When you think about the successful change efforts you’ve seen, either at work or in your personal life, have they been heroically directed or skilfully facilitated? I thought of this when reading a recent Globe and Mail article. George Edwards, a leading political scientist at Texas A&M University, asserts that part of the reason for Barack Obama’s current ‘lame duck status’ is an attempt to heroically direct change by using his personal intellect and charisma to sway public opinion and reshape the political landscape.
Ask 12 people what’s going on during change and you’ll get a dozen different answers. Researchers know that change within a dynamic human system – our workplaces – is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous; ” VUCA”!
Faced with charged words like “volatile” many project managers hunker down and pay close attention to the concreteness of their deliverables. Anything that can’t be scoped out and assigned, is best ignored. They assume that, with good control mechanisms and good people in place,
I recently led a workshop on Change Management for HR professionals in Toronto. Most people are familiar with the planning and communication skills needed for the objective side of change; the new behaviours and new systems we want to put in place. We are not so comfortable with the subjective side of change – the personal transitions we need and want to make. But how do you put new resolutions into effect when you are already totally busy?
The busy person is full up
I recently facilitated a half day workshop on Mindfulness for Personal Resilience to kick off an annual two day executive retreat. Here are some highlights and a few practical pointers on how you can increase your own leadership effectiveness using mindfulness techniques.
Do you sometimes feel uncertain of how best to respond to issues or challenges? It may not be just you! Some situations are inherently more unpredictable than others. The phrase VUCA Times started in the military.
The other day, a friend was commenting on a great article she had read, “Stress slows post-recovery workout”. In an experiment, students performed a strenuous workout. Those students with the lowest level of chronic stress recovered their strength much faster than students with higher levels of ongoing stress. My friend’s comments to me were along the lines of, “Isn’t that terrible! See what stress can do to you?”
Later I read the same article, but had a totally different reaction.