10 principles for managing change in an organization: Stay relevant to your association membersDo you feel like your association welcomes change? Most associations are dangerously slow to adapt to change due to outdated traditions and poor volunteer management. Today’s associations need to learn to adapt to the changing business environment if they want to continue to stay relevant–to focus on providing value to members and spend less time on the association’s operations. This phenomena has lead to the phrase “Dynamic Association Leadership” which means that the organization is led by people who consistently evaluate their organization and steer the group’s collective activity toward creating more value for their members and their industry.
If you’re spending your entire leadership term or executive career focusing on organizational operations, PAUSE and take a look at this process. I’ve identified 10 principles for managing change in an organization that provide the framework for steering your association through organizational change.
Action Step: A great video to solidify this concept is Simon Sinek’s TEDTalk “Start with the WHY”. Example: A large and growing association was becoming less relevant because their traditional governance structure was not accepting of change. By re-imagining their organizational structure they shifted to a 7-person governing board that specifically focused on strategy. Now that you have a purpose and a structure to support it, it’s time to align your programs, written content, online activity and other initiatives with the emotional belief.
Example: ABC Association discovered through their data analysis that only 20% of their members are consistently reading their print newsletter.
How Can We Help?If you think your organization or event could use a good dose of future-focused insight from XYZ University, please contact us and let us know how we can help. Join the 10,000+ people who receive our e-newsletter and receive the first chapter of Sarah Sladek’s latest book, Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now! Inspirational Motivation How to inspire your people in tough times - inspirational motivation.People will do anything if they accept the "emotional logic" - Win the battle for their hearts as well as their minds. Organizations are unwilling, or reluctant, to reduce the number of performance criteria against which individuals are held accountable, which is a guarantee of poor performance.
Although each step is absolutely critical, and none can be reordered, skipped or dropped, we will not review all these points here, but simply comment on points not already covered elsewhere in this framework. First, the Board of Directors and the CEO need to fully understand the existing culture, decide what are the expected culture and behaviors and plot a plan to change it.
Developing a shared understanding of missions, goals, and key organizational practices provides a basis for distributing leadership and enabling many members of the school community to make decisions and act in ways that are coordinated and consistent. Like the a€?greata€? companies studied by Jim Collins (2001), schools need to be able to hire the a€?righta€? people and find ways to get those people into the right roles whether or not those schools have the ultimate authority to hire, fire or make job assignments. Carefully orchestrating time, space, and staffing a€“ allowing for both individual flexibility and collaborative work a€“ fosters the development of common purposes, the sharing of expertise, and the promotion of interdependence and trust among members.
Getting a€?insidersa€? out of the school and a€?outsidersa€? in builds relationships between school staff and parents, community members, district administrators, reform organizations and others. The truth is, today’s association members aren’t looking for the same things that they were looking for 10, 20 or 30 years ago. In doing so, association leaders will see your job satisfaction increase and the association start to thrive again. And, as is custom of any good association leadership process, I’ve come up with an acronym to help you remember these 10 key factors. What is the feeling that your members get when your association fills their deepest professional needs? They wanted to feel like they had a place where they were understood and felt a sense of belonging. It’s the reason for every board meeting, every strategic planning session, and every decision the association makes.
Set up systems and processes that ensure that your members’ emotional beliefs are remembered and supported and that your activity aligns with those beliefs. They had a 27-person board of directors, and regularly had over 28 tactical items on their board meeting agenda. They also installed a larger Operational Committee that was specifically responsible for the tactical implementation of the strategy set forth by the governing board.
Is there a clear hierarchy for focused strategy and a clear place for focused tactical work? The majority of their membership still wants news about the industry, but was becoming accustomed to consuming content online. This is especially true if it is a step change that need to be handled as a separate initiative outside of the constraints of business as usual.
Those relationships in turn give the staff members opportunities to learn about and influence whata€™s going on outside the school and to reshape demands when necessary.
Developing a mission, hiring appropriate staff, and creating a productive work environment equip school staff with the knowledge, expertise and authority they need to work effectively outside the school. Clearly defining your member’s “why” will give you a clearer picture of what your organization should be doing. Now, look at your mission statement and try to extract a few key concepts that might explain your members’ WHY. Is the understanding and management of Benefits, Risks and Issues and the provision of an Organisation Structure and Process Definition. The deciding factor is the scale and complexity of the step change you are seeking to implement.
This may present itself as either a difficulty you face in life, or a question, puzzle or dilemma to be answered or solved (including homework tasks or math or engineering questions).I love the definition above because it touches the core of what a problem is.
Turning those relationships into networks of allies who will provide support in times of crisis enables schools to create conditions more conducive to their success.
Does not replace Project Management - it is a supplementary frameworkDifferences between programmes and projects A Programme is all about delivering the overall business benefits in line with the strategic vision and over a longer period of time than a project.
This circular relationship helps to explain why it takes capacity to build capacity and why it is so hard to help schools that do not already have some capacity to manage external demands.
