Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Readiness is all: How to build change capacity in organisations

NASDAP workshop #1 Mark Osborne

Key points from mark Osborne's workshop looking at change management.

In a fast moving world we need to distinguish management (things, processes & procedures focused on the now) with leadership (people, vision, and development for tomorrow). Then leadership can be of two types:

1. Leadership for a slow-moving world - where a lone ranger boss carries out sequential and orderly decision making where they may consult, consider and make decisions alone.

2. Leadership in a fast moving-world - where leaders are connected, and empowered teams are decision makers. People are networked and a complex non-linear organisation exists. The teams pool information then make decisions.

There are varying characteristics of first order and second order changes. According to (The National Academy)

First- and Second-Order Change 

  • First-order change is doing more – or less – of something we are already doing. First-order change is always reversible.
  • Second-order change is deciding – or being forced – to do something significantly or fundamentally different from what we have done before. The process is irreversible: once you begin, it is impossible to return to the way you were doing before.
The characteristics of first- and second-order change
  • First-order change
    • Adjustments within the existing structure
    • Doing more or less of something
    • Reversible
    • Restoration of balance (homeostasis)
    • Non-transformational
    • New learning is not required
    • Old story can still be told
  • Second-order change
    • New way of seeing things
    • Shifting gears
    • Irreversible
    • Often begins through the informal system
    • Transformation to something quite different
    • Requires new learning
    • New story is told
Changes in learning environments are often second order changes. To be ready for these changes we need to be considering the change narratives:
- impact on organisation (20%)
- impact on society (making a better society or community)
- impact on stakeholders (better outcomes, opportunities, well-being)
- impact on the team (sense of belonging, caring environment)
Impact on me personally (career development, job satisfaction, well-being)

As part of this, while we constantly assess the risk associated with change, we rarely assess the risk of remaining with the status quo.

Change readiness occurs when believe:
- that change is needed
- the proposed change is appropriate for the challenge at hand (high cultural fit, personal valence - connecting with why people do their job)
- the organisation has the capacity to implement change
(Armenakis et al, 1993)

Also a decision to change is easy when we know values guide us in that decision making.

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