PM Quote of the Day — Heraclitus

Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony.

To this day, I still initially recoil when I sense impending conflict.  Luckily, I’ve had enough experience with organizational and personal change to realize that transformation only happens after resistance.  In fact, strong opposition is one of the surest signs that a breakthrough is imminent. 

Cheerful and immediate agreement to a change program means there’s a lot of hard slogging ahead.

Acknowledging fear when leading change

Wow, the latest PM Blog Carnival (here) sure had some blogworthy entries in this edition…this must be my fifth post inspired by it.  Louise Manning at The Human Imprint had a set of key change management steps (here), the foundation of which is her riff on the well-known Gandhi quote:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”  How does a manager facilitate change – well they need to engage and enable their staff.

I was struck by the vivid example of a father fearing the birth of his children in a change management post by Martha Rice (here) at the CMOE blog.  Fear-based resistance requires a determined, yet gentle change strategy based on acknowledging the fears, accepting those feelings, then adjusting those perceptions to the reality.  Her bullet points are a useful aide memoire:

  • Demonstrating commitment; clarifying your reasons for the change.
  • Inviting questions and responding promptly
  • Using active listening skills; show that you hear and understand the concerns of others, but don’t take on or “own” their burdens
  • Increasing communication and information sharing
  • Reinforcing the value of your team members
  • Providing regular updates on the progress and benefits of the change (e-mails, bulletin boards, memo’s, briefings, etc.)
  • Working through the “harsh realities” of change
  • Being accessible to team members
  • Setting aside time for individual coaching
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