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101 Tips for Managing Change


Is your change project stuck in neutral? Or maybe even reverse? Are you managing a change effort that has run into passive resistance or active sabotage? Or are you afraid that might happen? Maybe you're beginning to wonder whether your career is on the line…

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might give you someone to blame, but blaming someone else might not be protection enough. The best protection is success. Here's a new look at approaches that the best change leaders use to inspire and lead the people of their organizations to new ways of working.

roller coasterChange managers everywhere face similar challenges, no matter what the size of their organizations. And there's plenty of help available, though much of it is either too abstract or very cook-booky. 101 Tips for Managing Change gives you a way to learn from the experience of others without having to read a 200-page book full of theory and evidence.

In my own experience and training, and in working with clients, I've learned a lot about what works and what doesn't when we try to change. Some of what I've learned is just good practice and has appeared in the literature over the years. But much is new, developed in response to the rapid structural and technological change that has swept through today's office.

This tip book is different from many other guides for dealing with Change. Unlike others, it provides

  • Suggestions for changing the way you experience Change yourself, to help you keep your focus on the Change effort.
  • Ideas you can use not only to resolve difficulties that can arise, but also to avoid problems in the first place.
  • Insights that help you understand the systemic sources of difficulties in Change efforts.

Some sample tips

Here's a sample:

Be honest about whether or not the change effort is elective
People who ordered this item also ordered 101 Tips for Managing Conflict.Management's need to project an image of stability and control can sometimes manifest itself as a desire to position all Change efforts as elective, even when they're forced upon the organization by competitive or threatening factors external to the organization. Because positioning Change efforts as elective when they are not fools no one, you can avoid stimulating resistance and cynicism by being honest about whether the change effort is elective or not.
Labeling people makes trouble
Labeling people as "resisters" or "supporters" or "passives" or any of the other terms associated with the change tends to dehumanize people. Labeling is a divisive tactic that reduces your effectiveness as a change manager.
Speak plainly
New buzzwords, acronyms, abbreviations, jargon and other "in-talk" introduce barriers between the change manager and the larger population. Find plain-language names for new concepts.

Table of contents

Here's a chapter-by-chapter summary of what you'll find in this book.

Click the folder icons to reveal (or hide) individual chapter content summaries, or:

  • 1Tips are good, but they aren't enough
  • 2Know what you're about
  • 3Verify the diagnosis
  • 4Canned solutions don't work
  • 5Take small bites
  • 6Expect change to take longer than you expect
  • 7Choose a good time for elective changes
  • 8Practice
  • 9Maintain a "Change Reserve"
  • 10Training helps
  • 11Educate everyone about Change
  • 12The cheapest way to run a change effort is with enough resources
  • 13Budget plenty of management time
  • 14Replan often
  • 15Everyone will have to work
  • 16Define success criteria in advance
  • 17Success is the only option
  • 18Recognize the kinds of change
  • 19You can't get around Chaos
  • 20Let Chaos happen
  • 21Chaos isn't free
  • 22You might visit Chaos more than once
  • 23Chaos is valuable
  • 24Beware scope creep
  • 25Monitor Chaos with metrics
  • 26Suspend decision-making during Chaos
  • 27Space your changes to avoid collisions
  • 28Go no faster than senior management
  • 29Involve everyone
  • 30Learn from trailblazers
  • 31Expect backtracking
  • 32Know who your Change Leaders are
  • 33Go around obstacles
  • 34Recall when necessary
  • 35Depressed productivity isn't "resistance"
  • 36Not everyone "gets it" on your schedule
  • 37Attachment to what is might not be what it seems
  • 38Doing nothing can be your best option
  • 39Hold a retrospective
  • 40Accept that change is normal
  • 41Be prepared
  • 42Change how you change
  • 43Change is part of your job
  • 44Be honest about whether or not the change effort is elective
  • 45Beware the dangers of denial
  • 46Choose a Change Model
  • 47Beware new Foreign Elements
  • 48Adopt a collaborative attitude
  • 49Command and control won't work
  • 50Grieve losses
  • 51Delay criticism until the after-action analysis
  • 52Know how to motivate yourself
  • 53Map the Change to yourself
  • 54Look ahead
  • 55Keep your eyes on the prize
  • 56People change if they see a chance for something better
  • 57Go for the gold
  • 58Identify opinion leaders
  • 59Change must start with somebody
  • 60Brains are not enough
  • 61Letting go is hard
  • 62Backtracking is normal
  • 63Cut yourself some slack
  • 64Labeling people makes trouble
  • 65Create ownership
  • 66Deliver training just in time
  • 67Plan for frequent successes
  • 68You don't control anyone else's mind
  • 69Changing organizations means changing relationships
  • 70Practice takes time
  • 71Anyone can be right — or wrong
  • 72True communication is bi-directional
  • 73Have a Transforming Idea
  • 74Avoid loaded terminology
  • 75Consult experts
  • 76Be judicious
  • 77Influence by example and demonstration
  • 78Have good answers for the more frequent objections
  • 79Beware taboos
  • 80Not everyone "gets it" in the same way
  • 81Speak plainly
  • 82Anticipate rumors
  • 83WIIFM isn't enough
  • 84Think "us" not just "me"
  • 85WIIFM is hard to undo
  • 86Declare victory only once
  • 87Mandates and commands build cynicism
  • 88Use systems thinking
  • 89Empower Change from high enough in the organization
  • 90Get the budget from the bottom line
  • 91Know how to play Pick-Up Sticks
  • 92Evaluate evaluation
  • 93Understand total costs and total benefits
  • 94Question established policy
  • 95Test, test, test
  • 96Exemptions are expensive
  • 97Look closely at the accounting system
  • 98Plan for change
  • 99Use history appropriately
  • 100Involve all stakeholders
  • 101Never "lock in" again

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