Category Archives: Change Psychology

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

Falling trees – missing benefits

fallenTreeDid you hear that?

I am sure you are aware of the philosophical problem about a tree falling in a forest; if there is no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? Which amounts to the issue of if we don’t experience something then how do we know if it has happened. I propose the same thing applies to benefits arising from a change.

Click to see the implications

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

How to persuade people to change

RobertCialdiniPersuasion skills for a Change Manager

There are two basic ways to get people to do what you want: tell them and ask them. Actually, telling people is incredibly effective and works more often that you might expect. Tell is really the tool of the manager. I remember when I first became a manager (actually I received the badge of being a manager, it is not the same as doing management) the first question I had for my manager was: ‘how do I get people to do things?’ to which his simple answer was ‘just tell them’; it was my first lesson in effective communication! Unfortunately, a change manager is not a line manager so the tell option is not so effective and the ask option is much more likely to be used. How can a change manager ask people to change? The answer must be in the change manager’s ability to persuade people to change. Based on an article in the HBR by Robert Cialdini here are six Principles of Persuasion that can extend the persuasive powers of a change manager.

Click here to find out what the principles are and how they work