Managing Change, Resistance,And Conflict Gemini Skills Workshop May 1998
Objectives • To appreciate change at an organisational and a personal level • To provide some sensible models that describe the process of change, in order for it to be managed as a process • To understand how to be proactive in managing the change process and reducing resistance • To understand the good and bad sides of conflict
Truths about change - why it happens . . . createspersonalchange createsorganisationalchange . . . Externalchange . . . • Technology • Economy • Government • Society • Customer/competitors • Strategies • Structures/de-layering • Practices • Processes • Products • Role • Responsibilities • Habits • Thinking • Values • Behaviors • Change thus requires individuals and organisations to think, act, and perform differently • No matter how well motivated, an individual cannot make change alone • . . . and an organisation changes only as fast as the percentage of people within the organisation change • . . . thus the individuals within an organisation are as important as the leaders in changing organisations Our model is predicated on involving all parts of an organisation in making sustainable change.
The Five Essential Ingredients of Change Vision Capability to Change Willingness to Change Sense of Urgency Action Plans/ Rewards Successful Change The process can break down if any of these five are not in place.
A simple view of change is presented by Kurt Lewin’s change model Refreezing Unfreezing Movement
Successful change is a continuous process • Communication • Feedback • Reinforcement • Repetition: try it, fix it, try it again • Interim milestones • Celebrate frequent successes . . . and everyone must be involved!
We can use Kurt Lewin’s change model to help us in each phase of implementation: • Acknowledge feelings and empathize • Give people as much information about the change as possible • Say what will not change • Treat the past with respect • Create the motivation and readiness to change Techniques to reinforce unfreezing • Provide focus and direction • Strengthen peoples connections to one another • Open up two-way communications • Provide the individual with a specific role in the change process Techniques to reinforce movement • Ensure that individuals are reinforced for new behaviour • Implement quick results and highlights successes • Build feedback mechanisms • Celebrate! Techniques to reinforce refreezing
Some change tools & techniques • Reward and recognition • Coaching and feedback • Benefits tracking Unfreeze Movement Refreeze Unfreeze Communication Plan - who, when, what, how • Stream charters • Stream logic • Activity plansand milestones • A&D findings • Quick hits • “As-Is” analysisand baselines • Mobilisation • Brown Paper fair • Town meetings • Small group events • Workplans • “To-Be” analysis • Roles and Responsibilities • KPIs • Process flow • Route / cause analysis • Pareto analysis • Problem solving / team building • White papers • Implementation Gantt charts • Implementation RACIs • Implementation KPIs • Manage resistanceto change • Roles and responsibilities charting • Continuous Plan-Do-Review
But this only tells part of the story - Change involves giving up - and this is more of a personal choice The Rational (c. f. Kurt Lewin) Unfreeze Move Refreeze Emotional - “Me” (c. f. Bridges) Endings Transitions Beginnings
Our role is to help others through change • Listening • Focusing: ask questions to pinpointreal issues • Restating: hearing it restated by someone else can help a personto clarify their real interests • Signal shift-take control of conversation • Explain purpose of change • Link to his/her concerns • Summarise: bottom line • “Were my comments clear” • “What are your ideas for the future?” • “These are my ideas” • Agree to finite steps • Clarify Endings • Disengagement • Disorientation • Disidentification • Disenchantement • Share Transition • Explain • Confront / identify • Neutralise • Transfer • Engage Beginnings • Vision & Plans • Communications • Symbols & ceremonies • New Starts
Unfortunately what you want and what you get in times of change often differ What people in change want: What people in change (usually) get: • Empathy • Information • Ideas • Autocratic Behaviour • Avoidance • “Rah rah”
Security • Competence • Relationships • Sense of direction • Territory People feel a sense of loss during change Control, knowledge of what the future holds and place in the organisation What to do, how to manage (can be embarrassing) Familiar contracts (customers, colleagues, managers, group membership) Understanding of where and why you are going Area that ‘belonged’ to you (work space, responsibilities) This sense of loss generates an emotional cycle which can stall in a number of unproductive phases before acceptance of a new direction is complete.
