Byron's Babbles

All Living Organisms Grow And Change

One of the areas we spend a lot of time on in my leadership development work is change management. I always tell those I am working with that if you are making changes and then say that you need to get buy-in you have already failed. Buy-in must happen organically by having everyone affected by the change being involved in planning and executing the change. I am actually leading a change initiative for a client right now, and one of the things I have been adamant about is that everyone affected by the change be part of the planning and execution. While it may not always be practical to have everyone affected involved, in this case it is. Interestingly, after our most recent work session, one of the team members stopped me afterwards and said, “This is so exciting. We need to make these changes and put this new process in place. I will be able to do my job better because of this.” The individual telling me this was going to be greatly impacted by the changes, but because she is part of the team designing and implementing the change she is excited about it.

The comment by the team member in the previous paragraph affirmed Randy Conley’s statement, “One of the great myths about change is that people automatically resist it” (p. 119). Conley wrote this in Simple Truth #46, “People Don’t Resist Change, They Resist Being Controlled” in the great book Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practice, Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley. What we all resist is being told about a change after others have planned it all out and made decisions that will affect us personally. We always want to know how the change will affect us on a personal level. This is where feeling controlled comes into play.

Changes must happen. As Conley said, “Organizations are living organisms, and all living beings grow and change” (p. 119). Just like plants need numerous nutrients to grow and change, the people in an organization should all be a part of providing the input, ideas, and opinions that serve as the nutrients for organizational change.

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