Donna's blog on coaching, leadership, and life

Archive for August, 2012

Positioning change can be as crucial as the change itself.

An effective leader is conscientious about the environment he or she is creating at any given time, but this becomes especially important during organizational change.

We may not be able to minimize the challenges and fear that people experience when they’re dealing with change. However, by positioning the change, we may help employees be more comfortable as they move towards and through the change—minimizing the negative impact to employee morale and productivity.

If it’s possible, consider positioning the change in your organization by preparing a presentation for your management team in which you:

• Acknowledge and validate the challenges and emotions managers may be experiencing.
• Provide your management team with a clear outline of the reorganization plan and strategies, including the business benefits.
• Position the next six months as a natural transition period.
• Commit to providing training to managers and staff to best prepare them for leading themselves and/or others through change.
• Provide specific language that may help managers respond to immediate employee concerns or questions.
• Make a specific commitment to continue to support technical and/or professional development (or career counseling) for employees, demonstrating the organization’s support to employees regardless of outcomes.
• Commit to regular status updates, when appropriate.
• Allow time for a Q&A. (Be prepared to answer questions directly where possible, and if you don’t yet have an answer or you’re unable to share an answer, assure employees that you’ll share more with them as soon as you’re able and/or it’s appropriate to do so. And then follow through.)

Whether you’re about to lead a large-scale reorganization, or you’re simply helping one person transition into a new role, your ability to effectively position the change can make a significant and positive difference to your team and your organization’s success.

Integrity matters—a lot.

I am consistently reminded of the importance of integrity in our work and lives, which prompts me to share the following brief article that I wrote and had published in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle in June of 2011. I believe the content will never be outdated.

Integrity—honesty, or an adherence to moral or ethical principles—is a core and crucial component to one’s success and influence.

Before writing this article, I posted a message within one of my LinkedIn leadership groups, and asked for additional perspectives or experiences as they relate to integrity. Within a couple of days I received fifteen thoughtful submissions from around the world. The mix of definitions, personal experiences, and multicultural perspectives on the subject of integrity was fascinating. I’ve paraphrased what I identified as the common threads, regardless of the industry or country the feedback came from:
– If we have integrity, it’s something we practice when we’re being observed by others, AND when we’re alone or behind the scenes with an intent, decision or strategy.
– Integrity is part of one’s character, so, if we act against it or even consider acting against it, we can easily experience discomfort—a great barometer to help measure our intentions or behavior, before taking action.
– One’s integrity is closely tied to an individual’s non-negotiable personal values and work ethic and therefore tends to generate consistent behaviors.
– Our commitment or lack of commitment to integrity generates our professional trustworthiness and reputation.
– Even though we may possess and value integrity, it is not always easy to be consistent and maintain that integrity when making decisions or communicating with others in a complex and political environment.
– When we demonstrate integrity we may also be serving as a role model.
– It’s never too late to set new standards for how we conduct ourselves.
– All of the above is just as impactful in our personal lives as it is in our professional lives.
– Integrity matters….a lot.