Daryl Conner

November 9, 2009

Just How Difficult Is Your Change Initiative? (Part 1 of 5)

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Credibility gaps often exist between us as change practitioners and our sponsors. Many factors contribute to these gaps, and I’ll explore several in a future post. Here, I’d like to focus on a common one: Many sponsors see us as indiscriminate when suggesting they allocate significant amounts of time and attention to implementing change initiatives. They believe we think ALL initiatives are critical and in need of our skills.

Let’s not argue about whether this indictment is justified, or whether you personally would ever create such an impression. My point is, too many sponsors hold this view about too many of us change practitioners and as a result, they see us as tactical players (have hammer, looking for nail) rather than as trusted advisors capable of determining when implementation assistance is genuinely called for.

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November 12, 2009

Exploring a Project’s “Degree of Difficulty” (Part 2 of 5)

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Three key factors—How much change? What’s the desired result? How crucial is it to succeed?—help determine a change initiative’s Degree of Difficulty. Let’s look at these in detail.

DETERMINING HOW MUCH CHANGE IS EXPECTED

Projects of a continuous improvement nature (dealing with incremental change) have an important place within organizations. Without Six Sigma and other such methodologies to keep a constant vigilance on quality enhancement opportunities, organizations would never harvest the full potential from their processes and procedures.

Transformational change, on the other hand, dramatically alters the course of current actions.

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November 17, 2009

Assessing Your Initiative’s Degree of Difficulty (Part 3 of 5)

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One of the ways agents can bolster their credibility with sponsors is by not coming across as eager to apply implementation assistance to every initiative that surfaces. This can be accomplished by encouraging sponsors to engage in a Degree of Difficulty assessment and discussion that we as agents help facilitate.

A change is difficult when it falls somewhere between easy and impossible. The “difficulty criteria” is clear (How much change is involved, the desired result, and how crucial it is to succeed). However, determining if a particular project is “in crisis” is not a cut-and-dried calculation.

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November 19, 2009

The Change Practitioner’s Role in Encouraging the Right Kind of Due Diligence (Part 4 of 5)

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I hope this blog provides all its readers with a vehicle for sharing not only ideas but tools and techniques as well. At Conner Partners, we use an assessment tool to help us evaluate the overall challenge an organization is likely to encounter when implementing a particular initiative. It focuses on the three dimensions I have been writing about:

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November 24, 2009

Getting Help for a Project in Crisis (Part 5 of 5)

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The more an initiative’s makeup reflects being “in crisis,” the greater the likelihood of failure, the lower the quality of results and the longer it takes to reach intended outcomes. To compensate for these risks, sponsors who succeed with change typically ensure that more attention/resources (mindshare, knowledge, skill, money, people, courage, and discipline) are allotted to these endeavors.

Fortunately, there is a clear pattern for leaders who consistently achieve their change goals.

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August 31, 2010

Manage Intent to Deliver on Promises and Minimize Disappointment

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As a professional change community, we have not always paid sufficient attention to intent. Our focus has often been more on getting people to adapt to a change than on the change itself. What I mean is, sometimes we are so attentive to issues like resistance and commitment that we fail to see that the people involved lack a common understanding of what is being asked of them. I can say this was certainly true for me until a missing part to the change puzzle was revealed.

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September 7, 2010

The Path of Intent Management

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As practitioners, we sometimes spend more time getting people to change than we do on the change itself. A complete, concise, understandable, and compelling statement of intent is critically important to achieving change success. In this post, I’ll say more about that, and about managing the intent process.

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