Daryl Conner

November 9, 2009

Introducing Change Thinking— A community of advanced practitioners pursuing mastery in the field of change implementation

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Despite all the business change knowledge uncovered during the last 50 years, many seasoned change management professionals still aren’t adequately prepared to serve those trying to navigate their way through today’s turbulence. Change Thinking is an effort to have an exchange with, and be part of, a community of practitioners committed to raising the level of their game and that of the field of change execution.

The challenges are great, and time is of the essence, so I will be direct: Anyone is welcome to read this blog but my comments will be aimed at advanced practitioners who have a broad understanding of the dynamics of change implementation and deep experience facing the challenges of executing large-scale initiatives. In addition, this blog is for those seeking mastery in this field

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November 9, 2009

Hold On—Change Itself Is Unstable

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The volume, momentum, and complexity of change are all accelerating as never before, and we run the risk that the challenges brought to us will outstrip our ability to keep up. (Maybe this is already happening for some.) At one point or another, we’ve probably all told our clients (those we serve, whether we are an internal or external resource) that “change is changing,” but are we as practitioners changing at a commensurate speed (evolving ourselves as well as the state of the art)?

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April 27, 2010

Being for One Thing Is Fine Unless You’re Also Against Everything Else

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I started writing this blog only five months ago. After 27 postings, I hope my readers have an idea of what to expect. Basically, the blog is geared for experienced change agents who don’t think they have all the answers. It’s for seasoned practitioners who have similar feelings about their profession:

* They are highly skilled but are more uncomfortable with how little they know than they are impressed by their accomplishments.
* They are more attracted to their remaining questions than their unquestioned answers.
* They create value for those they serve, but know deep down there is much more to learn—about transformational change and about providing greater benefits to their clients—and they are committed to exploring these gaps as humble students.
* They have much to say, but are eager to be part of, listen to, and be influenced by, a community whose collective wisdom is powerful.

With this as the intended readership profile, I’ve brought forward challenges that are familiar to me, which I think other practitioners can relate to as well. The readership has grown steadily and you’ve told me to keep it up. That has been heartwarming; I really appreciate it.
But There’s Something More

We’ve reached a point in the blog’s development where I’d like to say a bit more about my agenda in writing it. I have another layer of purpose, and, once I tell you about it, we’ll be able to draw additional implications from future postings.

Maybe the best way to introduce this new perspective to the blog is to take a cue from members of Alcoholics Anonymous, and the way they introduce themselves at their meetings. Along with their name, they declare a reminder to themselves and others of what they are confronting in their lives.

So, my version of the AA introduction is…Hi. My name is Daryl Conner and I’m a methodology bigot.

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May 4, 2010

The Signature Pattern of Methodology Bigots

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Methodology bigots don’t fight—we just snub each other.

As a profession, we’ve unofficially agreed that too much open display of friction is not acceptable. Instead, those who think they independently own the holy grail express their pejorative views about frameworks other than their own by simply ignoring them.

Don’t get me wrong—we read one another’s books, articles, blogs, and websites—but mostly to confirm that what’s there isn’t worth pursuing in more depth. We even attend one another’s speeches and seminars, but primarily to engage in “stealth due diligence.” We’re sure that what we already have is the best approach to change but we are always on alert. You never know when someone outside the anointed circle might inadvertently stumble across something worth listening to.

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May 6, 2010

The Ups and Downs of the “True Believer”

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Hi. My name is Daryl Conner and I’m a methodology bigot.

Methodology bigots are “true believers” in the worst sense.

There are many positive and admirable aspects to being not just a supporter, but a disciple, of a particular methodology of change. Here are two examples:

* The enthusiast has a loyal conviction to his or her methodology, which fosters effective application of the concepts and techniques.
* He or she is willing to penetrate deep into the crevasses and nuances of an approach to search out the hidden treasures.

As wonderful as this kind of dedication can be, there is a down side to being a true believer: The practitioner can become so adamant about the singular correctness of his or her approach that other methodologies are considered unworthy.

Herein lies the essence of the Methodology Bigot Syndrome,

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May 11, 2010

We Have Met the Enemy and It Is Us

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The first step toward recovery for any of us who might have fallen into the “pit of arrogance” is to acknowledge the problem.

One of the reasons AA is so successful is that its members know first-hand the challenges of alcoholism. They also know all the ways people can kid themselves into thinking their problem is under control when it’s not. No one can be as supportive or as brutally honest with an alcoholic as another alcoholic can.

It is from this perspective that I am both empathetic and confrontive toward methodology bigots. I am one. (Yes, you read correctly. I used the present tense).

As with many deep-seated dysfunctions, healing from this destructive mindset is not a destination, it is

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May 13, 2010

Take Your Medicine Whether You Feel Sick or Not

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Many reading this series on the methodology bigot’s mindset may be appalled at the notion such thinking could survive in this age of enlightenment, much less within the civilized, savvy field of change management. Some may think that if this kind of partisan judgment does exist, it must be limited to a small minority. I’m not suggesting that methodology bigotry is universal among change practitioners, but it’s far more prevalent than is healthy for our individual development, or the general maturation of our field. In fact, this kind of prejudice has become pervasive precisely because, for the most part, practitioners are unaware it has taken up residence within themselves and within our ranks. And a problem unrecognized usually means a problem in unabated growth mode.

Methodology bigots don’t wake up in the morning and say to themselves, “It’s a good day

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