They restructured their publishing team and started interviewing members about how they run their businesses.
Whereas a Project has a definite start and finish point, with the aim of the delivery of an output that may be a product, service or specific outcome.
They also started using blog posts, email campaigns, and social media to reach their members for effectively.


Programme management focuses on the management of all key stakeholder relationships and the delivery of defined business benefits and in addition to managing the project portfolio will also include the management of any other activities that are necessary to ensure a complete delivery.
These are usually small variations of the obstacles that you successfully overcome in the past. They require a stretch but within your possibilities.Some problems are real difficulties that you have not yet learned to handle well. You are terrified, overwhelmed and lost.Ultimately you will go through the dark hours and let the emotions flow freely.
They have been with you for years but you avoided to take the responsibility for a change to happen. As these form a necessary skill of any intelligent person, learning them will only bring you benefits. Anybody can master the related process, I believe.***Love your problemsDo you love your problems?
When you accept to love your problems, they are not enemies neither alien creatures anymore.
They will start to work in your favor, and, as a result,  you will focus on the solutions with breeze.There are two great approaches to solve your personal problems. To follow the standard dream.Do you want to be a deviation?Luckily, you are much different than the norm. What is different and standing out becomes interesting.Have you ever thought that the greatest inspiration comes from the parts that do not fit to a model?These are the ugly parts, aberrations, defects, imperfections, or surprises. Indeed, we push towards a new development because the deviation is there and demands attention.***Harmony and elegance are powerful. As much as we want it and love it, we become lazy and purposeless when we dwell there for too long.The norm, the model, the comfort zone is a place of rejuvenation. For a short while only.***The parts of yourself that are elegant, polished and worked-out make a great cover. Yet, they likely stand on the way to your progress.The parts of yourself that you wish to dispose of, change or hide are the sources of great power. Quite a shock: double trouble and double blessing During pregnancy, the ultrasound scan at the 18-20 weeks serves as a tool to evaluate the development of the baby. When born, majority of babies die in the first week.  Nearly nobody makes till 1st birthday. Since I helped him to overcome the dark hours, I knew how devastating this experience was for him and his family.I was petrified. Little information really.Dark hoursI returned home and spent hours on the web to educate myself on this genetic disorder, markers, amniocentesis and so on. In my opinion, the decision was based on insufficient data and the worst-case scenario approach.I again studied the all the data diligently and read as much as I could to learn about the subject. I decided to continue the pregnancy on my own request and risk.The children arrived seven week later.
Beautiful babies with no sign of Edwards syndrome.***In all these weeks, I was always in touch with the babies. I talked to them in my consciousness in order to send them love and respect, support them and respond to their needs in a moment. It was a remarkable experience.I created a beautiful tunic of trust from various fabrics of knowledge, beliefs, experiences and understanding.
By wearing it daily, I have kept faith.What is the moral of the story?Trust is not given, neither earned.
It is not a data collection of gives-and-takes, scores of kindness, neither a one time learned approach.
Trust is being created in a moment and supported by an inner process.Trust relies on the past experiences, but only relevant ones. Photo available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.***Why is change difficult?Most people are afraid of conscious change. As a result, life controls them.Things happen to them and they respond to the circumstances. They become reactive instead of proactive and they become victims of the circumstances instead of their co-creators.Yet the world keeps changing all the time. And we, as individuals, change every day.We are bombarded with new information, new knowledge, new structures, new technology as well as the new challenges they pose. We evolve and change in response to the changing world.Conscious change is often difficult.
An effective change can be implemented by simple and manageable steps. Change does not need to be a painful process, either. On the contrary, it can be pleasurable when we are enjoying the process.Most people fear change and consider the fear of unknown as the major obstacle. I simply did not want to become an early riser if I had to give up my quiet evening hours (this is my secondary gain). So, I ultimately chose not to become one.How many times did you want to loose weight, stop smoking, get fit, become debt-free or earn extra money aside?
Even if you initially succeeded, have you been back to the old patterns?It is quite common to be excited for a change, seemingly commit to it to get the short term result, only to find yourself back where you started some time ago.
The moment we stop paying attention we are back on the old tracks.Going against homeostasis and a staying both feet in the stretch zone requires much more than the initial intention and enthusiasm. It requires a conscious shift to happen.CoachingI love coaching because we get to know ourselves and we grow enormously through asking the right questions, committing to right action and evolving through experimentation.
Through self-coaching and coaching others it has become crystal clear that most people don’t really want to change.
They want a magic button instead so that the change will miraculously manifest at the door.
When you dig deep enough, you will often want the result but not the cost to be paid, learning to go through nor the shifts required for this change to happen. This usually happens when a change is forced upon us, in a company, between peers or friends, or by some forms of social pressure.For instance, the company has to go through a process of structural changes that will affect employers on all levels.
Everything is uncertain.The lack of honest and effective communication from the CEO to the leaders, from the leaders to the managers and later co-workers will provide a fertile ground for false ideas, assumptions and speculations.
