Get Better Results With Change Management

Can you recall a change that was rolled out in your workplace? If you are like most people we meet, it’s not a good memory. The thing is, it’s relatively easy to plan. Plans and things we make plans about don’t have feelings. But in order to make plans real, we need to involve other people…and people have feelings.

As you may have experienced, it can feel like an insult to find out that a change that affects you was planned without your knowledge or input. At the same time, if you’ve been responsible for planning change, you may know the feeling of dread that accompanies thinking about how people will react that makes you want to keep plans under wraps until the last possible moment.

These dynamics are what makes the change so difficult.

The difference between your plans and reality

The original source of Figure 1: thedoghousediaries

Simply put… When most leaders plan change, the process seems like it could be carried out in a series of logical steps. Many people then proceed with implementation, expecting it to be the nice, tidy sequence of changes they envisioned…. But in reality, organizations and communities don’t change. It is the people, and how they behave or do their jobs, that must change. This makes change more like an obstacle course. There are no “series of logical steps” that apply because dealing with people’s hearts and minds is not necessarily logical. This is why change must be navigated with skill and expertise in order to arrive at the desired result. To be honest, when it comes to implementing new process and programs, current methods are often shortsighted, costly and ineffective.

Change Management anticipates the unexpected Robert McNamara, the chief architect of the Vietnam War, was so haunted by his failure to anticipate the unexpected that, at the age of 80, he felt compelled to meet with his former enemies in order to “explain to future generations why we were so terribly wrong.” McNamara’s conclusion? “The basic lesson is: understand your opponent.” In the context of community transformation, McNamara’s conclusion translates to: get inside the hearts and minds of those you want to change. That’s what we do. We help you avoid mistakes by preparing you for the unexpected. Because at Justicewise, we are experts at integrating both art and science to engage the hearts and minds of people in preparation for carrying out planned change. To be clear, we don’t make people think or do what you want them to. What we do is talk with people to understand their perspective and to get their ideas about what’s needed to make change successful. That helps you improve your plan, and it helps us advise you on how to anticipate and plan for resistance when it comes to implementation.

We Help Your Plans Succeed The good news is that no matter how big or complex as change is, it still happens one person at a time. This means the approach may vary, depending upon the size and complexity of the project, but the principles always remain the same. That’s how we know that by drawing on our past experience we can add a valuable new perspective to your unique situation. Some of our past projects include:

  • Mediating a multi-party dispute that ultimately led to one party dropping a lawsuit against the other party.
  • Rebuilding trust between partners whose relationships were fractured while managing a process that peacefully dissolved their shared assets.
  • Saving a project team over $300K in software customization expenses by uncovering that the customizations didn’t solve the business problem and created new problems that would have caused it not to be used.

Are you seeing how attention to the invisible and often overlooked elements of planning makes all the difference between successful and unsuccessful change?

Now it’s your turn Imagine everyone sharing a common vision, speaking the “same language” and knowing their exact role during times of change. Are you becoming aware of how this naturally causes broader acceptance of your plan? We’ve all seen how evidence-based programs die on the vine even though they’ve been proven to create positive change in other places. That’s because they’re missing the key ingredient – the acceptance and understanding of those who need to be on board to make a new program work where you live. How would it feel to be seen as a hero for having the vision and leadership to successfully implement plans that spend tax dollars wisely, while making your community a safer, more beautiful place? When you work with us, we integrate your expertise into a roadmap that will steer you clear of disaster and lead you safely toward the change you want to bring about in your community.