Cultivating A Garden of Change

“Change is hard.”  “Change or die.” “Just use the Kotter Model.” ”The only constant is change.”

Any of those help you execute change at your company? Not the theory, but the practice – the “how”?

Dr. Glenda Eoyang at the Human Systems Dynamics Institute taught me a great metaphor about change: “We cannot affect the plant, just the environment around it.”

Air

 

Make sure your communications: email, print, presentations, all elicit an ‘air’ of passion for the future vision and present that compelling need to change.  Straightforward, honest, and informative are all good ideas.

Water

 

To the physical body, water is life.  We’re composed of approximately 70% water.  Think of the water you use in the change environment as most important of all.  These are: visible management of all levels, inspired change agents, frequent updates to your teams.  And find out what they may be afraid of.  You’d be surprised at how personal change can be.

Soil

 

A lot of change efforts mean changing people’s work and location.  Think of the roots of the roses and how deep they go into the soil. You’ll want to honor that history, and value the past, when moving forward.  Ensure that you understand where people are coming from and how best they ‘take root’ before you attempt to change their soil.

Sun

 

Celebrate small victories early in the change effort.  This brightness will energize and become a catalyst for the other elements.  Rarely in business do we take time to celebrate the accomplishment of goals and objectives.

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To close the loop, change isn’t hard, it is elemental.

 

For a great, indepth series on change management, check out Steve Roesler’s series here.

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