Most modern managers know much of what there is to know about change management. Still, things often go wrong in practice. This is almost entirely because our actions are not always steered by our knowledge.
Without realizing it, we make assumptions about our employees that end up causing trouble for us. And we tend to subconsciously behave in a way that undermines employees’ initiative and sense of responsibility. To be able to break out of such sticky situations, you need to understand how you, as the manager, are in fact creating and perpetuating these situations yourself.
Social psychologist and management consultant Arend Ardon gives a crystal-clear explanation of how these situations arise, and goes on to offer DIY interventions to get the required change going again. Having observed numerous board meetings, management team meetings, and other team meetings, he manages to pinpoint exactly what truly happens at such meetings when we talk change.
'Arend Ardon makes important contributions to the practice of consulting and to the theory that informs his ideas' – Chris Argyris, author of On Organizational Learning
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You’ll only see it when you get it
1. Recognize persistent situations
You need to be in the picture
Learn how to identify sticky situations and see how you are probably the one perpetuating them.
2. Be aware of your thinking about change
Change stagnation begins in your mind
Find out how you and your assumptions have the power to make or break the change process.
3. See what you do when the going gets tough
The manager’s autopilot
See what others see when you talk change; increase consistency between what you say and what you do.
4. Understand how you are perpetuating the situation
Caught in a hamster wheel together Recognize the vicious cycles you and others have ended up in and break out of a sticky situation.
5. Dare to discuss the undiscussable
How we laugh our way out of real change
See how run-of-the-mill behavior such as downplaying things or cracking a joke nips change in the bud; learn how to effectively address this behavior.
6. Start small
Change in the here and now
Create a climate where you openly learn together and (therefore) achieve more effective change.
Personal message to the reader
Sources of inspiration
About the author
Break the Cycle! - The Six Principles at a Glance
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Defensive strategies scorecard
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