Resistance during a transformation journey can build up at any time, at any part of your organisation. Two elements are vital to overcome barriers: keep positive engagement high and develop the right skills. Both elements will increase confidence and therefore smoothen the path to the future state.
Hi, when we start a transformation program, we are pretty excited about what is coming. How excited are the adopters? Often, they don't feel ready and well equipped for their upcoming change. How can be then accelerate the confidence and the capabilities in our adopters?
In this series, we introduced the four knowledge areas of the CPC change management methodology. These themes guide us on what to consider in our change activities.
My name is Tim Wieringa and I am a change management practitioner here in Singapore.
Today, we talk about engagement and enabling. This knowledge area is targeted at two things: the motivation and the ability of the adopters; the people we want to guide to the future state.
Let me illustrate this with an example. About a year ago, I was supporting several teams in an agile transformation. They conducted regular pulse surveys and unfortunately, the psychological safety score was pretty low. One specific leader shared with me that the motivation was very low and the team members' behaviour was very reactive. We addressed this with a small self-organization program which was very impactful to drive ownership, priority setting and proactive behaviour; essential qualities for an agile team.
With this case study, we understand that the change journey is individual, and we need to feel the pulse of the adopters on where resistance is building up. And address them at the root. This might be a simple skills program or the broader aspects of the transformation.
Thank you for listening and click on the link below to learn more about how to become a Certified Associated in Change Management, and stay tuned for the next episode.
The imagination of the future state is guiding the adopters during the change journey. When we formulate this impact as a collective activity, we can create a better understanding among a wider group of people. And as a result, achieve a stronger impact in people's daily work.
Hi, do you sometimes feel that you are very clear about the impact of your change; and all you get are empty faces and no concrete actions? How can you establish a collective idea of a meaningful and desirable impact of your change initiative?
In this series, we want to introduce the four knowledge areas of the CPC change management methodology. These themes are guiding you on what to focus on in your change activities.
My name is Tim Wieringa and I'm a change management practitioner here in Singapore.
Today, we talk about impact, and impact is more than a generic purpose. Here it is important that the individuals are understanding on what this is all about. We need to find a story that fits the different audiences.
A few years back, I supported this regional leadership team and they wanted to embed a new strategy. The reporting senior managers understood the general concepts of this strategy but were a little bit amiss on how does it impact their daily work. We then organised a workshop, where we took these senior managers in different teams and allowed them to think about, to reformulate the strategy in their own words, in the context of their responsibility. And we also encouraged them to define their own objectives. The quality and the practicality of the results, really impressed the regional leadership team.
When you impose your strategy from the top, it is almost natural to get resistance. In order to have success, you need to allow each individual to digest and translate the impact, the formulation of the impact in their own words. What is essentially in the end, is the end result; that your new direction is embedded in people's daily work.
Thank you for listening. Please click on the link below to learn more on how you can become a Certified Associate in Change Management. And stay tuned for the next episode.
Hello everyone, the last few days we had a lot of rain here in Singapore, and yesterday, finally my host Tim Wieringa brought me out to explore Singapore. Wow, this was impressive!
Our first trip, we went to the city centre and discovered some of the old buildings from the British colony times. My first impression: wow, here is so much green! it makes me feel good. And looking at these buildings I also realised that the Singaporeans moved on to a new, modern way of living. Great job!
As Charlie, the Change Bear, I also observed all the transformation that happened. An old stable is a hotel now (Raffles Hotel), the city hall building turned into a museum (National Gallery), a busy harbour turned into a serene riverside (Boat Quay), and the open ocean was transformed into a entertainment and recreation area (Marina Bay Sands & Gardens by the Bay). Amazing.
How were people able to do all this? Where they using a structured change management approach? Where they forcing the change on the people or allowing it to happen? What are the next big changes that are coming to this island?
But now, back to work! I need to prepare the workshop for Certified Associates for Change Management in this fine city on 23 & 24 September.
In change management, we want to guide or lead the people that are impacted by the new solution from where they are today to the new future state. We call this the knowledge are 'Leadership'. Learn more what that means in practice!
Hi, do sometimes feel that change is a burden on one person's shoulder. It doesn't need to be like that. And how can we build a support organisation for our change activities?
