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Something for the weekend …

2014 November 21
by Prosperos World

Dealing With Negative Reactions To Change

2014 November 21
by Prosperos World

Types Of Negativity

What To Do About Them

Rational

Misunderstanding of details of plan, belief that change is unnecessary, disbelief in planned change’s effectiveness, expectation of negative consequences

  • Explain plan with greater clarity and detail
  • Project what would happen if the change were not introduced
  • Involve everyone in quality improvement teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of managed change
  • Institute a bottom up programme for reorganising systems and processes
Personal

Fear of job loss, anxiety about the future, resentment at implied criticism of performance, fear of interference from above

  • Stress much improved job prospects for the future (if true)
  • Accept management responsibility for past failures
  • Present a scenario showing the anticipated benefits of the main change
Emotional

Active and/or passive resistance to change in general, lack of involvement, apathy towards initiatives, shock, mistrust of motives behind change

  • Show, with examples, why the old ways no longer work
  • Stage a series of meetings to communicate the change agenda
  • Demonstrate that the new way is not just a flavour of the month
  • Explain the reasons for the change and promise involvement
  • Be completely honest and answer all questions

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our little series on Change Management.  What other topics would you like a series on?

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Reactions To Change

2014 November 20
by Prosperos World

Effective Ineffective
THINKING
  • Allowing yourself to think about the change and its implications
  • Anticipating, visualising a positive future
  • Looking for the benefits
  • Taking a balanced view
  • Thinking about what you can influence/control
  • Looking at things from different angles
  • Accepting ambiguity and uncertainty
  • Ignoring the change, thinking it will go away – the latest fad
  • Concentrating on the downsides
  • Telling yourself there’s nothing you can do about it
  • Thinking other people are in charge of your life
  • Concentrating on extremes, black and white, or just one perspective
  • Quick to judge, rigid thinking
FEELINGS
  • Accepting your feelings
  • Talking about feelings
  • Asking for help, seeking support
  • Feeling excited, relieved
  • Accepting that you are feeling vulnerable, but not letting that rule your actions
  • Recognising other peoples feelings
  • Owning your own feelings instead of absorbing other peoples
  • Denying your feelings
  • Keeping feelings bottled up or letting them all explode at the wrong time
  • Feeling depressed, helpless, useless
  • Feeling sorry for yourself for a long period of time
BEHAVIOUR
  • Talking about the change, listening
  • Asking questions
  • Being curious
  • Taking action – being courageous
  • Taking one step at a time
  • Looking for ways to make things happen – looking for win/win solutions
  • Trying new things
  • Planning new strategies – taking control
  • Maintaining positive attitude
  • Holding onto the past
  • Switching off, withdrawing
  • Always finding a reason why something can’t happen
  • Being angry, aggressive, moody, rude
  • Blaming others/yourself inappropriately
  • Being passive
  • Refusing support

 

Managing Change

To plan and manage change effectively, you need to make a realistic estimate of its complexity and whom it will affect directly and indirectly.

The following pointers will help you think through the change management process.

Focus: Have a clear goal so that you, and everybody else, know the destination.  Have a clear plan that details where you need to be along the road, by when, and what actions you need to take.  You must be very clear on what the change is trying to achieve, what the priority areas are, how progress is being measured and the final end results desired.

Involve People: Those affected by the change will vary in their attitudes and needs.  Effective change managers are flexible enough to match this variety.  Whenever possible involve people fully in developing long term objectives and planning for change, as well as in implementing plans.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate:  What the change is, why it’s necessary, Keep people updated, let them know of any changes to plan, timescale etc.

Timescale:  Change projects can last a long time – it is said that it can take 10 years to make dedication to customer service irreversible. But short term fixes with quick results can be essential to gain momentum and sustain enthusiasm. A change strategy should include instant actions with quick recognisable impact.

Action Planning:  On the basis of information available create a detailed action plan. Keep it clear and concise. Make use of visual methods of planning and scheduling. Take into account the opinion of people affected, and review your plan regularly.

Anticipating Effects:  The greater the change the less likely it is to fit within existing parameters. Never take people’s support of action plans for granted. Do not expect people to be altruistic. Each person will judge change according to what it promises or threatens for them personally. People rightly expect to benefit as individuals in return for the upheaval of making changes, so plan how to sell the benefits.

Implementing:  By its nature change calls for leadership, but it also requires inspired, dedicated and inspiring followers. Whether leaders or followers, “change agents” play an indispensable role in the change process.

Build On Change

Change requires great effort. That effort is wasted if changes are abandoned or reversed, or do not form the basis for further advance. Build positive change into all aspects of the systems and culture of an organisation.

However good you are you can always improve. Be sure to highlight your successes and enjoy them, but develop a habit of self-criticism as well. As an antidote to complacency adopt a formal system of self appraisal.

 

 

 

The Causes Of Change

2014 November 19
by Prosperos World

Changing Faces To deal effectively with increasing rates of change it is important to understand its underlying causes.  Organisational changes are frequently driven by causes external to the organisation.

