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Change and why it often fails – Workshop Transcript, 30th October 01


Steve Quinn hi everyone. I'm here a little ahead of time to welcome you as you join us today for our workshop on change and why it so often fails
Corporate Learning Hi Steve
Stephanie Phillips Hi all!
Steve Quinn Hi Corporate Learning and Stephanie
Stephanie Phillips Hopefully we'll get a few interested visitors today.
Corporate Learning Sure. I'm actually Alison, not all of Corporate learning ;-) I am interested to see how this e-workshop thing works . . .
Steve Quinn Yes, hope so too. have invited a few friends and colleagues to join us and most of them i would guess will have to go through the sign up process
Stephanie Phillips Okay Steve, over to you I think!
Steve Quinn I'm interested in why change so often disappoints in organisations and i 'd like to share 1 or 2 ideas and then tap in to your experiences , if that's ok
Stephanie Phillips Sounds good!
Steve Quinn Many of the organisations I'm dealing with are good at the project part of change, managing events and processes
Steve Quinn The gap seems to be in getting the people on board with the changes and embedding them
Steve Quinn Does this ring bells?
Corporate Learning Yes. Making the change stick . . .
Stephanie Phillips Steve - people seem naturally reticent to change, don't they?
Stephanie Phillips It's easier to do what we've always done...
Steve Quinn Yes i think that's partly true
Stephanie Phillips In my experience larger organisations seem to struggle more with this...
Steve Quinn maybe managing the project stuff doesn't deal with people's needs?
Steve Quinn Any thoughts from others on this?
Corporate Learning I think too often those who decide the change don't think it requires them changing as well.
Ben Hawes I think the trouble often is that a project for change gets talked over just like any other project, without a sense that it will actually make things different.
Steve Quinn Bridges introduces the idea of helping people through an initial response to change that involves letting go
Stephanie Phillips Sounds interesting - how does that work?
Steve Quinn Alison is this your point about the managers of change not really having to adjust too?
Steve Quinn Stephanie
Steve Quinn backtracking a little Bridges talks about a 3 stage process Endings Neutral Zone and then Beginnings
Stephanie Phillips What's in each stage?
Steve Quinn Letting go seems to be about helping people to understand why a change was necessary and giving them space to talk about that and adjust. Not "project stuff" at all
Stephanie Phillips Alexandra, Robin - do you have any thoughts on this?
Steve Quinn Neutral Zone is that wilderness place where we 're not sure about the future and the part we play
Corporate Learning which can be both scary and inspiring . . .
Ben Hawes How do you make this something controlled and expected, rather than alarming?
Steve Quinn yes exactly Alison the inspirational bit is the opportunity for change for the organisation as well as the individual
Corporate Learning and giving them some ownership over the change.
Corporate Learning Where possible.
Steve Quinn One of the things that seems to get in the way of change Ben is that people lose control, hence the alarming. managing transition is about trying to give back control...
Steve Quinn Anyone got any experiences of good or not so good change experiences?
Steve Quinn The opportunity for ownership seems to come in the second and final stages of the transition process Alison
Steve Quinn Any thoughts Robin?
Ben Hawes How much is it important simply to let people express their concerns about change as part of the process?
Robin Tait I wonder if the issue is understanding and acknowledgement as much as (or probably more than) control for the people subject to change
Steve Quinn Robin the understanding bit seems to be critical too. particularly in the early stages where people need to understand why change is necessary at all
Robin Tait Ah ha! I acknowledge and understand thanks
Stephanie Phillips It seems to almost be a counselling process?
Steve Quinn Technology Robin!
Stephanie Phillips (Hi Denise - thanks for joining us. You can read the transcript above to see what's been said so far).
Robin Tait I like that idea of the counselling process
Steve Quinn hi Denise
Steve Quinn Tell us more about that Robin
denise mc guirk Hello Everyone
Ben Hawes It's important to feel for people to feel that they are moving on, not being left behind by change, and that has a lot in common with counselling.
Robin Tait Well 9 times out of 10 the change is going to happen (whether its a successor not is another matter) but getting people on board is crucial and I think giving them space and time to come on board is maybe a bit like some kind of counselling
Steve Quinn Something else that seems to impact on people's response to change is their previous experience. If not so good we are likely to be more resistant
Corporate Learning And change means people are in the position of learning again and too often we think learning means admitting you don't know anything.
Steve Quinn Robin do you think we all do this at the same pace or perhaps at different rates?
Ben Hawes And their own perspective on experience. It can help to show people how they have already survived change.
