Daryl Conner

August 6, 2013

Reflections on Character and Presence (free download)

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A few months ago, I shifted the main focus of my writing on this blog from “what we do” to how we come forward as human beings when practicing our craft—who we are.

I marked this change in emphasis with the release of two core series—Character and Presence and Cultivating Your Character—that I consider the center of gravity for the who we are perspective. I then asked several practitioners whom I respect to write guest posts about how they relate to these two series.

I have compiled the two series, the reflections of two master change practitioners, and my answers to questions on character and presence into a document that I am now making available as a free download.

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January 3, 2013

How Does Our Presence Reflect Our Character?

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I’ve been talking recently about character and presence—the who we are that combines with what we do to make us complete change practitioners. In this post, I describe three ways presence reflects character.

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May 29, 2012

The DOs and DON’T’s of Dealing With Ongoing Turbulence

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In this series, I am talking about how to respond to a client who wants you to give him or her a straightforward, broad perspective of what an organization will have to do to fully realize the goals of a large change initiative. In my last post, I shared some suggestions for answering the question, “What is a realistic set of expectations I should have about embarking on this change?” In this post and the next, I’ll share my answer to a second question: “Can you give me some general DOs and DON’Ts that will likely apply to what we’re facing?” I also include a list of some of the issues I raise when executives ask how they can best withstand the pressures of ongoing change.

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November 29, 2010

Embedding Structured Flexibility Into the Implementation Process

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When implementing organizational change, the zone where regulation and unruliness intersect offers the greatest possibility for people and organizations to adapt. In this post, I describe the process of “structured flexibility,” which is a framework for exploiting this area. The post contains a downloadable flowchart of this process.

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November 24, 2010

Order and Chaos

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In my opinion, methodologies are never an impeccable fit for every situation they are applied to. People need breathing room to tailor the concepts, techniques, and processes to address the unique variables in their situations. How can we provide the structure and discipline necessary to capitalize on a solid change methodology, while also giving people the room to localize it to their particular situation?

In this two-part series, I describe a process, called “structured flexibility,” that allows people and organizations to adapt to shifting circumstances.

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February 23, 2010

Resilience in Teams and Organizations

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In my last post, I wrote about the five characteristics of resilience: positive, focused, flexible, organized, and proactive as they apply to individuals going through change.

Now I’d like to expand the notion of resilience to a larger context. Think about teams going through change. Research shows that under certain circumstances, teams can be more effective than a collection of individuals. How this happens is another topic, synergy, which I will focus on at a later date. For now, I’d like to share our observation that teams can create exceptionally strong and effective responses to change if they can draw on the varied resilience strengths of members. A team in which the least positive person sets the emotional tone for the group,

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February 9, 2010

How Resilient Are You?

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As a change practitioner, you’ve probably seen the impact of major change on your team’s or department’s productivity. Humans have a limited capacity to absorb the disruption that change creates. When an individual faces more demand for change than he or she can absorb, the result is an increase in dysfunctional behavior.

To adapt successfully, individuals must increase their speed of change. I’m not talking about the velocity at which things around them are changing, but rather how fast they can recover from their own disrupted expectations. When people are able to function at their optimum speed of change, they can absorb significant disruption with minimal dysfunction. The key to increasing a person’s speed of change is resilience.

Resilient people are no less vulnerable than others to the stresses of change. They can’t prevent disruptions, but the results of a change are often more fruitful and less damaging for them. Resilient people bounce back quickly; they do not become victims of change.

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