Satisfaction Certainty Confidence Optimism Hope Time Pessimism Doubt Change always results in a roller-coaster ride of Emotions The Emotional Cycle of Change What is important to recognise is that it’s a roller-coaster ride where different people will be in different places at different times. Source: Daryl Conner.
Understanding the Emotional Cycle of Change helps us deal with it • Honeymoon period • Ideas look great on paper • All major obstacles appear to have been anticipated Phase 1:Uniformed optimism – Certainty Phase 2:Informed pessimism – Doubt • Problems surface, not all solutions are obvious • Morale drops (“Why did I ever get involved in the first place?”) • A turning point occurs, a sense of accomplishment replaces a sense of pushing against problems • Problems have not all disappeared, but people’s hopes are based on realistic data Phase 3:Hopeful realism –Hope Phase 4:Informed optimism – Confidence • Optimism continues to develop • A fresh burst of energy appears • Successful change has been made • Official change effort is complete • The outcome is frequently much different from that anticipated in Phase 1 Phase 5:Rewarding completion – Satisfaction
The context for evolving Gemini’s approach to change • Our perspective on change has largely been driven by the experience of companies in the 1970s and 1980s. • Relatively stable periods followed by sudden reaction to events largely imposed from outside. • The business environment of our clients is changing: • Rapid shifts, discontinuities, continuous process of disequilibrium moving to equilibrium and back to disequilibrium. • Increasingly, clients require the capability to evolve and adapt their organisation to these shifting market conditions on a continuous basis. • It is therefore no longer sufficient to understand change as discrete event that can be managed, and which is experienced as a crisis. • Change in this context is better viewed as a creative process of choice, learning and growth.
We are developing our thinking around change as a process of learning and capability development Capability is defined as the readiness to respond adaptively and creatively to new or unforeseen circumstances so as to achieve a specified intent. A capability-oriented approach requires a new perspective on how we consult . . .
Chaos theory changes how we view the change process and how we view the emotional experience of change Disintegration Chaos Creation of a higher order Turbulence Equilibrium Self organising and self renewing systems possess innate properties that use chaos as a necessary stage to move to higher levels of order. Order does not equal structure. Order = dynamic energy that creates form and shape that suits present circumstance. If creating a “higher order”, on any dimension, requires turbulence, chaos and disintegration, what will enable, rather than disable, this process?
We focused on understanding what happens when we work in conditions of uncertainty • Excitement • Fear of failing, being wrong, not having the answer • High levels of anxiety • Block: “I can’t think” • Rigidness: “It’s not my job” • Envy of people who seem to be coping • Blaming of others Emotional responses to working on an unknown task . . . In order to understand how we can create conditions for learning and capability development.
The challenge is to work with anxiety to create insight, avoid defensive behaviour and no learning—not to remove anxiety Cycle of Emotions Promoting Learning Cycle of Emotions Discouraging Learning 1. Healthy Anxiety 1. Unhealthy level of Anxiety 2. Fight or flight 5. Insight or Authority 5. Willing ignorance and inactivity 7 4 2. Uncertainty 3. Denial or avoidance 4. Struggle 3. Risk 4. Defensiveness or resistance Role modelling and the use of structure (tasks, time) act to contain anxiety to healthy levels. Adaptation: “Inside Action Learning” by Russ Vince and Linda Martin, in “Management Education and Development”, Vol. 24, Part 3, 1993.
Anxiety owned and managed Aspiration Developmental Perspective Reflective Space Interpersonal dynamics worked with, not suppressed From here, we identified possible conditions for capability development Conditions for Capability Development Sources: Discussion with Tavistock Consulting Service; Group Focus Interview on capabilities and conditions for capability development (London, March 1998).
If the conditions are met, a virtuous spiral of capability development takes place—without them, we generate defensiveness in ourselves and our clients Conditions for Capability Development • Anxiety as stored energy • Unhealthy levels of anxiety creates stress, defensiveness, denial, avoidance • Owned and managed anxiety creates healthy tension and discovery • Provide direction and a reason for change • Motivate and inspire • Touch people’s hearts Anxiety owned and managed Aspiration Developmental Perspective • Nurturing approach • “Valuing the other person’s ability and handling it as a jewel” • Enabling people to make own discoveries, vs. controlling them Reflective Space • Time to reflect • Readiness to reflect on self and others • Create space for learning Interpersonal dynamics worked with, not suppressed • Emotional issues surfaced • Emotional energy channelled • Facilitates self-discovery • Working with unanticipated outcomes • Discussing the undiscussable • Respect for needs for safety, support, protection and value These conditions can be translated into day-to-day working practices for consultants and teams.