In this series, we want to talk about the four knowledge areas of the CPC Change Management methodology. These themes are guiding us in what to consider in our change efforts.
My name is Tim Wieringa and I am a change management practitioner here in Singapore.
Today, we want to talk about leadership. And, with leadership we don't mean the senior leaders and sponsors. Leadership here represents the group of people which are leading the adaptors from where they are today to the future state. It's a lot more than the sponsors and the change team.
Let me explain leadership with an example. A few years back, I was supporting a global chemicals company in introducing an SAP module for new product introductions. Here, we took a novel approach; we introduced about 20 communities, which were responsible to guide and engage with the relevant people that were impacted by the project. This allowed us to identify the change agents and influencers and easily reach out to over 300 people.
Successful change happens on an individual, personal level. And that's why we need to have a larger group of influencers and change agents. They are able to address the individual needs of the adaptors, and they are supporting the change team and the sponsors. These groups of people together are forming the leadership in a transformation journey.
Thank you for listening. Please click on the link below to learn more on how to become a Certified Associate in Change Management. And stay tuned for the next episode.
Hello Singapore! I am finally out of quarantine and got a great welcome here in Singapore. Oh, yes, my name is Charlie, I am the Change Bear! Originally, I am from Germany and I have been sharing my change management experience in Beijing and Shanghai for the last few years!
What brings me to Singapore? I heard that the program for the 'Certified Associate in Change Management' will be launched here in September and maybe my support is valuable... (for sure it will be!)
First things first! My host here, Tim, promised to show me around Singapore. I heard it is tropical here, lots of green and lots of culture. And, lots of great food. I am excited to play tourist for a bit! I will share more soon...
After that, we bring a fun and joyful spirit to our certification programs - I can't wait for that!
Oh, if you want to learn more about me, check this out.
This week the CFOConneX network has launched the first workshop series and I am delighted to be part of this event! Thank you David Newton and the entire team!
The entire workshops series is about how CFOs can take a new spin to business intelligence; reflecting on how we are doing business planning, budgeting and forecasting. The first session was giving an overview of what this topic entails.
As a change management practitioner, for sure I am looking at the people side of these activities. As a leader we should always think about the why! What is the purpose of financial planning & analysis? In the end we need to make decisions that are pushing our business forward.
Here is an extract of the workshop covering this topic. Enjoy!
In my presentation I have covered three key aspects:
How do you engage as a CFO with the business and contribute to the overall business success?
The SkillsFuture organisation is doing an excellent job, supporting the development of the workforce in Singapore. They have recently launched a set of Critical Core Skills that are vital for all of us to thrive in a business environment that is rapidly changing in terms of technology and human interaction.
The sixteen competencies are grouped in the following three areas:
As a change management practitioner, I am delivering programs that are developing and embedding skills that allow change initiatives to succeed. Are you simply installing a change? How can you ensure that you realise the expected benefits of the transformation program? With this background, I want to share here how change management skills are supporting the critical skills above.
At the core of change is the human side of doing business; how we interact with others. We want to understand the people around us; only then can we overcome resistance and make the new solutions work for them. This is the foundation to make transformation initiatives a success. We learn to understand how people react, how we can influence and engage people. And most importantly, how we can create value in the ecosystem.
Change management frameworks provide a simple structure that allows us connecting the dots and to think critically. Who is impacted by the change program? Who can be an influencer? Change frameworks enable us to collaborate and discover new insights. With these inspirations we can derive innovative solutions that fit into the larger ecosystem.
When we learn about transformations, we also discover that change journeys are about continuous change. The business ecosystem is constantly moving forward and we need to keep moving within it - stay relevant. With this, we develop behaviours and mindsets that is not only open to change; we discover how we can thrive in change.
How can you get started? Become a Certified Associate in Change Management with our hybrid program that is credible, holistic and hands-on.
Source: Critical Core Skills, Skillsfuture Singapore
Did you know that about 26% of the change initiatives are failing? Most probably you did. And this statistic is quite sobering. And you might very well be deep in a transformative initiative and things take too long, and the impacted people are not sharing the same enthusiasm as you. Yes, this is normal.
The good news is, there are clear ways how to improve your odds to over 70%! How? With a clear and structured change management practice in your organisation. Key success factors are:
Curious to learn more about a structured and hands-on approach to change management? We have launched a program for Certified Associates in Change Management.
