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Make Change Work: Staying Nimble, Relevant, and Engaged in a World of Constant Change by Randy Pennington

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CHAPTER 7

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GO FIRST

Change is such hard work.

—Billy Crystal

CHANGE IS GOOD IF . . .

“Do things need to change around here?”

The answer to that question is always a resounding “Yes,” followed by a list of changes others need to make. People in your organization are willing to change. They just want you to go first.

THE SURVEY SAYS . . .

How would you interpret this comment on an employee survey?

All the Directors have posters with the promises and values. I see very little evidence that any of them have read or applied them in how they lead.

This was one of a very small minority of perceptions drawn from an employee survey about 20 months into a comprehensive organizational restructuring and culture change initiative. It isn’t representative of the overall perception.

So why highlight it here?

The statement was made by a manager with immediate responsibility for implementing the new organizational structure and improving the culture in his area of the organization. Despite considerable work and organizational improvement, this manager chose to view the glass as half empty rather than half full. Rather than focus on what he needed to do—and there were a number of things that needed improvement—he chose to blame others.

There are always a few, aren’t there?

CREATING REALISTIC OPTIMISTS

People react to change in one of four ways (see Figure 7.1):

Figure 7.1 Reactions to Change

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