Steve Quinn Ah the positive aspect of the Survivors' syndrome Ben
Robin Tait I think we all adapt to change at different rates and in different ways, for some people its about information and for others its about being heard, acknowledged and valued
Steve Quinn Has anyone ever felt incompetent after a big change even one you were looking forward to? picking up your point Alison
Ben Hawes Well, people can often associate adapting to new situations with being young and powerless, and it's not something they want to return to.
Corporate Learning Exactly.
Robin Tait Ben that's an interesting insight, what are you thinking of? any examples
Stephanie Phillips It comes back to the idea of control though, doesn't it? You feel incompetent if you don't feel in control...
Ben Hawes My own experience of this comes from language teaching, where 50-year old successful people suddnely felt 10 when presented with the possibility of working even to a tiny degree in another language.
Steve Quinn I have a colleague who at 50 just had his first child. His transition has been a real eye opener and helped to demonstrate that this stuff applies to life generally
Steve Quinn Bye Robin
Stephanie Phillips Steve - are there any other points you'd like to discuss?
Steve Quinn Ben this idea of incompetence seems to recur in change
Alexandra Watson Is counselling THE best way?
Steve Quinn One area I'd like to just touch on is the way that as managers we get out of synch with our people on the change agenda
Ben Hawes At it's worst it can be a fear of being found out, I think. I don't think counselling is everything, but subtly done it's got to be a part.
Alexandra Watson If people think they are being counselled then they would be defensive no?
Steve Quinn I've found managers to connect better with the idea of talking and lstening rather than counselling . Any thoughts?
Alexandra Watson coaching
Steve Quinn Well coaching is maybe more about improving performance?
Ben Hawes Yes, it's how you present it. But I think it is like counselling in that it's about getting someone to find the capacity to go with change from themselves.
Steve Quinn yes i can go with that ben
Alexandra Watson not always it is holistic and when it comes to fears or difficult changes then it really comes into its own
Steve Quinn And i guess that is the coaching connection too
Alexandra Watson coaching is looking at where someone is and where they want to go to, counselling looks into behaviour and peoples pasts
Steve Quinn We have found that managers and others really welcome the opportunity to talk about their hopes and fears. Not something we normally do
Alexandra Watson Hardly ever
Stephanie Phillips I think it would be easier to talk to someone outside the organisation for many people
Corporate Learning And made much easier when everyone is doing it. Managers included.
Alexandra Watson A coach too is unbiased
Steve Quinn Not just now, but have a try in a little 2 way conversation with a colleague you trust initially around this hopes and fears thing
Steve Quinn Stephanie
Alexandra Watson It will help but you will ultimately find that they have their own opinion and agenda
Steve Quinn Our experience is that the need is to get people talking inside the organisation
Alexandra Watson yes but with a goal
Steve Quinn That being to help them adjust to change?
Stephanie Phillips But then they need to know how to get their concerns addressed afterwards...?
Steve Quinn Yes and part of that could be about external support
Alexandra Watson Yes it is very personal and so one on one is as important as group discussions
Stephanie Phillips It's good to talk to colleagues, but if they feel they don't have any control too, it could make things worse?
Steve Quinn I have a concern that because managers avoid these difficult soft conversations we mismanage change issues
Alexandra Watson Managers need proper training in this area
Steve Quinn many people find a normalising effect from having conversations like this. Oh it's not just me!
Ben Hawes Do you think managers are afraid to change the style of their relationships with employees?
Steve Quinn managers need trained for sure. This unfamiliar territory
Alexandra Watson Managers should become coaches themselves
Steve Quinn Ben What's been your experience of that.
Steve Quinn Alexandra
Steve Quinn perhaps we need to provide them with some concepts around these change issues to complement their coaching skills?
Ben Hawes Sounds worthwhile, something to encourage staff to feel that managers have a map is always good.
Alexandra Watson If they have coaching skills then they should be able to manage change
Steve Quinn Yes the map concept is helpful. Bridges has a map of his model which you can see at his web site
Stephanie Phillips Steve - we're nearly out of time, but it's been a great discussion. Are there any final points you'd like to finish up with?
Steve Quinn yes maybe the package of things that managers need is the hard project stuff, concepts like transition and soft skills development to fill their kit bag
Steve Quinn Guys thanks for joining us today. Happy to continue conversations offline if anyone is interested
Alexandra Watson Its quite unbeleiveable that they don't already have these skills as managers
Steve Quinn Ah well Bye
Stephanie Phillips Great - Steve, many thanks for a stimulating discussion. Alexandra - I think people sometimes become managers by default, or for reasons other than their interpersonal skills, but that's probably another session!
Alexandra Watson Quite!!!
Stephanie Phillips Anyone who wants to stay on and chat, you're more than welcome
Ben Hawes Thanks everyone, bye.
Stephanie Phillips Bye all
Alexandra Watson bye
Steve Quinn Bye all


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