Hive17 Consulting is excited to announce the partnership between CPC Consulting and TUV Rheinland to bring a new change management certification to Singapore and Southeast Asia. These two partners have been offering the programs in Germany and China and now decided to expand their regional reach.
Change is a constant in today's times - we are all on journeys to capture new markets and innovating our value proposition to our customers. How successful are your transformation initiatives? Do you have the feeling that the adoption takes too much time? What is your recipe against low motivation and high resistance?
The certification program designed by CPC Consulting is successfully combining a broad view across different methodologies and distilling these into their own clearly structured and hands-on approach. Hive17 Consulting is endorsing the CPC methodology not only based on its simplicity; we also support the hybrid learning path: the program is structured in three tiers, as a combination of asynchronous online learning and synchronous classroom workshops.
What do you think about these programs? Who in your organisation network might be interested as well? Please spread out the exciting news to interested friends.
About three years ago, I started to run design thinking workshops and brought the topic closer to people in various companies and functions. As a change management practitioner, I immediately realised the attraction and the synergies between the two stream of thoughts.
Let's look at two of the traditional barriers to innovation and leadership: lack of speed in decision-making and lack of creativity. Both barriers are behavioural. While these are typical barriers to innovation, they are also holding up most change initiatives. And design thinking is a method to address both barriers in simple ways.
Speed - in design thinking we encourage to try things out; the focus is on learning by making mistakes. When we present prototypes early to the customer, we get early feedback on how we can get closer to create value for them. This early feedback facilitates decision-making. Design thinking also promotes to spend a significant amount on identifying the right problem; and still, this time is well invested and allows the team to create the right value for customers in a short period of time.
Creativity - here, design thinking brings many activities that allow people to use their inert creativity. The immersion into the customer's environment creates exposure to gain and pain points that trigger inspiration and critical thinking. During all my workshops we are spending time to prototype - to make the solution ideas tangible. With this activity, we are activating the creative brain and further facilitates the discover of new ideas and solutions. And finally, when we converge and digest the information by using gallery walks and journey maps, we extract the essence of the challenge which triggers further inspiration.
In addition to these two barriers, here are four points how I see design thinking is supporting your change initiatives:
How did you adopt design thinking for your change project?
Source: Why Design Thinking Works, Harvard Business Review, October 2018
At Hive17 Consulting we took our experience and evolved a model that identifies key ingredients that make teams successful in an environment that is ever-changing and complex - in short chaotic. We call these the four pillars of the wheel of antifragility: purpose, customer value, experimentation and relationships.
Each of these include important goals that support success. Though these goals can be contradicting; for example, if the team members have a singular focus on pleasing the customers, then the team spirit might be jeopardised. There is no set of actions that simply improve all four goals at the same time. Therefore, it is important to advance the four pillars in a balanced way. For example, focus on creating value for the customers based on strong team bonds.
While the pillars are based on solid research, our model is created through empiric knowledge. And, we continuously benchmark it to other concepts, thoughts and research, to make sure we are on the right track and further evolve our practice. The other day, I was reading this article "So What is Agile Really About?", in my eyes a great summary of the key principles for agility (which are in itself based on continuous innovation). Here are these 7 principles and how I see them supporting antifragility.
Where do you see the key elements of an agile organisation? What have you observed that makes teams successful in an uncertain and complex environment?
Source: So What is Agile Really About?, Barry Overeem, Scrum.org
We all heard about it - Agile Transformation! I have seen the term used in two situations. Either the organisation wants to introduce Agile Development and that is indeed a major transformation. Or, the organisation wants to drive change (innovation, market expansion, increased competition, etc.) and they decided to become more agile. I suggest to converge to the latter.
So, how can a change management approach bring more agility in leadership, to the teams and to the success of your operations? Here are a few pointers from my practice, inspired as well from two articles linked below.
Mentioned many times, the North Star is key to make people excited about the change to come, gives them meaning. And it is also the anchor and the imagination for what we want to achieve. Without this, agility turns into chaos.
The people in the frontlines have access to the best knowledge and information on how to bring success with change. Delegating control to the people that can run the show, makes the teams nimble and they can act faster. People on the top might - often involuntary - act as bottlenecks.
