TAG Consulting

Crafting A Culture To Handle Change


July 30, 2017

 

The work of crafting thriving organizational culture involves change – a lot of it. At the same time you are creating a culture of change you have to insure that your current culture can handle the change your are bringing! It’s a lot to think about. But you can lead in such a way that the needed change has its very best shot.

Transitions are almost always wrenching for an organization or a team within an organization, even when the result of the transition will be beneficial to all concerned. Leaders can make transitions worse by insensitivity or tone-deafness to the effect the music of the transition has on the ears of the team.

Organizational transitions of all kinds are navigated well when you work to shape your culture by these three practices:

  1. Gain credibility – leaders are even-handed and fair, and so make deposits of trust, which can be borrowed against when tough changes have to be instituted.
  2. Practice transparency – unless trade secrets which would compromise competitive advantage are at stake, default to sharing details about the conditions that shape transition decisions, the rationale for unpopular decisions, and the long-term effects on those in the organization.
  3. Demonstrate honor – in the case of terminations and layoffs, unless an employee was dismissed for ethical or legal reasons make every effort to honor those leaving, thank them for their contributions and point out their positive characteristics. This is the right thing to do for the one leaving and it engenders trust and loyalty among those staying!

How To Handle Organizational Transitions


May 23, 2017

 

Part of crafting a thriving organizational culture is building in resiliency – the ability to navigate change and transition with strength and wisdom.

Transitions are almost always wrenching for an organization or a team within an organization, even when the result of the transition will be beneficial to all concerned. Leaders can make transitions worse by insensitivity or tone-deafness to the effect the music of the transition has on the ears of the team.

Organizational transitions of all kinds are navigated well when you use these three practices:

  1. Gain credibility – leaders are even-handed and fair, and so make deposits of trust, which can be borrowed against when tough changes have to be instituted.
  2. Practice transparency – unless trade secrets which would compromise competitive advantage are at stake, default to sharing details about the conditions that shape transition decisions, the rationale for unpopular decisions, and the long-term effects on those in the organization.
  3. Demonstrate honor – in the case of terminations and layoffs, unless an employee was dismissed for ethical or legal reasons make every effort to honor those leaving, thank them for their contributions and point out their positive characteristics. This is the right thing to do for the one leaving and it engenders trust and loyalty among those staying!

3 Best Practices For Handling Transitions


December 13, 2016

Transitions are almost always wrenching for an organization or a team within an organization, even when the result of the transition will be beneficial to all concerned. Leaders can make transitions worse by insensitivity or tone-deafness to the effect the music of the transition has on the ears of the team.

Organizational transitions of all kinds are navigated well when you use these three practices:

  1. Gain credibility – leaders are even-handed and fair, and so make deposits of trust, which can be borrowed against when tough changes have to be instituted.
  2. Practice transparency – unless trade secrets which would compromise competitive advantage are at stake, default to sharing details about the conditions that shape transition decisions, the rationale for unpopular decisions, and the long-term effects on those in the organization.
  3. Demonstrate honor – in the case of terminations and layoffs, unless an employee was dismissed for ethical or legal reasons make every effort to honor those leaving, thank them for their contributions and point out their positive characteristics. This is the right thing to do for the one leaving and it engenders trust and loyalty among those staying!

3 Traits For Navigating Transitions


July 18, 2016

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Transition and change is inevitable in every organization. Whether it is people going or coming, shifts in strategy, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, or internal transformation due to a change in the external competitive environment transitions will occur as predictably as the rising and setting of the sun.

In the most healthy organizations, changes rarely surprise people because a premium has been placed on communication. People are encouraged to discuss their opinions and points of view on change, and those who leave are honored as they go, even if the reason for their leaving was difficult.

Transitions of all kinds are best navigated when leaders possess these three traits, and put them into practice:

  1. Credibility – leaders are even-handed and fair, and so make deposits of trust, which can be borrowed against when tough changes have to be instituted.
  2. Transparency – unless trade secrets which would compromise competitive advantage are at stake, leaders default to sharing details about the conditions that shape transition decisions, the rationale for unpopular decisions, and the long-term effects on all those in the organization.
  3. Honor – in the case of terminations and layoffs, unless an employee was dismissed for ethical or legal reasons every effort is made to honor those leaving, thanking them for their contributions and pointing out their positive characteristics. This is the right thing to do for the one leaving, and it engenders trust and loyalty among those staying!

Organizations are both tested and reveal themselves in times of dislocation. The best way to insure healthy change initiatives is to put in place these characteristics of trust in the few “placid” times that occur in between transitions.

Personal Pain Can Become Leadership Gain


December 3, 2015

We’ve been influenced by the work of the late William Bridges, a writer best known for his work on organizational transitions and how leaders can help teams navigate what those transitions entail.

In the 1990s Bridges became the go-to expert for businesses and government agencies who were navigating transition. Constantly in demand as a speaker and consultant and a best-selling author he was the acknowledged thought leader in transitions, his work providing an elegant and applicable model for leaders of all types.

Then he endured a heart-wrenching personal transition of his own.

His beloved wife died after a two year struggle with illness.

Suddenly, Bridges found himself in a place where his work on transitions sounded and felt hollow to him. “All the things I had written about transition – the very things people had said were so helpful to them – now felt strangely unreal to me. How could I ever have tried to pass myself off as an expert on transition?”.

Grief-stricken and struggling with transition in his personal life, Bridges found his entire career – really, his entire identity as a person, called into question.

Personal pain has a way of doing that. Faced with experiences of loss, grief, or failure leaders are tempted to ignore the pain, defeat the pain, or “play through” the pain.

But there’s a better way.

Personal pain can be the crucible in which a leader comes to a new level of self-knowledge and self-awareness and learns how to lead with greater empathy, skill, and passion.

In our work with clients, particularly as leadership coaches, we constantly are given the opportunity to serve leaders who are struggling with professional and personal adversity. An encouraging message we have for them is that their best, most wisdom-filled days as a leader lie ahead if they are willing to lean into the adversity and conflict.

Bridges learned that “Transition breaks up your old identity”. He had taught this to hundreds of organizations but now had to learn it in his own life. There is a real loss there, but also the chance for the discovery of a new identity that is more in keeping with the person who was there all along.

This doesn’t just happen. It takes a high degree of self-awareness and the presence of a skilled coach and trusted advisor is immensely helpful.

“Gradually”, wrote Bridges of his own journey from darkness into light, “I decided that whenever an old reality disappears the answer is not to refuse to do anything associated with it, but rather to explore and discover what the new reality is”.

Exactly.

One of the things we enjoy most about serving as a trusted advisor to so many leaders is the chance to share in and help guide this process of personal and professional exploration and discovery.

We’d love to be a part of your own journey, for the greater good and for your growth as a leader. Find out more about how we can work together right here.