The Human Side of Managing Change

Strategy without tactics is the longest way to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. —Sun Tzu (The Art of War)

Opening up is one of the most challenging things a person learns to do, isn’t it?

Personal change—mindsets, mental modeling, and sensemaking lies at the heart (center of gravity) of collective change in businesses or organizations.

Our behavior influences and is influenced; Albert Bandura, a psychologist, tells us by our social world and personal characteristics.

Reciprocal determinism, he highlights, the environment, the individual, and the behavior itself—are continuously interacting with one another.

Our environment exerts influence on our behavior, and in turn, our actions play a part in influencing our environment.

Collaboration and Partnering

Normalizing the abnormal (it’s still abnormal!) is not an authentic change. Nor is not acting, which is a form of action and change, in and of itself.

When we challenge this abnormality?

Change agents or practitioners guide leaders, high-performance teams, employees, and workers through collaboration or partnership.

Discover their willingness and ways to intervene and work-through engrained assumptions (such as shared perceptions and attitudes) about the business or organization.

How to measure and improve stakeholder engagements in change initiatives, programs, or projects.

And, comfort zones (such as shared beliefs and assumptions about a business or organization’s expectations and values).

And likewise, expectations on competency and performance hold the business or organization back from bringing about authentic change.

Creative Ways for Bridging Conflict and Disruption

In this context—she is welcoming conflict, as Michelle LeBaron tells us, in her book, Bridging Cultural Conflicts—as intriguing opportunities for learning.

As Kenneth Cloke highlights, in his book Mediating Dangerously, we tend to retreat from conflict and disruption to accommodate to it.

Multiple worldviews, mental models, mindshare, mindscapes, and cultural differences exist as do creative ways to bridge them.

The brilliance lies within us.

Managing the human side of change (human-centricity) develops insights for realizing learning and innovation comes when we cross all types and forms of boundaries (especially silos, tunnel vision, tribalism, and cognitive biases).

Explore problems and their solutions from multiple perspectives. Value, as I promote in IWB’s Manifesto, clinical and business work, collaborating or partnering—thinking that ‘F’s’ are the new ‘A’s.’

Without failures, there can be no transcendent thinking or innovation.

Putting Humans (People) First

This thinking, behaving, mental modeling, and sensemaking creates sustainable climates and cultures, environments, and ecosystems in businesses or organizations that put humans (people) first.

Grow authentic human-centric places to work now and in the future of work post-pandemic.

This work does not land, nor should it continue to be viewed, skeptically, as wishful thinking or sensemaking—temporary highs or changes.

Why does it?

This sensemaking becomes wishful thinking, mental modeling, mindshare, and mindscapes from my observation in working with businesses or organizations.

On change is subjected to campaigns, programs, or regiment of more-of-the-same— factory of standardized and onslaught certified practitioners in a snowballing marketing segmentation plot.

Data Junkies and Data Junkyards

Saying they are human-centric. But making leaders, employees, and workers experience it is not with what these practitioners are doing or using to do so.

Thick well-paid for analysis and branded action reports. Highly efficient and effective assemblers of knowledge and information.

Or even through the magic of Gantt Charts, Excel and PowerPoint decks, or the latest-and-greatest project management platforms of scorecards and dashboards.

Or tried-and-true conventional (more of the same) or ‘New Age’ faddish acronymic models, methodologies, templates, or toolsets, ad nauseam.

Reducing strategies, analyses, reports, or emails to a set of jargon-laced bullet points or ‘faddish infographics.’

Nor managing change (or organizational change management) as waterfall or ‘bolted on’ to the Project Management Office (PMO).

Or project management waterfall and workstreams ad nauseam.

Change management is not project management, nor is project management change management.

Enough, already!

The Mokita of Change Management

Most individuals in this climate or culture could not even begin defining or authentically telling you what change management is, or even worse yet, defining why it is genuinely needed.

Change management is not submissive to project management; neither should project management be passive to change management.

Neither is change management timelines, the same as those for project management.

Managing change (or even change management), timelines go well beyond project management.

Project management does not talk back; change management does. 

Logic is often slow. Fear is not.

What is needed, instead, to navigate around this bias?

Authentic Change

Truth tellers, mindshifters, and idea ambassadors on how to align around a common strategy of authentic change that lands as:Change that sticks! In climates and cultures in businesses or organizations.

Human-centric (leadership alignments, employee, and worker ones) being designed or managed for continuous (agile) business or organizational change.

Fostering sustainable mindshare, mindscapes, sensemaking, and learning communities throughout a business or organization’s environment and ecosystems.

Authentic change and managing human-centric change strive for vested relationships over contract negotiations.

And those change agents and practitioners who collaborate or partner with businesses or organizations, leadership, high-performance teams, employees, and workers.

Are careful only to promise what they can authentically deliver. And then do.

Helping facilitate change that sticks!