Client Login
News | Blog | ADRA Change Architects


I was about a month into the implementation of a major process-change initiative for a large global pharmaceutical company when I started encountering some real roadblocks.  We'd done a great job of creating a workable strategy, we'd stayed on-track with our initial implementation, and we'd had good responses to our internal communication efforts, but suddenly deadlines were getting missed, team leaders were showing up late (or not at all) to meetings, and the change team was hearing things like, "Look, I can't just abandon my everyday work to do this change stuff right now.  It's going to have to wait."

What was going on?

bad leadership

Finally I sat down with the VP who was championing the initiative and asked him point-blank what had changed:  "I thought this was a priority for you right now, but I feel like everyone's suddenly lost interest.  Is there something I should know?"

It turned out that two weeks earlier, his boss - the president of the US operations - had attended a global conference of all the company's senior executives.  While there, he'd heard about the other process-change initiatives going on in other countries - the German operation had this fantastic new CRM technology, the British operation had recently transformed their sales function and were outperforming the rest of the EU, etc. - and he came back full of doubt that our change initiative wasn't nearly as fantastic.

His real fear?  That the next time he met up with the global execs, his 'change story' wasn't going to sound as spectacular as theirs.

The result was that his attitude to the change project, hitherto enthusiastic, had become lukewarm.  This attitude was soon communicated to his senior leadership team, who then communicated it to their didn't take long before all the employees involved understood that what had previously been a high priority was headed for the back burner.

What the president didn't understand, of course, was that his sudden lack of enthusiasm was going to cause the very problem he feared:  When the people at the top start demonstrating their lack of interest in or passion for a change initiative, it's almost impossible for that initiative to truly succeed.

The solution:  With the VP's cooperation, I prepared a 30-minute 'Results Report', which I presented to the president and his senior team.  It reminded them how dramatic the results would be if we stayed on track, and I compared our post-change performance with that of the company's operations in other countries - demonstrating that our projected results would put the US operations in the top 3 worldwide.  The president was reassured that he'd still look good at the next global conference, and his enthusiasm returned.

Bottom line:  Change resistance that comes from the top can be the most damaging, because it has the most ability to derail a change effort.  The sooner you can get to the root of the problem, and address it head-on, the better you'll be able to keep a project on-track for the positive results you've worked for.




journaling  (jûr-n-l -ng)


1.a. The act of keeping a personal record of occurrences, experiences, and reflections on a regular basis; keeping a diary.

journaling for change management


I recently listened to a talk given by leadership and psychology lecturer and author Tal Ben-Shachar, formerly of Harvard and now with the IDC in Israel.  Dr. Ben-Shachar cited study after study which demonstrated how effective journaling is for our overall well-being.  In fact, scientific evidence suggests that regular journaling can deliver all kinds of benefits, including reducing stress, helping us solve problems more effectively and resolve disagreements with others, not to mention improving our emotional and physical well-being.

So what does this have to do with change?  Quite a bit, as it happens.

At the individual level it's clear.  If you're in the habit of journaling and something drastic happens in the workdplace (the loss of your job, a major reorganization, the sale of the company, etc.), you'll be better equipped to process the events and move through them more productively.

But what about using the concept of journaling organizationally?  How can journaling help an organization?

Well, of course one way to promote organizational journaling is to hand out notebooks as part of the announcement and encourage people to write about how they feel about it as the change progresses.  It's an interesting idea, and if your company was so inclined I'd tell you it probably wouldn't hurt.  However, you'll get mixed results:  Some people will take to journaling and others won't; some will journal in a productive way, while others won't; still others may be concerned that what they write in a 'corporate sponsored' notebook won't stay private, so they'll write only platitudes, not their real feelings.

On the other hand, what if you take the concept of journaling and use it across the company?

According to Dr. Ben-Shachar and others, journaling actually rewires the brain and creates alternative neural pathways which help an individual cope.  It releases tension and adds a sense of coherence, or narrative, helping individuals make sense of their situation.

Organizationally, we can do the same thing.  After a change announcement is made and people being to think about how it will affect them, I suggest bringing people together and using journaling principles to facilitate communication.  First, give them a chance to write their thoughts down on paper.  Use the 15-minute rule (though others studies show that as little as 2 minutes may be effective).  Then encourage discussion where you, as the facilitator, help them make sense of what's happened within the organization.  (An added benefit of gathering similarly-affected people together is that they can then form an informal support group and see they aren't alone in their situation.)