Facilitating lasting success means, these teams need to be self-sufficient and self-organising. The team needs the right environment and the right skills to get there. And, for sure, they need to be aware that they are acting in a larger ecosystem, all striving for the same north star.
Achieving the north start mostly includes creating value for our customers. The teams should create structured routines that allow them to discover a clear view on how this value looks like and what the customers appreciate most.
At the core of each team is learning - this bring the individual, the team and the entire ecosystem forward. Experimentation enables continuous learning; and the leaders facilitate and contribute in this journey.
Planning for the next 12 to 18 months often leads to situation where a team is stuck in their course and unable to take the necessary changes to adapt to a new environment. Therefore, I suggest to create an imagination of the future state and of the path to get there. This provides direction and keeps the flexibility. Based on this, the team can plan what they want to achieve and learn now - typically in a horizon of three months.
Lastely, the agile teams work best in an environment that cultivates meaning and trust; as leaders we can create a platform for success and this requires a place where we can have open conversations, feel safe and find our work fulfilling.
In my eyes, agility is not about processes and organisational structures. Change management practices have shown how we can engage with a new leadership style that is universal on all levels of the organisation; a style that is inspiring and enabling people to be successful. This is how we can stay adaptive, nimble and jump ahead to new opportunities.
Where do you see the the link between change management and agility? How do you put these into practice?
An Agile Approach to Change Management, Harvard Business Review
Unleashing the power of small, independent teams, McKinsey Quarterly
Since about a decade, we talked about a business environment that is constantly changing, complex and exposing our company to disruption. The year 2020 showed us, how real this can be for any business and for our entire life. Over the last five years, I have developed a framework which I think allows us, our teams, and our company to create a platform for lasting success. A conversation yesterday motivated me to share this here again.
The volatile business environment we are in, requires an important revelation: if we continue doing the same thing, we will be getting the same results. So, we need to try new things. Then, the main question is: who should define these experiments? Who should be in control of bringing our business forward? As a change management practitioner, I suggest two dimensions which are highly important to our leadership.
Direction - How often do we define a new strategy and after some time realise that our business is still running in the same way? In my experience, the bottleneck is not the understanding of what the strategy is; rather, there is a lack of understanding and persistence on how this new strategy is impacting everybody's daily work. Here we need alignment and transparency to define and implement the collective dream.
Acceleration - In a next step, there are more barriers for success: who is coming up with the crazy ideas? Only big bets will make us move forward over time. And, implementing big bets seems to be a daunting endeavour like climbing the Mount Everest. Here we need experimentation, focus, safe working environment, cross-silo collaboration, etc in order to innovate and to excel.
How are you able to trigger the change in your company culture to achieve this platform for lasting success? Please reach out to me to exchange thoughts.
For the people that know me, I like to promote the concept of People Excellence - driving operational excellence through our people.
This recent article in the Bangkok Post by Arinya Talerngsri also emphasises the people in the transformation work. We are in an age where many thought leaders are talking about how we can robotise our workforce and create fantastic efficiencies. Arinya shares my conviction that lasting success will come by cultivating a workforce of engaged critical thinkers.
Here my key points I took out of this article:
This article also shows that we have great thought leaders in Southeast Asia. Based on the cultural backgrounds within this diverse region, we are able to build on a strong habits that focus on building relationships and putting people at the centre. This is a fantastic opportunity - also for the rest of the world.
What is your story in shifting your focus from technology to people?
Source: Driving digital transformation through people transformation
"How do I motivate my staff?" This is a common question and an exciting one for me. This week I started to bring it in relation with resistance to change. I think these two topics are two sides of the same coin.
How do I motivate? How do I remove the resistance to change? The answer in my eyes is "simple" and from the start, I admit it is not easy to actually do it - let's get later to this.
If you impose change on people, they will resist. This is basically wired in our brains. When you provide the space to people to define their own change, they are excited about the things that will come. They are motivated to start their change journey. This means, true motivation and change comes from within.
As a leader, what do I need to do? Something many people don't feel comfortable to do: let go of control. In their respective scope, allow teams to define what they want to achieve and how they want to get there. This means give them the necessary decision-making power and resources. This freedom is exciting and unleashes a huge potential.
OK, I get that... How do I get started?
