How to Find Gratitude During Change

How To Find Gratitude During Change 2013-11-25

Thanksgiving by the Numbers Infographic

Thanksgiving Infographic 2013-11-25

What was the menu for the first Thanksgiving? How many turkeys are consumed each year at Thanksgiving? Get facts and stats about Thanksgiving traditions in this infographic.

Thanksgiving seems to be a favorite annual holiday of many Americans.

The most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621. Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest feast. Nowadays, Thanksgiving is a day when family and friends gather for an afternoon of pumpkin pie and football.

For some people, Thanksgiving also provides time to relax and reflect on what we are thankful for before the busyness of the December holiday festivities and end of year activities engulf us.

 

Action – Reflect on and Identify Three Aspects of a Successful Change You’ve Been a Part Of

With the Thanksgiving week upon us, I thought I’d reflect on the three key components of leading change successfully that I am grateful for. I’ve taken a well-known tenet of successful change then added commentary based on 24 years of working with big companies navigating big changes.

1. I’m grateful for having visible and active sponsorswho do the right activities proven to impact change success at the right time.

Prosci*, the world leader in change management research, states in its most recent Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report that sponsorship has been the top contributor to success in all seven studies it’s conducted, by a 4:1 margin in its latest study.

I’ve worked with well-meaning sponsors who want to make an impact but aren’t sure how; so, they just start doing, hoping that their activities will equal results. Activity does not equal results.

Some guidance: if you are a sponsor, here’s what you can do to serve the change most effectively:

    • Earnestly participate. Walk to talk
    • Communicate directly to employees
    • Build a solid coalition of leaders and supporters around you who can further share the reasons and benefits for the change, manage resistance, coach and communicate

2. I’m grateful for having a clear answer to ‘Why Change’… that has been agreed by the key executives leading the change.

Having an agreed upon answer by those leaders funding, leading and being impacted by the change helps to build a vision that can be a reality versus a dream. Use the vision and clear answer to ‘Why Change’ to begin to determine what to accomplish to realize the benefits of the change as soon as possible.

3. I’m grateful for having the resources available to execute the change…and resources include people (with the right skills), time and budget.

‘Vision without execution is hallucination.’  – Thomas A. Edison, (1847 – 1931), American inventor and developer of the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb.

To quote Thomas Edison, ‘Vision without execution is hallucination.

Prosci’s 2012 benchmarking statistics show that those change efforts with a dedicated change management resource were more effective in realizing the benefits of a planned change versus those efforts without dedicated change management support. Once you have your engaged sponsor(s) who have agreed upon the reason for the change, then it is time to execute.

Scope the effort, including who will be impacted and how. Involve individuals and groups who care about the change early in the planning process. Dedicate people, time and dollars to plan, design and execute properly.

Sponsorship is not a “closed door” role. Communications is not a one-time activity, where a one-time memo announcing a company merger means that the merger will now magically deliver on the benefits outlined in the deal’s due diligence. Strategy without proper follow through is a hallucination. I suggest that we leave the hallucinations to the armchair quarterbacks experiencing their post-Turkey dinner trances.

Fellow leaders, share with us what you are grateful for upon reflection of a successful change implementation. We will all learn and benefit from each other’s experience and earned wisdom.

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate – Sandy

Formed in 1994, Prosci is an independent research company in the field of change management.  Prosci has completed seven longitudinal studies in change management over the past 15 years. Its Best Practices in Change Management benchmarking report serves as the most comprehensive body of knowledge available on change management.


Contact me to further discuss how Evolving Strategies’ works with leaders serving as executive sponsors to position them and their changes for success. Helping you realize the benefits of the changes you are leading is what we excel in and enjoy doing.

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Sandra Schwan

Sandra Schwan

Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

Connect With Sandra:
@LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sandyschwan
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@Twitter: twitter.com/smschwan
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Sandra Schwan

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