transition?OR The Strategy for the TransitionDon’t put the Cart before the Horse.Talk to your trusted advisor – CPA, Lawyer etc. and ask”Who do we need to create and implement the plan?

Great, but how can this help me?

This is probably the first thing on your mind after reading this Blog.
How about asking us?  The first call is free!  Just email me to set it up.
Don’t wait, get The Crispian Advantage working for you!. If our conversation leaves you needing more, we offer at a reasonable fee telephone and video coaching improve bottom line results.
If that still doesn’t do it, we’ll work with you on a solution.

_________________________________________________________________________
For Help in Getting Your People on the Same Page 
Nick Anderson, The Crispian Advantage

E-mail I Web I Linkedin

© Copyright All Rights Reserved, The Crispian Advantage and Walk the Talk – A Blog for Agile Minds, [2010-2012]. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nick Anderson, The Crispian Advantage and Walk the Talk – A Blog for Agile Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Implementing Successful & Sustainable Change

This is the second in a series which goes to the heart of the challenge facing our economy – Implementing Successful and Sustainable Change.

Since 1996 when Kotter’s research revealed that only 30% of change initiatives succeed. Even today, when McKinsey surveyed 3000 business executives this ratio of 1 in 3 still applied in 2009.

In both surveys, the number one reason was people not being or willing to be on the same page. At the heart of this issue is that people are not clear on their expectations of others and they don’t understand the change from their perspective. The problem is that managers use rational models which they think just makes a common sense and why things go wrong from the get-go why?

Because when they simply implement their prescription, they disregard or are not aware of certain, sometimes irrational- but predictable elements of human nature. Unfortunately, Yes. I say that because only 30% of change works and only 10% of such initiatives deliver everything intended by those planning the change.

For more see Top Down or Bottom Up Approaches to Successful Change

Why has this lack of success been so difficult to improve upon?

At its core is this quote from Rabbie Burns:

Rabbie Burns

Rabbie Burns

“O wad some Power the giftie gie us, To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us”
“O would some Power the gift to give us, To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us” (Robert Burns)

A translation. In times of change conventional wisdom suggests that the leaders of change should model the desired change to mobilize influential leaders to drive change deep into the organization.

Top Down or Bottom Up Approaches to Successful Change

Goto http://wp.me/p5kB5n-4C For more on this subject

So, you’re saying before leaders start walking their talk they need to be careful. What do you see as the pitfalls leaders should be aware of?

Two spring to mind.

First, Leaders think they have already made the change and they just need to get everyone on side. They forget that all those retreats, strategy sessions and closed door meetings with advisors, consultants etc. weren’t easy. Conflicts arose and concessions were made. So, in their arrogance they think that their people should “Get It” with little chance to go through the “Storming and Norming” that the management team went through. That is not to say all people should be involved all the time but you have to allow for them time to adjust, question, object and be answered in a respectful way.

Second, leaders think they are the panacea rather than mobilizing others to get things to happen.

Let’s take the first one.

The Radical Gradualist

Mahatma Gandhi

Most senior executives generally buy into Gandhi’s astute observation:

“Be the change you want to see in the world”

Yet knowing something and committing oneself to change too often don’t lead to significant results

So, leaders change their behavior and yet nothing happens…I am confused…

And so are leaders…..when they make a change. Too often most leaders don’t count themselves among those who need to change.

Like if you pulled them to one side and whispered “Are you really customer focused?” they would say “Not really” (I don’t have time to be…have you seen the paperwork I have to get through or ….P & L)

The fact is we all consistently think we are better than we actually are – in psychology it’s called “self serving bias”

For Example, 94% of men rate themselves in the top half of male athletic ability

So, when it comes to change Walking your Own Talk it’s not so much as a desire to show people what to do BUT the real bottleneck is leaders knowing what to change at a personal level.

It sounds like many leaders don’t take a cool hard look at themselves before embarking on “Walking the talk” and prescribing what others should do?

Exactly, we often see this in our alignment work. Consistently, leaders have 70%+ more expectations than others realize and leaders are often oblivious of what their people expect of them.

What can leaders do to overcome this potential blind spot?

There are several ways using surveys like 360 degrees feedback, or simply asking regularly what should I be doing differently? Or one large company has what they call the “Ring of Fire”

Direct feedback in answer to

1.  “What makes you great?”

2.  “What holds you back?”

Are people really going to reply honestly?

No, not if the climate has not been set. Yes, if the Leaders don’t believe they are the cure all for their organizations problems.

Yet, it’s sound advice that they should mobilize others, who by experience, respect and ability can become influential it getting things to happen. Yet, too often the influential leader’s role has shifted from being that helpful element to a broad set of actions, to being a cure all.

It’s a mindset problem leaders have. They forget they need to create the framework for changes not persuade people to adopt their prescriptions for change.

That sounds like leaders should let people come up with their own solutions…

No & Yes.

Persuasion or selling the need for change and what the change needs to acheive has to get welded together in leaders’ minds.

Leaders need to create receptivity for change (Framework) and not stray into the debilitating arena of “I know what we need to do…..”

The dangers are that you are seen to be part of the problem, you risk cutting off the growing motivation to do something differently and focus people on being spectators of change rather than being players in the game.

In reality it is often unexpected people who feel compelled to step up to drive change e.g. Like in Genzink Steel where customized job shop scheduling software didn’t work. It was the work scheduler who stepped up and said basically “The Emperor has no clothes”. Her colleagues were so fed up with the system that they stopped using and went back to their old ways. They certainly didn’t like her saying that because it brought back all memories of the hassles and frustrations they went through trying to get it to do what it was supposed to do.

That’s why keeping leaders focused on creating the framework of lasting change is vital.

Too often we see leaders vested in their narrow focus unwittingly excluding the very people the need to create this framework.

So, what does effective leadership look like?

If you turn to Robert Greenleaf’s philosophy it can help leaders create the frame and not try to build their house on their own.

“Greenleaf – The servant-leader is servant first… Becoming a servant-leader begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first… The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and the most difficult to administer, is this:

  • Do those served grow as persons?
  • Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?”

Robert Greenleaf’s most important work, Servant Leadership (1977/2002), is subtitled A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power & Greatness. Though his terms are secular ones, his definition of leadership is the clearest statement of this idea that the needs of followers are holy and that legitimate use of power arises from the consent of followers.

Like Christ washing the disciple’s feet – what did this do for their perception of his leadership?

Great leaders like Montgomery, Schwarzkopf, Washington, and MacArthur all engrained their officers to “Look after your men”

So, ask yourself:

  • How often do I proactively ask for feedback? (Remember alignment is a two way street)
  • What you expect of me?
  • What I think you expect of me?
  • What I expect of you?
  • What you think I expect of you

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© Copyright All Rights Reserved, The Crispian Advantage. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nick Anderson, The Crispian Advantage and Walk the Talk – A Blog for Agile Minds with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.