Understanding “Why” Does Matter in Managing Change—teachable moments

Company cultures. Lines of communication. Organizational structure. The sense of intimacy. And the community.

That existed in businesses or organizations pre-pandemic.

Are being attacked and blown apart. Or are struggling very hard now, not to be done so.

In this aftermath remains confusion, fear, and opportunities for a teachable moment.

These moments are not something you plan for—they are a fleeting opportunity that must be sensed and seized.

You have to pay close attention and be ready for these moments—be willing to engage leadership teams (and their alignments), employees, and workers questions and have an open and honest dialogue.

It is especially taking the time to explain the ‘why’ behind the answer to a leader, employee, or worker’s question because it often is one of the best ways to create a teachable moment.

Building genuine alliances with leaders, sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and all stakeholders are integral to understanding ‘why’ matters in managing change.

So does using skills to make decisions about change—such as empathizing, applying the skill set of using open-ended questionsreflective listening, and summarizing.

Distinctive Signatures

Different climates and cultures have diverse reactions to both change and promoting and working through it.

How these climates and cultures react, and the means that they do so to promote change tells you a lot about the business or organization. It becomes an opportunity to discover their distinctive signature.

They focus on—their sensemaking, mental modeling (maps) for thinking and conduct that serve their behavioral, psychological, and emotional needs.

This signature either can become one describing the thinking and behaviors predisposed to submitting feebly to pain points (change fatigue, change resistance).

Or it can become one describing the thinking and behaviors focusing on inflection points (change readiness: pivot and thrive) movements that enhance mobility and flexibility, authentic strength, and precision.

Pivot and Thrive

  • Authentic change honors resistance and blind spots.

These change agents and practitioners respect why leaders, sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and stakeholders are holding back from changing.

They are truth-tellers, mindshifters, and idea ambassadors who build trust and genuinely understand problems.

  • Authentic change allows sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, all stakeholders to explore ambivalence, non-judgmentally.

These change agents and practitioners help break down the nature of ambivalence, understand barriers, get to the root of deeper values and reasons for changing.

  • Authentic change appreciates that you are making an intellectual commitment to change but may not know how to translate desired change into practice.

These change agents and practitioners help leaders, sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and all stakeholders set frank and distinct goals, understand options like creating practical and personalized intervention plans—for implementing authentic change that sticks!

  • Authentic change is not a one size fits all—with assurances, this fit is highly customizable to your (or anyone else’s) way of thinking or behaving about problems and solutions.

Just as long as you are told (or willing) to transform from being a ‘square peg,’ so you can go through a ’round hole.’

  • Authentic change empowers you to act on your vision by taking calculated risks and overcoming obstacles.

These change agents and practitioners help leaders, sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and stakeholders identify roadblocks and prepare candid strategies to overcome them.

Throughout this process, these change agents and practitioners reinforce your rationale for change. When sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and stakeholders encounter obstacles?

These change agents and practitioners collaborate or partner with sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and stakeholders—to keep their reason for the change in mind, keep their eyes on the prize; building resilience as they encounter setbacks.

Banking Concept versus Problem-Posing

When helping human systems, either individually or in groups or an organization, itself?

These change agents or practitioners will never know enough about the personality, norms, or culture of that system to give honest workable advice. 

This guidance is not, as Paulo Freire, a Brazilian ideologist whose radical ideas shaped the modern concept of and approaches to Education—frames this dilemma.

A ‘banking concept’ —that becomes an act hindering the intellectual growth of those in businesses or organizations.

By turning accountable leaders, sponsors, decision-makers, influencers, and all stakeholders in change.

Into, figuratively speaking, comatose ‘receptors’ and ‘collectors’ of information that has no real connection to their lives.

Instead, it is a ‘problem-posing method’ and line of optics.

Change agents and practitioners pose a question with no intention of steering the dialogue towards a single answer.

Depending on the amount of experience, change agents and practitioners have.

They can expect a certain percentage of the possible answers.

But it is the remaining percent.

Which they never actually considered—that they take an interest in.

Only the individual, group, or organization knows what they are willing or able to do differently.