By creating a sort of 'live journaling' opportunity, you've accomplished several things at once:

  1. You've acknowledged that the announced change is going to affect individuals
  2. You've provided the opportunity for individuals to process that change
  3. You've provided a forum to express feelings/reactions/fears
  4. You've created an opportunity for the team to 're-gel' in light of the new changes (because significant changes can cause even a productively-working team to fall apart)
  5. You've created an opportunity to say goodbye and/or establish closure to the 'old way' and progress forward into the 'new way'

Even better, this kind of exercise can be facilitated by a manager or director - you don't have to wait for HR or senior management to approve or schedule an official activity.

As far as I'm concerned, it's simple:  When we know that journaling can have so many pronounced benefits for individuals, there's no reason not to facilitate journaling at the organizational level.



Sometimes we're rushing around so much that I think we should be called 'Human Doings' rather than 'Human Beings'.  We're coming in early to work, rushing from meeting to meeting and checking our smartphones in every spare minute, trying to get stuff done.  It's no wonder we don't always feel particularly creative or innovative.

change requires creativity and innovation

Creativity and innovation don't just happen, though companies often think they should.  Creativity is born out of knowing as much as possible about the subject at hand and then giving your brain time to ruminate or incubate.  Instead, we're sent to off-site 'brainstorming' meeting, where we're pushed from one session to another, talked at, presented with endless PowerPoint decks, talked at some more - and then suddenly we're told:  "Okay, for the next hour we're going to be creative, people!  We're really going to innovate!"

It just doesn't work.

Here are a few ideas to help get your team's creative juices flowing:

1.  Restructure the off-site meeting:  Instead of putting the 'free time' portion of the off-site/retreat at the end of the end, have meetings on the first few days, during which everyone can learn about the topic at hand and facilitate discussion.  Then schedule downtime to allow that information to simmer.  Come back together the next day and you'll find creative ideas have come to the surface.

2.  Schedule recess for adults:  If you've got only limited time, try adding an extended break in the middle of the meeting.  Gather your team together and make sure everyone is well-versed in the problem or challenge you're trying to solve.  Then send everyone off on a walk, by themselves, out of the building if possible, for 20-30 minutes - no emails, no phones, no talking to anyone else during that time.  Then reconvene and ask for ideas - you'll be surprised how productive those 30 minutes will have turned out to be.

3.  The mini-break:  Get up from your desk and walk outside - don't take your phone, don't check your email, don't talk to co-workers and don't surf around the Huffington Post.  Start with 10 minutes and work your way up.  giving yourself permission to just be for a few minutes will, I promise, almost guarantee your ability to think better and do more in the long run.

Remember:  If you've long been frustrated with the lack of creativity and innovation that you and/or your team have been able to generate, it's probably time to try a different approach.  Continuing to do the same old thing won't generate different results - just increased frustration.


Wednesday, 05 December 2012 02:19

An Open Letter to the President

Dear President Obama:

Congratulations on winning the Presidency for another  4 years.

I know that one of your biggest challenges in the coming months will - once again - be to try to create a productive working relationship with the Republican Party.

A wise person once said to me:  "Do you want to be right, or do you want to make progress?"  I often wish someone would whisper that in the ears of some Senators and Congressmen, because being right doesn't solve the issues of the day - it just gives you an excuse to avoid progress while blaming the lack of it on someone else.

Steven Covey talked about finding the 'third way':  A better way than 'my way' or 'your way'.  It seems to me that this what you and Congress need to do together.  However, in order to do that, individuals need to decide that they'd rather make progress than be right.  Of course, that's a huge risk for some people:  They've made a career out of 'being right', their reputation and their self-esteem is tied to 'being right'.  Looking for that 'third way' forces them to let go of past beliefs and change the way they look at the world.  And that's scary.

It's an interesting thing about change:  We often don't believe we need to change, and we think that if we resist change often enough and loudly enough, the need for it will somehow go away.

Dr. Jeffery Schwartz, in his book Brain Lock, addresses this idea from the perspective of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).  He says that in order to unlock the brain and be free from OCD, new pathways must be formed in the brain.  IN many ways, our current government is suffering from 'brain lock' in that they continue to behave in the same ways, over and over again, and it's crippling - just as OCD can be crippling to an individual.

Dr. Schwartz offers a two-part process to help unlock the brain and create new pathways:

  1. Re-label the problem.  Instead of saying "I am right and I will not budge from my position", say "I think my position has merit, but it might not be the only way".
  2. Create a new path in the brain which refocuses on the positive.  Instead of "I need to get my way on this issue, because I am right", say "Lots of positions have merit.  What can we do together to move this country forward?"

