This is the view from my office window.
Mt. Diablo, seen partially here, is 3,848 feet high and plenty wide, surrounded by cities and towns. There are many, many versions of this picture, “Mt. Diablo from my window”.
So goes change.
Change is ultimately individual.
Corporate change requires a lot of hands, heart and talent.
The change process eventually narrows down to one person doing a specific task.
Put all those tasks together and you can get change.
So change management through its practitioners and leaders must learn to frame explanations, messages and communications from the perspectives of many individuals. The practitioner does this in message form while the leader must be able to speak from different viewpoints.
Practice this talent of looking at change from someone else’s vantage point. Practice standing at their end state and looking back. Practice asking the questions needed to get better at this. “Poo-poo” (as my kids would say) its significance at your own peril.
- Emotional ties are important. Is there meaning to this change? In health care many changes connect directly to saving lives and helping people. Do you see that for your message and can you make the tie seen through a different window than your own?
- Change of pattern. At the end state will this person be doing things in a different order? Is it the same list of things or is the process changed? If the pattern is changing does that mean ingrained habits will have to do the same? Can you explain these new patterns in a makes sense way? Is is faster? Is it easier? Is it more fun?
- Environment. Many big changes in organization include space moves. Changing environment can be a positive, negative or neutral thing. Can you see this individual end state as positive, from their eyes? Are you guessing they will see otherwise? Coming to terms with that is part of the change process. Understanding this should not be the sole responsibility of the individual. Learn to explain and talk through end states.
- Measures of success. Are you changing the way these individuals will be measured, rewarded and compensated? This is obviously an important part of everyone’s working life. Changes here have to have good explanations. They may not always be the ones the individual wants to hear, but leaving them out will block change.
- Reporting. Big change often has organizational design components to it. So people end up not only in a different spot, but also reporting to a different person. It is very important that leaders make sense of this rearrangement. I can honestly say that a big portion of these rearrangements are of the “chairs on the Titanic” type. Sorry but this talent will reveal change that does not make sense too.
Most important is that this is “my” view. It will not change unless I move to a different window. I have seen beautiful pictures of the mountain from the other side. You could rattle off all the “benefits” of having that view rather than the one I have and probably never get me to change. Put me at that spot, later, doing things that produce those benefits and help me to see the new picture and change becomes a possibility.