September 19, 2012
Many challenges and roadblocks hinder the successful execution of major change, but few rival the obstructive power unleashed when people act as—or allow themselves to be treated as—victims. Victimization is a disease that destroys the confidence a person needs to sustain a transformative journey, and it has reached epidemic proportions among not only targets, but sponsors and agents as well. In this series, I will discuss the basics of the disease, how it breeds in work environments, how change exacerbates the syndrome, and how we can limit victim tendencies in ourselves and others.
September 25, 2012
In this series, we’re talking about the prevalence and consequences of victimization during change. I defined a victim as one who feels trapped in negative circumstances with no option but to endure. I contrasted this mindset with that of the influencer (a person who believes he or she has choices to make that have an effect on the outcome of negative circumstances). In this post, I focus on the implications when victimization plays itself out in organizational settings.
October 2, 2012
In the two previous posts of this series on victimization, I wrote about the negative impact it can have on people and organizations. Here, I describe what happens when victimization surfaces during a change initiative, and the ways it effects our profession.
October 9, 2012
This is the final post in my series on victimization. The victimization syndrome can be compared to a virus that has infected not only clients, but our profession as well. Transformational change intensifies existing victimization and brings any latent tendencies to the surface. No one—advocates, agents, targets, or sponsors—is immune from its destructive power. In this post, I review some perspectives I’ve found helpful with clients, other practitioners, and myself as we all contend with our own vulnerability to victimization.
October 16, 2012
Professional change facilitators take on many roles: SME, educator, counselor, philosopher, etc. In my opinion, one that is among the most important in our profession, but not used nearly as much as it should be, is the role of provocateur. Unlike an “agitator” who intentionally stirs up trouble or a “pacifier” who seeks tranquility at all cost, the provocateur (as I’m using the term) focuses on helping clients recognize, acknowledge, and take action on the various “sticky issues” that inevitably arise when the status quo is disrupted. In this series, I describe the role and discuss how and when to apply it.
October 23, 2012
Change practitioners must function as provocateurs when the need arises. If you’re not willing to do that, you’re failing to practice your craft. Either you don’t know enough about this profession to recognize what you are not doing, or you lack the courage to perform as you know you should. (If you think this is too harsh of an indictment, please refer to my last post.)
In this post, I highlight some of the things that tend to keep us from functioning as provocateurs when we should. I also address what we can do about them.
October 30, 2012
Change practitioners who take on the provocateur’s role must be confrontational when necessary, willing to handle the deep emotions of change, and have tough conversations if called for.
In this final post of the series, I continue with my list of ten things that can inhibit change agents from engaging the provocateur’s stance. I also describe what to do about them.