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Change the Way You Think About Change

February 15, 2011 11:28 by Kristen Fyfe

Change is hard, but learning more about it doesn’t have to be boring. ASTD's newest title, The Change Book, helps you get smart on change management without the pain. It also happens to be one of the most unique LOOKING books we've every published. When I first saw it I thought of The Very Hungry Catepillar, which if you think about it, is a book about change too.

The Change Book, addresses framing your change, leadership, resistance, culture, communication and more. Flip it open to any page - literally -  and you’ll find powerful, concise and easy advice from battle-tested practitioners. Authors Tricia Emerson and Mary Stewart make learning about change fun while asking important questions and providing sage advice.

  • Why aren’t your communication efforts working? The book addresses common pitfalls, like waiting too long, delivering “bad” news and hitting people with the wrong kinds of information.
  • How many people should you involve in your new effort? There’s advice on engaging the masses and there are real stories of organizations who harnessed the power of their people.
  • What should you do about those who resist? Do you have to turn all of them into supporters? Read about finding the people in your “sweet spot” and focusing on them. 
  • How will you keep people excited and engaged? The book offers tips for getting buy-in and maintaining momentum.

Each short chapter holds a nugget of wisdom on subjects like these. A great resource for seasoned change management professionals or the newly initiated, The Change Book provides tips, tools and bits of wisdom from those who have been there, helping to transform some of the most widely recognized organizations in the country.

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Start an Execution Revolution: Five Ways Leaders Get Results

April 27, 2010 16:30 by Ann Pace

(From Business Wire) -- If an organization can’t execute, nothing else matters. A survey conducted by OnPoint Consulting found that companies and leaders that consistently deliver results use five actions to close the execution gap.

1. Develop and use action plans. Action plans are the cornerstone of execution. Rather than being seen as a waste of time, leaders need to appreciated action plans for what they can do: clarify expectations and accountability, align and coordinate individuals and teams, ensure adequate resource allocation, and help leaders take action on problems before they derail an initiative.

2. Expect top performance and hold people accountable. Although leaders know it’s important, many still hesitate to hold others accountable. One reason is lack of clarity around what the person is accountable for in the first place. Potential conflicts can be minimized when everyone knows what is expected. Plus, being clear about expectations reduces the likelihood of having to have the discussions in the first place.

3. Increase cooperation and collaboration. We rely on others to get things done, which means cooperation and collaboration are key to success. The challenge is ensuring the conditions that motivate people to focus on the group’s best interest, without trading off their own interests, are in place: clear communication, shared goals, and clearly defined roles.

4. Enhance judgment and decision making. Two factors improve decision quality. One, involve the right people to include their perspectives and fill in information you may not have. Two, use a systematic process to prevent emotions or biases from clouding the issues or to avoid defaulting to past decisions.

5. Facilitate change readiness. Modeling behaviors is the primary differentiator of the most effective change managers. This goes beyond verbally endorsing a change. Employees want to see words backed up with behavior--this is how they judge how effectively someone leads change.

Read more.

For more information on leadership and human performance improvement, consider attending the session Results-Based Leadership: The Impact of a Clear Vision on Organizational Success at the ASTD 2010 International Conference and Exposition!

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UK: The Answer to a More Fulfilling Retirement

June 11, 2009 13:13 by jllorens

These days when we retire we are in general much fitter than the previous generation and potentially have some 25-30 years of active life ahead of us. The change from a work environment to one where there is no structure and nobody telling us what to do is dramatic and one of the biggest changes of our lives. Whatever number of hours we worked and spent travelling to work, and whatever aspirations we have for retirement, filling 40-50 hours each week on top of previous leisure time, for the next 25 years, is a major challenge.

That's why going on a pre-retirement course can be one of the best things you can do.

An independent study run by the University of Greenwich found that amongst people approaching retirement and in retirement, those who had been on a pre-retirement course were 19% more satisfied with life than those who had not been on a course. Dr. Oliver Robinson commented "this was a highly 'statistically significant' finding, therefore it was hugely unlikely the difference found between course attenders and non-attenders was due to chance. This data could suggest that a pre-retirement course is one deciding factor in whether retirement is experienced positively or not."

Read the entire release.

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Successfully Leading Change

June 4, 2009 14:00 by Juana Llorens

From three decades of consultation and observation, Gerald A. Kraines, M.D., CEO and president of The Levinson Institute and faculty member at Harvard Medical School, has discovered that the best business leaders do five specific things to successfully implement organizational change. According to Dr. Kraines, wēijī, the Mandarin word for crisis, best summarizes the change process: "beware the danger; this is your moment of truth!"

(Read the entire release.)

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