Today's world is influenced by change. Project managers and their organizations need to embrace and sometimes drive changes to keep up with the pace in highly competitive environments. In this blog, experienced professionals share their experiences, tips and tools to manage and exploit changes and take advantage of them. The blog is complimentary to the webinar series of the Change Management Community Team and is managed by the same individuals.
The 2020 strategic planning session has just wrapped up and the CEO says to the executive team, “Let’s raise a glass and celebrate some really strong work. Now that the ‘hard part’ is done all we have to do is drive these 28 initiatives through the organization.”
Over coffee the next morning the CEO seems a little less sure if planning is the ‘hard part’. He feels confident with the strategic plan and budget; but wonders if he has the talent and skills to deliver in today’s turbulent times? How do you know if the implementation team’s capability is dated in the past, lodged in the present, or open to the future?
Let’s consider a few straight forward questions to assess the era that you are taking a giant leap into:
Past: Is communication and training the extent of your implementation approach? Do you have the skilled resources in place to deliver beyond the basics?
Present: Is your approach still locked into the tools and techniques from the 20th
century? Are you in an echo chamber of the same approaches and conferences that you have used for the last twenty years?
Future: Are you reaching out to new ‘voices’ and different perspectives to keep abreast of today’s rapidly evolving research in the arts and sciences? Does your organization have the curiosity and mindset to be open to new approaches?
Questions for leading change in the 21st century. What era are you in?
Thank you so much for your response and interest.
Yes, I agree that there are some tools that are relevant today and will continue to be in the future, such as a comprehensive communication plan workbook. Communication is not what we do, but who we are as a species.
I like how you phrased your question with “tools and approaches . . .” I find that it is both: tools for framework, organization, and support; and techniques for approaches, mindset, and for managing self and projects in today’s turbulent times. Let me start with a couple of techniques for mindset and application, and then offer a few tools:
- Use an integrated, multidisciplinary approach of the arts and sciences for foundational principles to navigate in a new epoch and new era. This is not a ‘new try’ at an old approach. For example, art for thinking differently in an era desperately in need of innovation, sociocultural evolution and reinventing ourselves 15-20 times in our career, and order of time to not continue repeating ourselves.
- Utilize today’s rapidly developing research in neuroscience for managing change. For example, deeper understanding of why we resist change, and how to manage resistance to change. Caution: deeper understanding also brings ethical responsibility for use.
- Build Your Mind: Incorporate into your personal development plan tri-literate learning for cognitive competence, independent thinking, and personal resilience. Such as, digital skim reading for volumes of information, deeper traditional learning to turn information into insight, and ecological education to stay grounded in reality.
- Personal Narrative: Develop a personal narrative for: longitudinal analysis – not a snapshot diagnosis of events, critical thinking to grow information into knowledge, and to support quality decision-making.
Let me end with a quote from Carl Jung:
“Know your upper and lower limits. You cannot know them in advance, you need to do
things and find them out.”