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Showing posts from July, 2013

Change Agents: Your most important credential

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Have you ever been fired?

Have you had the personal experience of significant disappointment, setback, and loss?

Can you genuinely relate to what your clients are feeling?

After being "let go" several times in my career, I am convinced that this is the most valuable life experience for anyone calling himself a Change Agent or Change Manager.

When you go over a waterfall in your work or your life, you are thrown into the whitewater of change. You are forced to stop and think: OK. Now what? Where to from here?

I have found that it's very useful is to reclaim your sense of purpose, your inner compass, that you can consult to regain your bearings and decide on your next course of action.

For an organizational change consultant, trying to make sense of the change experience, there are a lot of possible handles for one's purpose. The one I selected is CHANGE:

C = Communicate openly and often

H = Help folks through the transition

A = Align around your core process and your m…

What Inspires Me? Creative Facilitation Challenges

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I love facilitating! When (with the help of Dick Richards' wonderful book Is Your Genius at Work?) I discovered that my calling is to facilitate group wisdom, I realized why I find facilitating so inspiring. It's my core process, as Nick Heap would say.

Back in 2008, I developed ALOHA Facilitation. Here's the story.

I was facilitating a meeting of the pastoral leadership council at my church. While developing my plan, the Hawaiian word Aloha surfaced in my mind. Aloha, in the Hawaiian language, means affection, love, peace, compassion, and mercy. What a great container for some ideas for facilitation:

A = Ask questions

L = Listen to all voices

O = Observe the group energy

H = Help discern the path

A = Activate next steps

It was one of those deeply resonant moments for me as I suddenly realized that this was both my way of facilitating, and my suggested way for the participants to actively play their part in the meeting.

It worked beautifully. Blending Aloha with the shared…

Everything Changes. All the Time.

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In response to my last blog post, LinkedIn member Neil Meredith wrote: "...everything changes all the time and effective change is managed."

Let's pursue the question: "What are the implications for Change Managers?"

If everything changes all the time, one might ask, What do we need Change Managers for then? Maybe it's the term 'managers' that we need to replace. What other words could we substitute?

One of my favorite people in the career transition space is Hannah Morgan of careersherpa.net. Her motto is: "Expert in navigating extreme career terrain."

According to wikipedia, the term Sherpa refers to people who are employed as guides for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalayas. "They are highly regarded as elite mountaineers and experts in their local terrain."

She says:

"Embarking on a job search is like preparing to climb a mountain. Maybe not Mt. Everest, where sherpas are found, but you will still need a guide to sh…

We may have change all wrong...

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On LinkedIn, a lot of recent threads, in the ODNET group and other similar groups that I participate in actively, are focused on the problem of change.

Maybe we have change all wrong?

Maybe change is totally natural and ordinary. Look at your fingernails. Do they need to be clipped again? Soon perhaps?

Look at a photo of yourself as a child. Have you stayed the same? In my case, I won the prize (a bottle of wine) at my 40th high school reunion for being "The Most Changed."

Or more to the point, look at your organization when it was first founded. Is it different today? Of course it is!

Change is Life!

It is the air that we breath. It is the blood in our veins.

One of my favorite texts in college was a slim paperback called "Living With Change" by Dr. Wendell Johnson. He wrote:

"You have to start out with something you are rather fundamentally thinking about your problem, something that begins with the demonstrated fact that you are changing all the time and so …

Seven Elements in Organizational Culture

Often I am asked by my clients to help strengthen or even change the culture of their company. Where do you start?

While there are many entry points for such an effort, it helps to have a model of organizational culture in mind. Such as this.

C = Customer, Commercial, Commitment, Conflict, Creativity, & Communication: The letter "C" carries the most weight in this model of organizational culture. Is there a clear bias toward the customer in all that you do? Do members have a high level of commercial awareness including how the Company makes money? Is there a high level of commitment to core values? Are conflicts resolved in a healthy way? Do members feel free to bring creative ideas to the table? Is there open and honest communication across all boundaries in the organization?

U = Unified Effort: Every organization, from a "mom and pop" to a huge multi-national, is a team. And we know that a strong team has unified effort. Meaning that everyone is pulling in th…