Letting go of control is scary. So, let's start with something small, an area where risk is small and where your teams and you as a leader can try out, how the delegation of control works in your environment. In this case study, you can find an example in a factory. Another example is giving ownership of the office coffee area. Recently, I am also suggesting to give your people control over where and when they work. Why not?
One last question: how did you feel when you took responsibility over a certain area?
This year, I am celebrating my 10 year anniversary as a practitioner in the field of change management. I started to get curious about the topic while I was deep in implementing knowledge management programs at a multinational company. We were constantly presenting new ways of working to our colleagues and it was natural to get closer to the levers of facilitating change.
Admittedly, Change Management is not the most popular term and yes, I am not using it a lot either. Still in my heart I know, I found my calling in this profession. On the one hand, I am always eager to look at performance and improvements. On the other hand, I like to connect with people and I am curious about how they are interacting with each other. Both topics are very tightly interlinked. New systems, processes and organisations only unfold their potential when they are embraced by the people involved in them. And, we can only design great systems, processes and organisations, when we deeply understand the human actors in it.
The way I look at the change management is holistic. This means, I suggest that we go beyond the simple implementation of (for example) a new software tool; a better way is to look at the journey and the larger ecosystem where this software is supposed to add value. In this sense, my focus is on how can I enable people to embrace and grow with the constant change that is happening around them. How can we bring more antifragility to the people and to the organisation. in my eyes, this has a lot to do with culture and leadership. How can we create the right space between people that they can grow together; and as a leader, how can I provide a platform that gives people passion and ownership.
How did I get started? In the beginning I read a lot of different books and articles about the topic and followed a course or two. And about four years ago, I also started with my certification. I can really recommend to get in touch with the global Association for Change Management Professionals (ACMP); you can find great, like-minded people and lots of resources. They have developed a great professional standard and I like their certification path. Though, most important is to be exposed and learn on the job - consciously applying what you think is right, try new things and develop your own practice.
I want to thank the people that strongly supported me on this path: San-Daleen, Jerome, Sandra, Michael, Björn and many others!
In my practice, I am often talking about three different topics: change management, operational excellence and innovation. For many people, they are very different concepts and many companies assign these to different departments. What makes them so distinct? Or are they not?
For me, they are strongly supporting each other and tightly interlinked. Let's start with innovation. This topic is about creating and implementing new solutions. Change management is supporting innovation by driving the change (behaviours) that the new solution will bring. And according to some studies, about 80% of the innovation are incremental, operational improvements, while still disruptive.
In the same way, operational excellence is strongly supported by innovation methods in order to discover crazy ideas. And, in my experience, change management practices support to engage the people and motivate them bring better results.
Lastely, for me change management is directed at improving the business. This can only happen by cultivating an innovation mindset and driving operational excellence across the entire organisation.
So, instead of distributing these three topics in different corners of your organisation, bring them together. Some successful companies have one (Transformation or Excellence) team which can be the driver for company-wide innovation which includes operational excellence and has strong change management practices.
How do you bring innovation, change management and operational excellence closer together?
A special year is coming to an end and I want to thank all my families, friends, network and followers for your encouragement, conversations and learning opportunities. Despite all the difficult moments, I think I have been lucky and grateful of all the things that have happened - maybe it is by choice?
The New Year is coming and if we can predict one thing, it will be different from the past. Will it be better? I think, this depends on what we make out of it, right? For myself and for all the great people around me, I wish that we are getting ready for what will come. First, I think we will need curiosity to discover the opportunities; we want to understand our passion that gives us a big picture direction. And then, let's start with small steps towards this collective dream, and building together with our network of people.
Wish you a fantastic start of the New Year!
Great to read the outcome of an interesting conversation with Rachelle Lee and Michael Zimmel about how innovation and creativity can shape the way finance professionals are looking at their work.
One key pillar for success is understanding how we are creating value for our customers. This starts with exploring who we are creating value for. And then get inspired by their needs and insights. Where are the pain points and how we can we make these groups of people successful.
In the past, finance professionals were routinely creating standard reports piling up lagging financial indicators. In today's ever-changing, complex world this is not creating value. I suggest to look at leading indicators that we can directly influence and have an impact on the success we are aiming for. We can see a huge potential for finance teams to tremendously increase the value they can create for their 'customers'.
