Many of you would have heard the expressions “Change Ability” (capability to change) and “Change Appetite” (The motive for change). The two basic considerations for any change journey…I would like to throw out my new favourite and that is “Change Attitude“.
As “Change Folk” we assess each change assignment by listening to stakeholders, capturing tangible and intangible requirements and packaging them into change programs and projects. We do this mindful of an organisations “Ability and Appetite” for change. These two views of change allow us to understand the bite size pieces for each change increment “Ability” and the motive for getting to the end “Appetite. But what about an assessment of how people view change management itself as a discipline?
I recently represented a client which had me speaking to various stakeholders. It was a typical array of conversations but what was different this time was that one interviewee had it in for change management. I’m not sure if it was the cost, prior bad experience, didn’t see the value or simply didn’t get it? Up until that moment I had assumed that change management and change leadership were fairly accepted as the modern day approach.
I conjured up the term “Change Attitude” while in a risk management workshop last year. The presenter talked about a couple of new concepts in risk management [for me at least] one of which was “Risk Attitude”. Since that workshop I have pondered an equivalent for attitude in a change context.
This got me considering some questions…
- Do we need to factor in what people think of change management or do we just assume that people know and appreciate the intention of the discipline?
- Does the attitude to the change discipline have influence over the goals of the change journey?
- Do we treat such people as collateral during the journey or is it important to get them on board?
- Or Is Change Attitude a derivative of Change Appetite?
I would like to reach out to my LinkedIn colleagues to learn your view on if there is room in our industry for the term “Change Attitude“?
Over the past few months there has been a variety of discussions, threads, blogs and articles on organizational culture. There is a strong theme in many of them that suggests that they need to change their respective culture? I question this because I am a strong believer in needing to understand the “As Is” before one sets off to the “To Be”…
A few random definitions of “Culture”
- The collective values and beliefs of a group of people
- The ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular people or society
- The behavior exhibited by people in the absence of authority (i.e. when no one is around how do people behave?)
If these definitions ring true then could it be a case that a given group of people are simply misunderstood and it isn’t culture at all its the person interpreting the culture? Could the behaviors being exhibited be symptom of a deficiency in the leadership, direction or simple communication from management?
A key attribute of a good leader is empathy…So why not start with understanding culture in an organization before setting out to change it? Who knows by actually engaging and seeking to learn more about different cultures and sub cultures within an organization may be the secret catalyst to other things like process (eg Communication) which in turn could aid surfacing the true or complete culture and not just part of it?