 

Political/Legal

  • Competition Law
  • Environmental Protection
  • Taxation
  • Import and Export restrictions
  • Health and Safety Legislation
  • Employment Law
  • Government Stability

Socio-cultural

  • Population demographics
  • Income Distribution
  • Social mobility
  • Lifestyle Patterns
  • Attitudes to work and leisure
  • Consumerism
  • Education

Economic/Environmental

  • Business Cycles
  • Cost of Capital
  • Money Supply
  • Inflation
  • Growth rate of the Economy
  • Unemployment
  • Disposable Income
  • Energy availability and cost

Technology

  • Government Research and Spending
  • Focus of Research Effort
  • New Developments
  • Speed of Technology Transfer
  • Rates of Obsolescence

Change also occurs at different speeds, but broadly divides into gradual and radical forms.

Analysing change

Both gradual and radical change may be either reactive or proactive, according to whether you make the change voluntarily or in response to other pressures.

Gradual change

A gradual change is a change that occurs slowly over a prolonged period, at a steady rate, or with minor fluctuations in intensity.  It can involve many people, or just a few and is frequently linked to continuous improvement programmes.

Radical change

A radical change is a sudden and dramatic change with marked effects.  Often radical change is on a large scale.  Organisations and individuals often stand to gain most from a radical change.  However the risks can appear to rise in direct proportion.

Learning to change may, in many cases, constitute a major change in itself.  One of the best ways to establish a new adaptable way of thinking is to develop a ‘learning organisation’.  This is an organisation in which change-oriented thinking becomes a habit for everyone, and so change is always under way, with all systems and processes constantly under review.

 

Let’s all go to the moon! #LunarMissionOne

2014 November 19
by Prosperos World

One of our good pals has been working away on  top secret project, but although it’s been super exciting, she hasn’t been able to tell anyone about what she’s been working on. Today she was able to share – Lunar Mission One launched a project to get a robot to the moon. The plan is to drill down up to 100m into the moon and analyse samples.  If the Rosetta mission set you alight with excitement then this is a project that you can be a part of.

The team needs funding to get the project off the ground (and up to the moon), and with no taxpayer funds headed off Earth, they’re raising the funds from science and adventure fans through KickStarter.  As an extra bonus, once that hole has been drilled they’ll be dropping a time capsule into it.  You can help shape that time capsule.

It will take a while, building a moon rocket isn’t easy, but the scientists and engineers involved will be sharing their progress with backers, making everyone a part of the team.

We’re going to the moon*, take a look at who else is involved and let’s all send our rocket to the moon.

*None of our consultants will be strapped to a rocket and sent to the moon, no matter what level you back the project at.

The Nature Of Change

2014 November 18
by Prosperos World

People live with change constantly: in a lifetime, everyone goes through personal transformation from infancy to adolescence, young adulthood, middle age and finally old age. A career path may lead from subordinate to junior management, middle management, senior management and even on to board level or consultancy.

Organisations also mature and evolve, with major changes on many levels in policy and practice.

However, change is not a comfortable process for most people. The very nature of change means a time of transition between the present state and the desired state.

Nature of Change

For organisations, change is the way to stay competitive and to grow.

For individuals, the opportunities created by change enrich careers and personal lives.

All Space All The Time

2014 November 13

The achievement of the people at the European Space Agency in landing a probe on a comet has us all very excited.  Imagine their sense of achievement after 25 years in the planning and ten years off the planet, waiting to see whether all of the calculations worked.

We hope that achievement will inspire more young people to take up STEM subjects and follow careers in engineering and science, taking our knowledge further and building better futures for everyone.

We really enjoyed this little mash up of all the space movies we’ve ever seen pulled together into a five minute inspirational clip.  We hope you do too.

Local Lads Making A Splash

2014 November 11
by Prosperos World

Warwick University is known for a lot of things.  It’s the university most actively targeted by UK employers, it has an outstanding reputation for maths and a world class business school.  It’s a lively campus with a history of activism and with a brilliant Arts Centre.

All of this is great, but right now it’s making a splash in a very different way.  The rowing club was stone broke, a real shame as it has turned out Olympic level rowers in the past.  The club decided to raise a little money for equipment by selling their own naked calendar, “Calendar Girls” style, with strategically placed oars and greenery to keep it decent.

The calendar sold well, very well and was a huge hit particularly with gay buyers.  The club realised that whilst their sports calendar was openly displayed by gay people, sport wasn’t always an area where gay people, particularly young gay men, felt comfortable.  The club decided to use some of the extra money the calendar had earned to support young people who previously had avoided team sports because of homophobia or bullying into sport through Sport Allies.

Here’s their story …

Warwick Rowers 2015 Calendar: The Story from Sport Media Productions on Vimeo.