“..we don’t have the resource to do this” “..this could risk delivery” “..quality will suffer” Both support and resistance can come from the same area - it is important to recognise which “..the benefits are enormous” Some above the surface “..the increases agility will really thrill customers” Rational “..satisfaction indices will soar” “..I’ve been waiting for this moment for years” ...and some below Emotional Political “..but that will affect my pay!” “..de-layering of the organisation makes such good sense ” “..how will this affect our relationships with clients?” “..the benefits will be enormous”
Drive Support Observe Resist In making change a success, it is important to understand where the various players’ energy lies 20% 60% 20% ? Both sides try to influence the ‘undecided’ to move to their side - it’s a delicate balance.
So how to manage this? • Focus on the Resistance NOT on the Drive • Seek Champions • Mobilise the Undecided
Change requires individuals and organizations to think, act, and behave differently CALVIN AND HOBBES Bill Watterson ONCE YOU BECOMEINFORMED, YOU STARTSEEING COMPLEXITIESAND SHADESOF GRAY. THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE HARDER IT IS TO TAKE DECISIVE ACTION. BEING A MAN OF ACTION,I CAN’T AFFORD TO TAKETHAT RISK. YOU REALIZE THAT NOTHINGIS AS CLEAR AND SIMPLEAS IT FIRST APPEARS. ULTIMATELY, KNOWLEDGEIS PARALYZING. YOU’RE IGNORANT.BUT AT LEASTYOU ACT ON IT. Neither ignorance or inaction make Change a success.
Change also requires leadership “To deal with the change, I committed us to try certain things with the understanding what they might not all work.Later, I realized that what I started - even through I didn’t see it at the time - was to create two things: an action plan and trust The action plan had varying degrees of success and failure. But the trust was always there. If we didn’t have that trust, we would have complained ourselves out of business a long time ago.”
Show we are serious about getting there – demonstrate support Team Member Support Show personal and professional stability Communicate ‘learning’ Change Demonstrate that we know where we are headed and have a planto get there Rewards consistent with the ‘To Be’ Change Broad-cast the truth Involveteamsin owning change Clarify why change is needed So what you can do to proactively to Iead the change effort
50 Reasons Why It Won’t Work • 26. It might not work. • 27. Not that again! • 28. Where’d you dig that one up? • 29. We did all right without it. • 30. It’s never been tried before. • 31. Let’s shelve it for the time being. • 32. I don’t see the connection. • 33. What you are really saying is … • 34. Let’s not be the first. • 35. Maybe that would work in your Branch but not in mine. • 36. Head Office will never go for it. • 37. It can’t be done. • 38. It’s too much trouble. • 39. It’s impossible. • 40. You’re not here to think. • 41. Can’t teach an old dog new tricks. • 42. Let me think about that and I’ll get back to you. • 43. Let’s wait until the next generation. • 44. The rules say we can’t do that. • 45. We can’t fight local government regulations. • 46. That’s old/new business and can’t be discussed now. • 47. That’s too serious a subject. • 48. No one is interested. • 49. It’s too early to think about it. • 50. It’s too late to start. 1. We tried that before. 2. Our systems are different 3. It costs too much. 4. That’s beyond our responsibility. 5. That’s not my job. 6. We’re all too busy to do that. 7. It’s too radical a change. 8. There’s not enough help. 9. We’ve never done it before. 10. We don’t have the authority. 11. There’s not enough time. 12. Let’s get back to reality. 13. That’s not our problem. 14. Why change it? It’s still working OK. 15. I don’t like that idea. 16. You’re right, but … 17. You’re two years ahead of your time 18. It isn’t in the budget. 19. We’re not ready for that. 20. Sounds OK but impractical. 21. Let’s give it some more thought. 22. That’s my bowling day. 23. That doesn’t effect me or my child. 24. Nobody cares about that. 25. We’ve always done it this way.