Even getting one or two people to think - and speak - this way can go a long way in changing the current culture of Congress.  It's like throwing a pebble in a lake and watching the ripples:  Sometimes there are lots of ripples; sometimes only a few - but each changes the flow of the water for some period of time.

It seems to me that you see the problems in this country and want to fix them, and that's admirable.  But change is scary for most people, and even when they say they want it, they often mean they want to change others' lives, not their own.

Radical or transformational change often causes anxiety-related panic.  In institutions, this can trigger a step back into 'survival mode', in which the source of change itself is attacked.  The Healthcare Initiative is a good example of this:  The proposed changes benefit the average American, but insurance companies, faced with radical change, panicked and attacked.  The panic of the few (insurance companies) infected the many (average Americans) - and the changes began to seem a lot more scary than they needed to.

Connecting the dots - demonstrating that a change isn't really as radical as they think, and that it will have demonstrable benefits for the individual - for people is critical in times of change.  We often assume that people can connect their own dots, or that there aren't any dots to connect because it's so obvious and we think we'll insult people's intelligence if we connect the dots for them.  But helping people see how the future is connected to their present is one of the best ways to move change along - and that goes for the average person and for members of Congress.

Language as an underused tool

You've mentioned the difficulties people might need to move through in order to get to a great future.  People often don't want to hear that; they don't want to have to live through it - and they definitely don't want to hear about it from someone they think won't have to 'suffer' through it like they will.  When you use terms like 'tough choices' or 'challenging times', you're putting people back into Maslow's survival mode.  On the other hand, helping people envision the better future and walking them through the steps required to get there may keep them higher up on Maslow's hierarchy of needs - and keep them moving forward.

Positive psychology, the study of happiness, has an interesting take on the language we use to describe the everyday.  Instead of focusing on what isn't working, focus on what is working and build on that.  It may seem counterintuitive - and even pollyanna-ish - but it may deliver better results with your cabinet in the longer term.

I bet the majority of Americans don't know that the Healthcare Initiative you spearheaded and passed through Congress isn't actually called 'Obamacare' but in fact 'The Affordable Care Act'.  It's a great name, positive and descriptive, but no one uses it - not even people in your own party.

I realize I've touched on a lot of topics and I"ve oversimplified the challenges you face.  But I did that on purpose, because I find that for many organizations, the enormity of the change required can cause paralyzation and inaction.  By simplifying the challenge, they can find a way to take the first step - and the next, and the next.  What we face as a country is enormous but we need to take that first step.

I'm sure you don't need reminding that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  We can't afford another 4 years of that kind of insanity in Washington, and as the President, the country is looking to you to lead them into doing things differently to achieve different results.

I wish you the best of luck, and much success.


Beth Banks Cohn, PhD


Managing employees' sense of loss around a change

change management loss

When people react negatively to change, it's not necessarily the change itself that is causing the problem, but the sense of 'loss' that accompanies it.  Moving to a brand-new house with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms may sound great, but it doesn't mean you aren't going to miss you 'first house' with its 2 small bedrooms and awkward kitchen - after all, you've had many happy memories there.

A similar sense of loss can happen within organizations which are undergoing change.  Even when the change will result in a net benefit for employees (a better work environment, a more stable sales funnel, etc.), a sense of loss can interfere with positive feelings about the results.  A sense of loss can become disruptive to individuals, and the business, if it's not handled adequately.  Understanding, acknowledging and addressing losses is essential to building a foundation for a smooth and productive transition.


Identify losses

It's important to identify who could experience loss during a change.  A good way to consider loss is to try to answer the question:  Who has to let go of something during, or as a result of, this change?  Will they have to let go of an established relationship with their manager, a process at which they've become expert, or even a coveted office space?  While some may experience these changes as opportunities, others may perceive them as 'losses'.

One way to help individuals identify their own losses is to have them answer the following questions for themselves:

  1. What is changing for me?  What will be different about the way that I work, the people I work with, and the people I work for?
  2. Based on the change, what will I have to let go?

Not every person will consider that every item on their list a loss, but the act of asking the questions will give individuals a chance to put words to the emotions they may be feeling.


Acknowledge losses

Once losses are identified, it's important to acknowledge them.  Some feel that addressing this kind of 'emotion' is inappropriate for a business setting; the truth is that pretending people aren't experiencing loss drives emotions underground where they can fester and cause greater problems later.