Read more in this interview: The Changing Mandate of Finance.
Last week, I posted a small poll to understand how companies are exploring their sources of innovation. The idea of the poll came out of a conversation about that many companies resort to two different types: either they have special teams that are developing new products, services and processes which are then taken up by the core business. Or, the companies are engaging their core business teams to explore new ideas themselves. According to the poll, over 60% of the people experience the latter.
At Hive17 Consulting we are promoting a third alternative that is taking the advantages of both options and allowing the companies to transform with more speed, less resistance and more creativity. Let's explore...
Companies that have established innovation labs complain that the core business is not taking up the new ideas with enough energy. The dedicated teams are great at identifying customer needs and have the resources to deep-dive into the respective markets. Often they are cross-functional and bring diverse experiences to the table, which is strengthening creativity and the creation of novel ideas. At the same time, they are disconnected from the core business and once they have claimed a victory, the company expects that the core business to stem the hard work for the big success. This creates friction.
As an alternative, companies then drive innovation from within their core business. Different initiatives are directed at identifying improvement ideas and developing new products. The core business is close to daily operations and has a good understanding of where we have friction and they are able to quickly implement improvements. Though, they lack the resources of creating a deep understanding of the larger context of the opportunity and often work in their respective silos.
How can we innovate and take the best from both options and drive creativity and operational excellence at the same time?
At Hive17 Consulting we are implementing an alternative we call 'Innovation Crews'. We support establishing small, interdisciplinary teams that are dedicated to a specific opportunity - growing a market, developing a new solution, improving manufacturing excellence, etc. These crews have the resources to deeply understand the ecosystem and bring different silos together. This allows the company to come up with crazy ideas in a short period of time. Because the team size is small, the team is forced to work together with the core business throughout the discovery, identification and development of the solution. This means, from the start the business is involved and contributes to the innovation projects. The innovation crew takes up a role of a facilitator to enable a smooth and accelerated journey towards groundbreaking innovation.
How did you experience the different options to drive innovation in your company?
This June was the first time I came across this word - Antifragility. Grant Rawlinson mentioned it as a strategy he applied during his adventures. Recently, more people started to mention it and I got curious. The story is simple. When we are fragile, we break under pressure. We start to be resilient; that means we don't break under pressure - we are surviving. The idea of antifragility is that we are growing and becoming stronger under pressure. Nassim Taleb defines it as:
"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty."
How can we become thriving under pressure? Buster Benson summarised ten principles based on Taleb's book. Here are my thoughts around it:
In order to create lasting success, we might want to build a collaborative foundation and have a clear direction where we want to go. Then, we can combine this with curiosity to experiment and with a common understanding who are we creating value for. This might be a formula that avoids the trap of short-term thinking and shortcuts that ruptures our strength over time.
Source: 10 Principles to Live an Antifragile Life
In my practice to give operational excellence a people-centric angle, I am always curious to learn more about how to experience and influence change. It is not possible to force people to change - and I think this is an important lesson for any leader. You can only create an environment that facilitates people to change.
Recently I stumbled across this article - How to (Actually) Change Someone’s Mind - that illustrates how we can work together with naysayers that are opposing the change we want to initiate. We all experienced the detractors that seem to be have this deep-rooted resistance to change, right? Here are three strategies that might help.
The cognitive conversation is about holding an objective and positive chat that uncovers new, specific information that can sway the decision into another direction. For success, it is important to consider the existing arguments and to keep emotions out of this discussion.
The champion conversation helps in situation where logic is not an important factor. The underlying relationship might be week and is in the way of changing the decision. We want to become a champion in the conversation, get to know the people and allow them to get know us from different angles. For success it is important to stay authentic and continue to rely on logic.
The credible colleague conversation is an approach when deep believes are in the way of change; logical and emotional arguments are not working to overcome deep values. Sharing experiences from another person might help to see that other values are in favour of the upcoming change. The positive aspects from another angle might change deep-rooted opinions.
These types of conversations are not only great when dealing with individuals. The principles also work when designing the journey for large scale transformations: use logic, build authentic relationships, expand people's experiences.
Thank you Laura for putting these thoughts together and sharing these great examples.
Tim is a change practitioner in the area of innovation and excellence. He is working with teams to accelerate innovation, collaboration and agility.