Making Change Happen

I’m participating in the School for Health & Care Radicals and in the interest of working and learning out loud, I am using my blog to share my journey during the program. My Week 4 are reflections are below.  Here are my reflections from Week 1, Week 2 and Week 3.

What have you learned?

When it comes to change, no one is objective, including me.

Concept Source, Image Source.
Concept Source (Slide 9), Image Source.

This week we discussed why many change efforts fail  and are often flawed assumptions around them (see Why Change Efforts Fail by Peter Fuda for the full list).  The one that hit me the hardest was the notion that often times we think that we can be objective around change.  I think I do recognize this in other people, that when you start a discussion on change, people instantly switch from being objective to subjective.  However, I think I failed to recognize this in myself.  For some reason I thought I was immune to the same feelings, emotions and reactions that others have when it comes to change because a – I’m learning a lot about change and b – I’m trying to drive the change.   Turns out, I’m just as susceptible as everyone else.

So what do we do about the fact that we can not really be objective about change? We build our shared purpose.

A shared purpose is the foundation of change.

Concept Source, Image Source
Concept Source (Slide 24), Image Source

When we discussed the model of change above, I instantly realized how critical a shared purpose around change is.   If we build a shared purpose first we can put a little objectivity back into our subjectivity by placing a frame around it:

Concept Source, Image Source
Concept Source (Slide 64), Image Source

When we all have chance to define where we are going, to add value, to share our expertise we can start to let go of some of our subjectivity.  I say this because you can’t take it all out as . . .

Change is just awkward.

It’s uncomfortable, it pushes every single person outside their comfort zone.  I was reminded of this by one of our storytellers this week – Rebecca Lacey who kept saying how awkward and pushed outside her comfort zone she felt.  In fact she both started and ended her story with these statements.    This got me thinking about how Rebecca pushed passed these feeling to drive the changes in her organization.  It was because she had, and ultimately created in others, the energy for change.

Change won’t happen unless you build, support and sustain the energy needed for it.

Concept Source (Slide 46), Image Source

This is my major takeaway from this week as the energy for change is something that is often overlooked in change initiatives. Continuously checking in on your team’s energy for change is a great way to help identify potential stalls in your change initiative before they have a chance to completely derail your effort.  In addition we need to address & balance each one, not only in others but also ourselves.

In Summary

All in all week 4 was a very humbling experience for me:

  • I am not immune (as much as I want to be) to the feelings that change induces.
  • I also need to continuously check in and and nurture my own energy for change.
  • I need to embrace awkward and uncomfortable.

 

 

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