Tag Archives: psychology

Making change personal

Using change to grow yourself

personal development in an Action Learning SetIn the April 2014 Harvard Business Review I found a paper about creating a very open culture to encourage personal learning by Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey, Andy Fleming, and Matthew Miller called “Making Business Personal“. The starting premise of the paper is that ’employees do a second job that no one has hired them to do: preserving their reputations, putting their best selves forward, and hiding their inadequacies from others and themselves’. This putting forward the best side, hiding the other side and hiding information about problems is a major cause of change failure and has been discussed in this blog in terms of reporting and Government Blunders.

Click here to see how to make it work for change

Reporting bias and failure: lessons for sponsors

How do you know what’s going on?

On target -- how do you know?Some recent research into bias in reporting about project status has implications for change governance. Two recent examples of poor reporting have surfaced recently: the fiasco on the launch of the IT to support the US Government Health Care programme (Obamacare) and the under-performance of the Universal Credit IT system in the UK. In both cases the senior civil servants and politicians claimed there were no problems only to find major problems when the systems went live (in the US case) or were scrutinised (in the UK). Why do the sponsors not find out (or not tell us) about problems in change projects until Its too late? What can a sponsor do about it?

Click here to find out what a sponsor can do

Avoiding Blunders

Blunder: a spectacular change failure

Government BlundersA book I have just finished reading contains some excellent ideas for avoiding a complete failure in a change. The book, The Blunders of our Governments by Prof. Anthony King and Sir Ivor Crewe describes a series of major blunders by our governments. In each case a government minister set out a radical change in the way things are done and ended up wasting billions of pounds and abandoning the change. The most famous is the introduction of the poll tax; but there are eleven biggies in here. As with many significant change failures, its not just the government that is hurt (well its the taxpayers that foot the bill for these in-competencies) but also customers: you and me (who are also tax payers). Similarly, those at the top who should be accountable seem to have the traditional punishment of promotion and whitewash. The authors identified errors in human thinking and system errors which led to these blunders.

These are the human thinking lessons the authors put forward (the system errors are in the next blog posting): click here to see the lessons

New Year, New Behaviour

New ways of thinkingfirworks

The new year party is over and everyone turns to wonder what the new year will be like. And then you start to think about what are you going to do to make it better and different. Of course there are plenty of articles and blogs to suggest some ideas — and this is one of them! In this context a blog by Rosabeth Moss Kanter stands out with some excellent ideas about doing change.

Click here to find out what the ideas are

Quick, effective decision making

Mid Level Manager MLMGood enough decisions

Making decisions in a fast moving change initiative with deadlines and issues is very hard. Making the best decisions is impossible. Yet most managers in a change are hung out to dry for their bad decisions (with hindsight).

A re-think about decision making and the culture around it is needed to improve decision making and thus produce better decisions.

click here to find out how