Reacting openly and empathetically to another's sense of loss gives them the freedom to move forward without getting stuck in resistance.  Start by expressing empathy, indicating understanding, and then move to a reframing of the situation without arguing or denying the loss:  "I hear that you're feeling distressed by losing a good relationship wtih your current manager, and I understand how you feel and that you're concerned it might impact your chances for promotion.  Let me show you how the criteria for your promotion and career advancement won't actually be negatively impacted by this change..."



Many times we think people are overreacting simply because they're reacting more strongly to something than we are.  And of course we're often uncomfortable with open displays of emotion, especially in the workplace.  So we label any open reaction as an 'overreaction'.  It's important to understand this before we label others.

Sometimes people 'overreact' to a situation because it reminds them of a change that happened to them in the past that wasn't handled well, or because it symbolizes something more to them than what has been announced ("They're moving my department to the other side of the office - this means they're phasing us out and I'll be unemployed within a year!  How will I feed my children?").  Understanding the true cause of the reaction will help you decide how best to help this person through the change.


A 'Good Goodbye'

One way to help people deal positively with their sense of loss is to encourage them to say goodbye.  This is particularly important when people are part of the loss:  The chance to say goodbye provides closure and a clear delineation to move to the next phase.


Looking ahead

Once people are productively dealing with their losses, they'll be ready to move forward through the change.  Encourage people to focus on what skills they possess which will lead them to continued success, and remind them of what they are not losing.  Having them imagine and discuss potential professional gains that may come about because of the change may be a good way to transition from 'loss' to 'opportunity'.



A year or two ago I was working with a senior executive team on a change initiative that would affect about 200 employees in the IT services department of a pharmaceutical company.  When we got to the portion of the strategy that dealt with how we'd communicate the changes to the team, I met resistance.

"Why do we have to have this 'kickoff' all-team meeting at the beginning and an intranet site for daily updates on the changes?" one of the executives said.  "I just don't understand why we have to waste all this time and money on explaining everything to the junior employees.  They don't understand the overall business, and they won't understand why we're making these changes.  If they want to keep their jobs, they'll just do what we're telling them!"

open communication for change management

Unfortunately, this isn't an uncommon reaction.  Many senior execs seem to think that (a) junior and mid-level staffers are too dumb to understand 'the big picture' and (b) people who are collecting paycheques should simply do what they're told, and not suck up all kinds of resources by demanding explanations.

The truth is that emplyees often have a better grasp of the big picture than might at first be evident - it's hard to be a successful, long-term employee in any job without having at least some understanding of the organization as a whole.  What's more, the internet age means that the average employee has more access, to more information, about the organization for which s/he works than ever before.  Employees are more familiar with terms like 'shareholder value' and 'market capitalization' and 'competitive advantage' than they were even 25 years ago.  All of which means they're probably much better equipped to understand business decisions - even those made 'at the highest levels'.

What's more, study after study shows that the best employees - the most productive, valuable ones - are those who are actively engaged in their jobs and their organizations.  In other words, the best employees are definitely not the kind of people who want to just 'do what they're told' - they want to understand their role within the organization, how they're contributing to the organization's success, and that their efforts are making a difference.

If organizations want to keep these high-value employees through a change - and keep them productive - they must communicate the reasons for change, the rationale for decisions, the process of change, and how everything works together to achieve the goal.  Does it take time and money to do this?  Yes.  Will everyone on the team understand every detail?  Probably not.  Will it, in the end, help you retain your top performers and navigate the change successfully?  Absolutely.


Scarcely a day goes by that I don't read another article or blog about why a change management initiative has been a desperate failure, or went off the rails, or got hijacked and never lived up to its potential.  That's fine, as far as it goes - it's good to understand why things go wrong - but I've been involved with all kinds of highly successful change management initiatives and I'm here to tell you that, despite what you may read, failure is not inevitable.

change management success

In fact, I think it might be more helpful to ask ourselves why change efforts succeed:  What factors are required for change initiatives to achieve the results they set out to achieve?

In my 20+ yeas of change management experience, I've learned that the answers to "Why does change succeed?" are the following:

1.  Provide clear reasons for change

There's nothing more guaranteed to get employees to dig their heels in that to announce wholesale changes without explanation, reason or context. People don't like to be 'bossed' around or treated like children.  So take the time to explain why the change is taking place:  Maybe it's for competitive advantage, maybe it's because the marketplace has changed, maybe it's because the shareholders are getting restive.  As long as the reasons are rational and make basic sense, communicating them will make the change process go much more smoothly.