Forms of Resistance A. Avoidance of responsibility B. Flooding with detail C. One-word answers D. Impracticality E. Attacking F. Compliance G. Confusion H. Changing the subject I. I’m not surprised J. Silence K. Time L. Nit-picking M. Pressing for solutions Source: Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.
Understanding Resistance is about getting behind the apparent and into the core Indirect Expressions of Concerns/ Visible Resistance Real/Underlying Concerns The Voyage of Discovery . . . but tread carefully - too much exploration is rarely appreciated - simply ask “Why is that?” Source: Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.
Why Resistance Occurs . . . Resistance can occur because people fear: • Loss of their credibility or reputation • Lack of career or financial advancement • Possible damage to relationships with their superiors • Losing their job • Interpersonal rejection • Change in job role • Embarrassment/loss of self-esteem • Job transfer or demotion Source: Ryan and Oestreich.
1. Identify the form the resistance is taking • Trust what you see and how you hear more than what you hear • Ask questions and listen carefully - Pick up the ‘cues’ • Learn from your own reactions: • Uneasy • Bored • Irritated • Listen for repetition and telltale phrases 2. Acknowledge the resistance • Tell the person your perception of the resistance • Do it in a neutral, nonaggressive way with WIN/WIN words: “What I think I hear you saying is …” • Tell the person how the resistance is making you feel: • Use “I” statements • Be specific, clear, and authentic 3. Be quiet, listen, let the person respond • Allow them to ‘vent’ - until they do so progress is limited • Stay attuned to other forms of resistance surfacing • Check for understanding 4. Don’t take it personally • Remember that their behaviour is not a reflection of you. • Let them air their concerns without responding defensively. • Don’t counterattack head-on. 5. Remember the “two good faith responses” rule • The majority of questions about methodology or the project process are just expressions of discomfort • The third time the question is asked, respond to the question with a statement that suggests the person might be reluctant to commit to the problem or process Five Steps for Dealing with Resistance
Acknowledging Resistance: Hints for the Right Words • Describe how you feel: • Your perceptions of how they feel • Being authentic: • . . . Encourages person to do the same • Be assertive: • Direct, without putting anyone down • Use “I” statements • Be descriptive, not evaluative Descriptive Specific Focused Brief Simple Judgmental Stereotyped Lengthy Complicated N O T
How to Acknowledge - some examples “You don’t see yourself as part of the problem?” “You’re giving me more than I need. Can you headline it?” “Say more about that” (and don’t say the next word !) “You seem to feel that what we’re discussing is not ‘real world’. How could we make it more relevant?” “You are really questioning a lot of what I do. You seem angry.” “You seem agreeable to anything I suggest. I’m having a hard time telling what you’re really feeling.” “We seem to be having difficulty moving ahead. Are you confused about something?” How to Acknowledge Resistance Resistance Forms A. Avoidance of responsibility B. Flooding with detail C. One-word answers D. Impracticality E. Attacking F. Compliance G. Confusion Source: Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.
How to Acknowledge Resistance cont’d Resistance Forms Acknowledgment Examples H. Changing the subject “The subject keeps shifting. Can we focus on one thing at a time?” I. I’m not surprised “I feel that you expect me to know more about you.” J. Silence “I don’t know how to read your silence.” K. Time “You don’t seem to have the time to work with me. I find it hard to proceed without involvement from you.” L. Nit-picking “We would appear to be getting into a lot of detail.” M. Pressing for solutions “It’s too early for solution. I’m still trying to find out…” Source: Flawless Consulting by Peter Block.
One of the hardest parts of consulting is coping with the conflict that resistance engenders The top seven sources of conflict on projects are: • Schedules: • Timing, sequencing, duration, feasibility of schedule for project-related tasks or activities • Project priorities: • Lack of goals, poorly defined project mission, differing views of task importance, shifting goals • Resources: • Competition for personnel, materials, equipment, facilities among project members or across teams • Technical options: • From technical issues, performance specifications, technical trade-offs • Administrative procedures: • How project will be managed, reporting relationships, interface relationships, work design, plans for execution, negotiated work agreements with others, administrative procedures • Cost objectives: • Lack of cost control authority, allocation of funds • Personalities: • Egos, personality differences, prejudice, stereotyping Source: Thamhain and Wilemon.