This leads to the lack of trust, and ultimately creates resistance.In addition, we also lack understanding when we have an inaccurate perception of who we are, what we want and what is our reality.
When we have a negative habit or a habit we would like to change, there is usually something beneath the habit that serves us well.


We may clearly see the benefits, yet resist change from our heart.Why?Because deep beneath there is an additional gain for this habit to function. It may even be completely illogical.For instance, a child may start wetting in bed simply because his secondary gain is to attract attention from the busy parents who (by default) dedicate majority of their attention to the younger siblings.
Stopping this habit will withdraw the attention back to the sibling, something a child doesn’t want. And in some cases, any dedicated attention is better than no attention.You may choose to smoke because you seek acceptance from the peers and you get it by joining the smoking circles at school or work. With cooking, cleaning and eating there is always an activity to be done, so your mind (or stomach) is occupied.We are not ready yetAny change to happen needs to be accepted on the emotional level.
We are born to maintain the homeostasis, the status quo, and resist those things that we cannot easily predict the outcome. Not only by logical reasons, but also through the act of facing our fears that will surface on the way. We also need to give ourselves permission to make errors, choose suboptimal strategies and solve problems inefficiently. Such an emotional preparation will allow us to embrace the change together with the underlying process.We want the result but not the processWe want a quick fix without hard work. We want to become fit, healthy or wealthy overnight or in to weeks, (let it be a month but no more, ok?) without taking the necessary actions or establishing long term habits. We are good at short term perspectives choosing an immediate gain (oversleeping, eating cakes, drinking coffee, buying stuff, etc) over the delayed gratification. And perhaps even conflicts between the existing features.It is much easier to create a new product from the scratch with the essential features only. It is then well-thought and optimized for the task, hence simple, fast and working like a charm.The same applies to a change. If you focus on uncreating your unwanted habits by introducing fixes, you are likely opening yourself to pain and frustration.You need to replace one habit with another. It is our task to choose the changes that matter and make a difference.Make a choice to change. You live comfortably from one day to another until you encounter a certain idea.Not an idea. There comes a time when an idea you are exposed to kicks you out from your comfort zone.It is sudden.
They are walking around, freely exploring and digging tunnels in the decks of your mind.What to do now???Colony of bugsYou are confused.
Either you starve the bugs or you organize your colony and get in charge.You do not like the process that is ahead of you.
So long that there is no time left for thinking.Such a strategy may help you to push the idea to the back of the mind. When the time comes, new bugs are going to hatch from the eggs and they will start their exploration.
And stronger than before.So, once an idea gets into your mind, the only way forward is to confront it, feed it and manage it. Obviously, you may choose to indefinitely postpone these acts, but it will cost you time and huge effort to keep starving the bugs over and over again. Therefore, it  is much more efficient to organize your colony of bugs and become the captain of your conscious growth.Stages of transformation or how to tame your wild bugsHow to do that?As in any disorder or chaotic behavior you need to accept the transformation path. Surprise (the mild version) or Shock (the strong kick)Surprise or shock occur because you often encounter such an idea by accident. Or, you are confronted with an idea that shakes your thinking patterns or challenges your behavior. The bugs invade your mind and run in arbitrary directions. Denial or RejectionHomeostasis is your preferred state so you want to find your old balance back.
Rational UnderstandingSince the idea is a living thing in the mind and is perpetuating, your first getting along with the idea is to think it through and rationalize it.
You make an effort to understand it. When you attempt to understand the idea, you start to follow the free movement of the bugs. And you think about consequences where these paths cross with paths of other bugs, bugs representing other ideas. CrisisMost of the shocking ideas are shocking because they challenge your core values or beliefs, break old patterns or present radically new concepts that require change.Once you understand what is going on and what is required for a change, there is a rebellion. It is usually when you understand the consequences of incorporating the idea into your life.
You see the gap between the familiar old self and the new one that has to yet emerge after the idea is taken on board. It becomes so loud and so much merry-go-round running in your thoughts that you feel you cannot handle it any longer. You accept the transformation.The danger, however, is that you may actually get stuck in the Crisis stage.
It takes a conscious thought and managing emotional flow in order to accept what the idea brings to you.
It often requires to accept the worse possible consequence or change that has to happen and come in terms with it.
Once it is achieved, there is relief and a real progress begins.A real change takes place when you accept the existence of the bugs and you allow them to penetrate your mind. You enjoy observing their patterns, how they jump over certain areas while slow down in another one. This step may be quite some fun if you approach it from this angle.This is a moment in which you start new learning. You observe.You analyze the circumstances and the results from your active experimentation. Then you re-think your whole set-up, make necessary improvements and begin a more advanced experimentation and learning. You have changed and your new patterns of thinking and acting have been integrated into your being. They communicate well with other bugs and together they make a fantastic, well functioning and  well-orchestrated city of bugs.



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