2.  Strive for engagement

Successful change doesn't happen when a small team of senior leaders drags the rest of the organization kicking and screaming into the new world.  Successful change requires everyone in the organization to be engaged in the process and the results.  By providing clear reasons for the change, you've already taken the first step to engaging your workforce; ensuring that they continue to be engaged throughout the process will turn your group into a team which is striving for the same goal.

3.  Make change make sense

Moving your head office 50 miles from one city to another take advantage of improved transportation, raw materials and tax breaks may make perfect sense in the boardroom when the decision is made.  But it won't make sense to the 2500 workers who are about to be displaced unless you can explain to them what this change will mean for the organization.  Does it mean you'll stand a better chance of surviving a difficult economic climate in the next few years? Does it mean you'll be able to reduce the prices for your product and therefore grow the company, with increased opportunity for everyone?  If you don't take the time to explain, all you'll end up with is a resentful workforce.

4.  Communicate!  

Ever notice how sports coaches are always talking to their players?  They talk to them before the game, during the game, after the game - they're constantly communicating instructions, feedback, motivation and strategy.  The same principle is true for change initiatives:  Change will be more successful when communication is continual and consistent.

5.  Stay positive

A few weeks ago, we talked about how a positive culture means a positive bottom line.  A positive environment - leaders who are enthusiastic about change, cultivating an attitude of resiliency and adaptability when it comes to change - will go a long way to ensuring that the team can stay focused on the change and not get sidetracked by resistance or delays to address trumped-up obstacles.

It's just possible that by focusing on the ways in which change succeeds - and spending a little less time on why it fails - the prospect of change may not seem quite so daunting.



Tuesday, 25 March 2014 00:00

Want Change? Show, Don't Tell


Sometimes, memos just aren't enough

The supply chain department in a global healthcare organization was given a clear directive:  Cut $50 millin in costs in the next 12 months or there are going to be serious cutbacks, and this department won't be immune.

Mid-level supply chain manager Adam was both ambitious and smart, and had all kinds of ideas for saving $50 million.  In weekly meeting after weekly meeting, he presented his ideas using carefully prepared PowerPoint slides.  Everyone around the table murmured appreciatively, but nothing ever seemed to happen.

In his researches, Adam had discovered that the company purchased latex gloves in all 22 countries in which it operated, and it always purchased the same brand.  The problem was that the prices from country to country varied widely:  Gloves that cost 10 cents a pair in, say, Canada, were costing as much as 40 cents a pair in other countries.

latex gloves change management

With a total spend of more than $250 million in latex gloves every year, Adam figured the company could easily save $50 million just by reducing the number of suppliers they used around the world, and established a consistent pricing structure.

However, knowing that another memo or PowerPoint deck would fall on deaf ears, Adam tried a different approach.

He contacted all 22 of the company's offices around the world, and asked them to send him a pair of gloves and the price they were paying per pair.  In the next weekly meeting, he bypassed the PowerPoint presentation and instead laid out all 22 pairs of gloves on the table.  To each pair of gloves was attached a price tag indicating the cost of the pair in the country in which they'd been purchased.  Then he wrote '$50 million' on the whiteboard at the front of the room.

As other staff members filed in, they looked at the gloves on the table, looked at the whiteboard, and started to ask questions.

The result?  Adam had approval to move forward on his glove purchasing rationalization plan within 10 minutes, after weeks of geting nowhere.

Why?  Because his 'display' was more engaging than yet another email, memo or PowerPoint presentation; because it didn't require his co-workers to read through paragraphs of text to understand; and because most people realize that any concept which can be explained that simply is probably a good one.  He'd hit all the right notes:  He'd increased engagement, reduced effort and generated in-the-moment consensus.

The lesson for change management professionals - and, indeed, for anyone who wants to effect change in their organization but is meeting roadblocks - is that it's easier to engage people when you can demonstrate your point in a more compelling way, and engagement is the first step to effective change implementation.

Sunday, 23 February 2014 00:00

The Devil is in the Decision-Making

A few years ago I worked with a mid-sized professional services company which was owned by two partners.  Wtih revenues of about $40 million, the company was growing at a steady pace and needed to transition from an entrepreneurial, fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants culture to one which had at least a few established policies, procedures and processes.

At first, everything went well:  The entrepreneurial culture meant that both the partners and most of the employees were comfortable with change, so I didn't anticipate too much resistance to implementing the strategies we'd agreed to.  