Bricks and Mortar Excellence in an Online World

2014 November 5
by Prosperos World

shop-image It’s really easy to shop online and we’re seeing the effects on our High Streets with stores closing and being replaced by cafes and false shop fronts.  We’re even seeing a trend for large department stores in shopping malls to be replaced by data centres, using the space for server racks rather than clothes rails.

It was refreshing on a recent trip to Cardiff to discover the art of great retail alive and well.

Our first experience was at Rules of Play, s board game shop we noticed whilst walking through one of Cardiff’s arcades  filled with independent shops.  Although small the shop was well stocked, with one of just about everything a board game shopper might want, and a friendly and helpful assistant to guide people on what to buy.  After picking up a new release we spotted a copy of Roads and Boats, a game released about ten years ago that has been out of print for some time.  There was no assistance needed, we were buying the game.  Whilst Grail Quest remains the Holy Grail of board games, Roads and Boats comes pretty close.

Taking it to the counter with a huge smile and a “shut up and take my money” look, the assistant smiled as he rang up the sale. “It’s funny, when this game came in I asked the owner what it was, so I could talk to people about it, and he told me I didn’t need to know because if someone asked they wouldn’t buy it, but if someone came in and knew what it was they’d just buy it, no questions asked.  I thought he was mad, but he’s right”.   He called the owner through from the back.

The owner explained that he’d been offered three copies at a convention and he’d snapped them up.  Here’s where his retail sparkle came through.  He hadn’t put them on the shop’s website.  He knew that if he did they’d be snapped up by someone who would never set foot in his store, and who may well put the game straight onto eBay to make a profit.  He wanted people to be surprised and delighted by seeing the game in his shop.  He wanted to see those faces of retail joy, and he wanted to give those people, and the friends they’d tell of their experience a great reason to always pop into his little store when they were in the neighborhood to check out what was new, safe in the knowledge that they’d stay for a chat and buy something whilst they were there.

A trip to Brogue Trader for some smart work shoes saw old fashioned service, careful measurement and a sensible discussion about style.  Whilst the products available in the shop were also available on line, the in store service was such a delight that it’s now a destination in its own right.

Plenty of chain stores have closed in Cardiff, and those that survive know they need to create a fun shopping experience, of the big brands in town Apple was doing its thing, and the Lego shop was welcoming people in to play, both knew that people might buy elsewhere, but their brand was being built by their in store experience as people would accept no substitutes.

What are you doing to make your sales offer more compelling than an online alternative?

The Role Of Coaching

2014 November 5
by Prosperos World

 What Is Coaching?

  • Coachingtakes over where ‘Training’ leaves off
  • Trainingfocuses on providing additional skills for individuals and teams to do their jobs better and to contribute more efficiently to achieving corporate objectives.
  • ‘Coaching’ recognises that within each individual and team is a further potential to develop and enhance their contribution that has yet to be released.
  • ‘Coaching’ recognises that a lack of skill, technique and experience is only one reason why employees (performers) do not always demonstrate the best performance of which they are already capable.

A Coaching Framework Will Limit:

  • Self-image that people stops trying new things.
  • Fear of failure or the acceptance of ‘compromise’ too early.
  • Lack of self-responsibility for creating the results they want.
  • Unclear personal goals that lead to a lack of internal motivation.
  • Unclear corporate goals that individuals cannot connect with the ‘What’s in it for them?’ factor.
  • Lack of structure or framework that demonstrates that the development of the individual or the team is a priority of the organisation.
  • Lack of supportive relationships with Managers which could empower individuals to be creative, take risks, explore new possibilities and take personal responsibility for achieving team and corporate objectives.

The Role Of a Coaching Manager

  • Developing
  • Educating
  • Coaching
  • Supporting
  • Guiding
  • Trusting

 

Not just because he/she wants to ‘get the job done’ but because he/she uses ‘getting the job done’ as the vehicle for helping individuals to expand their potential and make a bigger contribution to their teams, their organisation, their society and to themselves.

 

Coaching Is The Only Way To Win The Game Of Change

  • Everything is moving so fast that enlightened business leaders know that what worked yesterday is unlikely to be the same as ‘what works’ tomorrow and the day after.
  • One of the reasons that today’s managers often feels frustrated and ineffective is because he/she tries to replicate yesterdays answers to today’s new challenges. They do not yet recognise the new challenges and that they don’t know the answers or what to tell their people.
  • The effective coach does not know all the answers either, he/she does know that not knowing the answers is not the problem.

 

His/her role is to develop his performers to find out the answers and he/she does this by:

  • Helping set goals that really excite and motivate an individual. Traditionally imposed goals rarely do this.
  • Creating an environment where performers can learn and ‘own’ their performance. Accountable for every new result and acknowledged for every step forward.
  • Providing a supportive relationship which becomes more performer-centred than manger-centred (unleashing the untapped power of the individual, traditionally restrained to merely doing the job.)
  • Creating teams of people all committed to not only achieving corporate objectives (the traditional manager’s role) but all committed equally to helping each other become the best performer they possibly can be.

 

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