Change Friendly Leadership by Dr. Rodger Dean Duncan
When I got my review copy of Change Friendly Leadership, I was transported back to my college days of studying change management. It was a great course and I had a phenomenal teacher, so my thirst for ideas related to managing change well started early. Good thing I found this book! I have two pages of notes and I’m not even finished going back and digging into all of the pages I’ve flagged for further review. There may be another review in the future or even some posts on subtopics to delve deeper, because this thing is full of solid advice for business leaders trying to work within the change process.
Okay, now that I’ve built it up, let’s peel back the layers and dig into a few of the key points of Change-Friendly Leadership.
What I liked
- Training failure-The author quotes a study by ASTD (American Society for Training and Development) that says that despite record amounts being spent on training in the workplace, less than 30% of training is being implemented. Continue reading
When I ordered a copy of Jolt: Get the Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing from BookSneeze (here on Amazon), I didn’t know what to expect. I ended up with a book containing an interesting blend of leadership, change management, and religious topics.
I’m openly and unabashedly a Christian, so that last part wasn’t really an issue for me, but I know that some people are not big fans of that sort of thing. That said, there were a few parts that I did enjoy.
One of my favorite classes as a senior in college was Change Management. Communication was always billed as a key tool for managing widespread organizational changes, but it was always mentioned in concurrence with the actual activities. Basically-be a reporter and share everything that’s happening.
I have since learned that while that is a good plan, there’s an even better way to make things happen. It makes sense, but many people don’t think of it until it’s too late:
If you have a problem to solve, build demand for the solution before sharing it.
This allows you to develop your influence and make an impact far beyond simply communicating the effects of the change after the fact (and that’s not to mention the fun experience of communicating with difficult team members). It requires foresight and planning to pull it off, but the common problems associated with the change management process can be mitigated or eliminated if handled properly.
My own experience
I used a version of this last year when we implemented our first Applicant Tracking System. Up until that point we were using an email address and a folder system on a shared network drive to collect and store all resumes. It worked, but it was cumbersome and time-consuming to manage.
I spent some time talking with our hiring managers about their needs and dislikes with the current tracking system, and then offered to test out a low-cost tool that would allow us to bypass many of the issues we’d been experiencing. The pain points for the hiring managers were still fresh in their minds, and it was an easy sell to get them to let me set it up for us to test. After our first job opening and interview process using the new tool, everyone was sold on it being superior to the previous system.
I followed the steps, and it worked well. Find the problem, build a desire for a solution, and provide the solution that people want. Again-it’s better than waiting until after the fact and hoping for the best solution to emerge!
Anyone ever had the opportunity to use this “stealth” communication technique? What were your results?