Until we got to the new CRM software.

decision making in change management

Part of my role was to oversee the configuration of new CRM software - which tracked sales, clients, projects and accounting - so that it more closely matched the way the business worked.  With that in mind, we'd carefully gathered insight from the different departments, mapped out the business processes, and identified the various roles within the organization.

One of the things we determined was that, because many of their clients had both a head office and a branch office, we needed two address fields in every record.  Typically, the branch office was where the work was done while the head office was where the bills were sent.  The problem?  The partners couldn't agree which address should come first on the screen.

Partner A was adamant that the billing address was most important, so it should come first; Partner B was equally adamant that  the location where the work was done was most important and it should come first.  From a functionality perspective, it made no difference which came first - both showed up at the top of the screen anyway.  But the debate raged on.

For two weeks, we (the change team) waited for a final decision so we could move forward to beta testing.  Finally I realized that without intervention, the stalemate would never end.  My solution?  I bought a $250 bottle of wine - both partners were connoisseurs - put it down in front of them and said I'd give it to the one who gave in first.

I had a decision within 10 minutes.

However, I learned a valuable lesson:  No matter how change-receptive or easy-going an organization may be, it's crucial to establish a decision-making hierarchy at the outset, especially if there are multiple high-ranking decision-makers within the organization.  I could have saved myself a lot of headache (as well as $250) if I'd insisted, at the outset, that one partner be designated as the final arbiter in the event of a dispute.

Tips for easier decision-making management:

  • Make decision-making process mapping a part of the very first meetings with the client
  • Ensure that all project leaders are aware of - and buy in to - the decision-making hierarchy
  • Attach levels of importance to various decisions involved in the change process, so that small ones can be dealt with by managers while larger ones require a director-level or above
  • Establish a final decision-maker who has the authority to make a decision and shut down further discussion
  • Recognize that what you may see as a 'small' decision may be a big one to others - and have a plan to deal with it.



Sunday, 16 February 2014 00:00

Ignoring History Won't Make it Go Away

A few weeks ago I took part in a workshop session with other change leaders and coaches.  It's always interesting to hear how other people approach organizational change - you never know when you might learn something new - but I found myself disagreeing wholeheartedly with one participant, also a change management consultant.

"I never spend time reviewing an organization's history," he said.  "That's just wasted time.  I'm here to help them move forward, not dwell on the past."

beth banks cohn change management

While I agree with the last part of his statement - as change management consultants, we're supposed to be helping companies move forward into a changed environment - I don't believe that it's productive to ignore an organization's history.  What organizations can achieve is dependent upon their people, and people are the sum of their experiences, their history - they can't just reinvent themselves at 9 am on an arbitrary Monday morning and pretend their past experiences never happened.

In fact, you wouldn't want them to.  Much of your employees' value lies in their past experiences, both at work and in their personal lives.  Their education, their life experiences, their relationships with their team members - all of these can be positive assets as you move forward with change.

At the same time, of course, an organization's history can sometimes be a hurdle:  An ingrained resistance to change, old feuds between key departments, a non-productive attachment to outmoded business processes - all of these things can become obstacles to successful, productive change.

Burying your head in the sand is hardly ever a successful strategy

But ignoring these obstacles won't remove them from the path to change - and in fact you may be missing some key insight that could help your change strategy be more successful with less effort.  Here's an example:  You create a chanjge plan and issue edicts to various departments of the organization.  The purchasing department and the marketing department have had difficulty working together in the past, but you've decided that It's A New Day for the organization and proceed with your plans, assuming everyone will pull together - you don't have time to go into that history with them.  Except that 3 days before the change is supposed to take effect, you discover that the purchasing department hasn't released the funds the marketing department needs in order to properly communicate the change, and now you have to delay your change efforts for a month while the mess gets sorted out.  The organization loses money every day the project is delayed - and even more important, the change effort loses momentum while everyone waits around.

Now, there's something to be said for leadership encouraging employees to come to a change strategy with an open mind, and to try not to bring 'baggage' into the process.  But to pretend that the history of an organization - and that of its individual employees - doesn't exist only ends up being counterproductive.


Page 7 of 11


Beth Banks Cohn, PhD, founder and president of ADRA Change Architects, is dedicated to helping you and your organization reach your full business potential…
Read More

changesmart tm

ChangeSmart™ Advantage

Change is a fact of life today in business, but that doesn’t make it any easier to carry out successfully. ChangeSmart™ is a framework, a way to approach change. It is a roadmap for success.
Read More




Improve your bottom line through change.



Achieve your goals by focusing on three critical areas.


Contact Us

OFFICE: (732) 786-8223

FAX: (732) 786-8224