A Key Message The client is not always right, but the way you deal with him/her has to be . . . it requires humility, resolve, and patience.
Strategies for dealing with conflict tend to be situation dependent • Avoiding • Or withdrawing, …but this may mean leaving the solution to chance or fate • Smoothing • Covering up and pretending that all is calm, cooperative, and pleasant - at times a good strategy where third parties are involved • Bargaining • Sometimes compromising - each party gains and loses something - preferably amicably • Forcing • Loser and winner situation - where time pressure exists this may be necessary • Problem Solving • Collaboratively and objectively confronting the problem
Tough Battler Logical Thinker Friendly Helper In situations of conflict think about both parties’ styles - and understand how yours influences theirs The three “pure” styles of influence. • Tough Battler • fighting, powerful, commanding • pressing for results, threatening, repetition • confident, persuasive, forceful • Logical Thinker • logical, knowledgeable, clarifying ideas • facts, quoting rules, practical • orderly, fair, thorough • Friendly Helper • helpful, sympathetic, polite • encouraging, compromising, concerned, friendly • trusting, optimistic, caring, supportive You may need to exercise all three styles at different times.
A useful model to understand one’s approach is the “Assertiveness Matrix” High Aggressive (I win You lose) Assertive (We both win) The extent to which I achieve my goals Avoidance (We both lose) Submissive (I lose You win) Low Low High The extent to which I allow the other person to achieve their goals Always seek to attain a position of ‘win-win’.
Where assertiveness on your part makes sense… employ the “DESC” script • Describe - what you want, how you see the situation objectively, and factually • Express - your feelings about the situation and why you feel that way • Specify - the action you think should be taken and why • Consequences - both positive and negative, of doing or not doing what you are suggesting
An example of the “DESC” script • Describe: I’ve studied your inventory control system team and it is not adequate to meet the increased demands on your business. • Express: I think this is worrying. • Specify: My view is that unless you invest in a new inventory control system you will not fix it. • Consequences: The benefit of this will be that you will cut the amount of inventory you have to hold and there will be fewer stock-outs on the line. If you don’t fix it, you are going to find it hard to meet your new quality targets.
If the client constantly challenges - “AIR” is a useful technique • Acknowledge • What they have said in a genuine way • Investigate • Identify the main source of the resistance • Encourage them to talk more about it - and listen • Isolate and work the separate issues • Reinforce: • Reinforce the positive aspects of anything you are proposing • Calmly and clearly explain the reasons for change (again!) • Look for acceptance Emphasise your role as a partner.
Remember, make sure ‘what you say’, ‘how you say it’, and ‘how you look’ work together to convey the right message Try ‘mirroring’ behaviours.
Nine strategies to deal with conflict and resistance constructively “Do it my way” “Let’s make a deal” “Let’s work together” DOMINATE BARGAIN COLLABORATE Involved You direct, impose, control or resist You trade, take turns, or split the difference You problem-solve together to reach a win-win resolution “Try it, you’ll like it” “Agree to disagree” “It’s yours to do” Your Interaction SMOOTH COEXIST RELEASE You accentuate similarities and downplay differences You pursue differences independently You release control within agreed-on limits “Wait” “Let’s be fair” “I’ll go along” DECIDEBY RULE Neutral MAINTAIN YIELD You postpone confronting differences Objective rules determine how differences will be handled You give in, adapt, or agree Firm Flexible Your Viewpoint Source: Managing Conflict and Disagreement Constructively - H S Kindler, The 1995 Annual, Pfeiffer & Co
Top Tips - Managing Change • Remember people are more likely to change if they can help plan it • Explain the change and its consequences to all those affected • Put yourself in the shoes of those affected when planning change • Explain the benefits of change in simple terms • Always maintain the self-esteem of people affected • Avoid creating win-lose situations if possible • Look for ways to turn negative concerns into positive opportunities • Generate as few surprises as possible • Lead by example • Recognise support and success • Admit mistakes and learn from failures