Ch-ch-ch-changes

I’m just babbling today, so excuse me. As part of my own personal and professional development I’ve been reading more on Change Management. In the last year or so, I’ve decided that understanding of the skills needed to manage change is essential to survival in a large corporation.

Why I want to learn more about Change Management:

* I want to learn how to influence change in a positive way

* Since I work for a rather large company where change is a difficult thing to pull off sometimes even on a small-scale, I need to have some tips and tricks for making even those small changes happen

* I work for a company which is highly ISTJ. “IS” types find it harder to change than most

* Some of the ideas, I’m proposing will naturally meet with resistance from others, I want to find out how to help people see how these ideas will benefit them, and approach the argument understanding their perspective

* I want to be happy about what I do and take pride in my work, being able to apply new ideas, techniques and methodologies is key to my feeling successful at my job

I found a rather helpful resource called, of course, Making Sense of Change Management. (Esther Cameron and Mike Green, Kogan Page,  2004). The book reviews a good deal of standard business psychology such as MBTI (Meyer’s Briggs), Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, William Bridges transition/change theory, etc, but the authors Cameron and Green do a fairly top-notch job of tying all this theory together and explaining how it pertains to change on three levels: individual, team, and organizational.

One of the key factors to making change happen on the team and organizational level is the type of leader(s) at the helm.   I’ve seen fairly good managers who display many of the traits in the table below, and it’s always our hope that we get such a manager, but managers are only as good as the people who lead them at the top, so I’ve heard.  But part of me suspects that if the people near the bottom do nothing or say nothing to make their concerns heard at the top, they’re just as much to blame if change never happens.

I have to ask myself. How can I influence change positively, and I have to take the ‘slow leadership’ guru’s advice and take inventory of what I can actually influence change on.  Somehow, it seems that this is a skill – being able to understand where and when you have power and when you don’t and to be able to work with that. Sometimes, being the non-emotionally intelligent person that I am it feels like this is a task harder than learning to be a blind-swordsman, but hopefully, I can find the people and the resources that will help me learn how to get there.

A reference table from Making Sense of Change Management  on what makes a good leader vs. a good manager from Warren Bennis (1994)  

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2 Responses to “Ch-ch-ch-changes”


  1. 1 shannonoz January 11, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    I have seen that table before, in my work with my coach. We talk a lot about the differences between leaders and managers. I htink the trick lies in having to be a leader sometimes and a manager at other times. There is a place for management, as long as you recognize that managers manage systems, resources, data, etc., but not people. In our organization, there is a lot of talk about personal leadership, and I do try to be a leader when working with my co-workers and supervisees, even though my title is Systems Manager. By being a leader, I try to be a role model and mentor, look for solutions rather than focus on problems, and see where I can innovate. Being a leader is tough!

  2. 2 nkilkenny January 11, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Agreed, a good manager/leader needs to be able to do both roles. It’s hard to be all of these things, but i suppose this is why mentoring for leadership is extremely important.


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