Everybody’s an expert in change. What’s your experience?

Gregory Bateson said, “Change is happening all the time…our role is to find useful change and amplify it.”

Change management is a growing field. Even individuals are starting to think about personal change plans.

My book, Fry the Monkeys – Create a Solution advocates that because change is happening so fast, managers and staff have to stop talking about problems and move to solutions. It’s a productivity issue.

What are your observations about change? What have you personally experienced?

The first two responses will receive a free copy of Fry the Monkeys – Create a Solution

Here’s an example of what I have noticed:

One change opportunity is to move beyond the popular notion that 90% of change fails. Sure, but it all depends on what you measure and who’s doing the measuring. Within ‘failure’ there are lessons to be learned. Ask any social media-driven marketer and they will tell you that they are looking to learn fast lessons from failure because it will tell them what to do instead.

So, what have you noticed?

12 thoughts on “Everybody’s an expert in change. What’s your experience?

  1. Jleonardelli

    Change requires commitment and focus. I find that the initial step is to have the desire to change, then taking action and then transformation is required. It all works when there is the discipline. I wanted to lose 20 lbs and sketched out a diet plan. It took 2 months but i had to focus, revealuate the diet and really work on the discipline part. I succeeded but it takes work

    Everyone wants change but are not ready to commit to it

    1. Alan Kay

      Good point. I much prefer transformation to change. Change sounds too abrupt.
      In SF we say everyone is collaborating, just not each other’s way. Some embrace and commit to transformation, but we tend to notice the ones who want the status quo.

    2. John Nicol

      Well done with your successful diet and resulting weight loss. Your point about discipline is critical. In SF the discipline is framed into a series of small, very concrete steps and ideally these steps are defined as things you can do ‘right away’. These steps are the building blocks of the ‘taking action’ you mention above.

      This approach helps to break down the big, bold goal of losing 20lbs into steps you define yourself and to which you will more confidently commit. As an example – my goal was to jog more regularly to increase my energy levels. The first small step I agreed with my SF coach was to place my running shoes beside my bed. It is hard to truly say to yourself ‘i do not think I can do that’.

      The sum of such small ‘change behaviour’ steps might indeed lead to a ‘transformation’.

  2. Kmerrikh

    My experience is that we need to embrace change, rather than try to impede it. In a merger situation, many people in leadership positions attempt to bring change (cultural change) about formally, but neglect to address the informal culture at play. It seems to me that the whole idea of whether or not a new culture can be imposed by managing the levers of change, or perhaps it is best to let change happen more organically and manage the levers to make it as smooth and positive an experience as possible.

    1. Alan Kay

      Yes, there’s not set formula for mergers (of which, most are actually take-overs). And, every situation is unique. It’s should be a both/and world. The take-over party should spend time understanding the broader capital they have just acquired, not just the balance sheet.

  3. AM Sluga

    As a Director of Communications, I was often asked to create a strategy that would support and enable the restructuring/change process in the company. On one such occassion I expressed my frustration at the lack of enthusiasm by management. The company president chuckled and told me “Ann Marie, don’t kid yourself the only person who really wants change is a baby with a wet diapper.” Unfortunately I found that too often to be true! cheers

    1. Alan Kay

      There’s always skepticism from some quarters, worst of all when it’s in the corner office. Still, in SF we always have a good question to ask. In this case it could be, ‘When you saw changing happen in the past, what worked? And, what role did you play in it?’
      The idea is to get them to incriminate themselves with having the knowhow.

  4. Tom Beakbane

    I’ve noticed that there are people who talk about change and those who change. A focus on solutions puts one in the mindset of changing rather than just talking about it. I subscribe to the approach of “little bets” because they are lower risk and require less talk.

    Like your work/blog/promo – nice work!


    1. Alan Kay

      Thanks Tom. Yes, loads of small changes heading in one general direction are vastly better than big plans / ideals and no traction. The SF line is, “Suppose you were to make some progress right away, what might others see you doing?’

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