Friday, May 11, 2012

Learning from This Week's Webinars: Managing Change

Now that I'm thinking about change management for the next number of Critical Issues, I've begun to see a lot of good ideas through that lens.

In Wednesday's webinar on Managing Disruptive Employee Behaviors, Jamie Resker described patterns of substandard or disruptive performance and how to understand and address them. She was talking about normal times, but it was easy to see how the behaviors she described would not only be more of a problem during times of change, but would be exacerbated by the stress of change.

When expectations change (new elements in a job description, new metrics, new requirements for taking initiative, new management styles,… ) staff are likely to experience stress, which will bring out the best in some, but will elicit negative reactions, decreased productivity, and/or disruptive behaviors from others.

Kristen Bullock, talking about How to Get Out of the Muck and Back Into Your Mission, discussed the life cycle of an organization and the variety of psychological/emotional reactions to change. She talked about motivating others and ourselves to reconnect with the sense of purpose that inspired us initially.

Two excellent presentations that happened to build very nicely on each other.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Learning from This Week's Webinars: Building Teams and Managing Change

Bob Greene's webinar on today in the Nonprofit Webinars Wednesday series on Building Real Teams touched on some ideas that I've been mulling over about managing change.

Bob talked about how groups become teams, and how an organization can support—or undermine—the process. As Bob described it, team success requires shared intentions, shared effort, clear communication, and leadership. Organizational leaders need to ensure that the environment supports team performance and that expectations are clear, and they need to model the behavior they are trying to foster. He talked about systems thinking and used the metaphor of ecology.

This is what I consider the essence of successfully managing change, most particularly in the strategy development and implementation phases (see previous post).

Of course there are major differences between a small, focused work team and the aggregate staff and disparate functions of a large or even mid-sized nonprofit. But the characteristics of effectiveness are not so different. It's just that much more difficult to shape strategy and implement new behaviors at a larger scale.