I found this great chart from Leading Blog on How to Troubleshoot Change:
The following matrix was presented in a chapter titled A Framework for Thinking About Systems Change by Timothy P. Knoster, Richard A. Villa, and Jacqueline S. Thousand, that appeared in Restructuring for Caring and Effective Education: Piecing the Puzzle Together. It was adapted from the work of Ambrose in Managing Complex Change.
From the matrix, we see that vision – a compelling future state – provides direction and a sense of unity in a group. Without it, people are likely to feel confused.
Change requires that people move into new territory, but if they don’t feel that they have the necessary skills to effectively carry out their part, they will more than likely experience anxiety. Additionally, if there is no incentive, if people don’t see the value of the change – what’s in it for them – they are bound to be resistant to it. Incentives, while giving a rational for change, also help to build consensus.
Resources are those things that people feel they will need to carry out a change initiative. They could be physical or emotional resources. Without them they are likely to feel frustrated.
Finally, without a clear action plan, people will experience false starts – a sense of being on a treadmill, not really being able to get any traction.
From a management perspective, I find that incentive is always the top concern. Why do I need to do this? Demonstrating the possible results of the change is one of the best ways to get buy-in. Sure you can do it, but SHOULD you do it?
Another great article is from Government Technology, Strategic Planning and Project Management are Focus for California CIO. The article states that all California State agencies must now provide a technology and technology investment plan for the next five years. Technology plans can be quite difficult, but it develops a proactive plan instead of a reactive plan. It is essential to move forward. The money quote:
"In Sacramento, there's a pall over IT. Many state legislators see IT as a problem, and that perception has to change," Takai said. "We need to promote the good things we're doing. It's absolutely important. We have to get the message out that technology is not something to be scared of."
One byproduct of California's risk-averse climate is multiple layers of project oversight intended to prevent failures. But the state's current fixation on reporting and third-party monitoring -- known as independent verification and validation -- is counter-productive, she said.
Instead, the state needs to manage risk more effectively. "We need to focus on risk mitigation, not risk elimination," Takai said. Project managers must learn spot problems early and in some cases, pull the plug on troubled projects quickly -- a strategy Takai called "fail fast and fail small." "We need to increase the skills of state employees," she said. "And we need state IT staff to own projects instead of vendors."
Replace California State agencies with libraries; we are in the same boat. It's tricky to manage all of that change; but we have to change, or become obsolete. Which leads to the next article from the Morning Call (read from LIS News) Libraries must stay on cutting edge by Bill White (The Morning Call).
Longtime Allentown Director Kathryn Stephanoff acknowledged that running a library today requires constant adjustments to new technology and community needs. ''One of the reasons I have become so old and cranky is that I'm always having to find the money to pay for what we need.'' Fricker said, ''You have to keep up and keep ahead. As soon as something is on the market, we're investigating it.''
It seems that we must move faster and faster to keep up with patron demand. Some people are surprised by the rows of computers at libraries. When you think about it, you cannot function today without a computer, the internet, and an email address. You cannot apply for a job, keep up on current events, learn new skills, or communicate without these things. The need for this is ever-changing and as a service industry, we must change with it. It begs the question, what do we do for staff to help them deal with the change? Furthermore, does the request for change come from staff? Does the change serve the staff?
Trizle is a great blog on management. Most of the focus is on running a small business, but the advice is invaluable. Most of the focus is on the employee. If they are not happy, nobody is happy. How to Manage Your Employees
So, what do your employees need to perform?
- resources to do their work
- support to do their work
- freedom to do their work
The more you serve them:
- the more you'll boost their performance
- the more you'll skyrocket employee morale
- the more you'll fatten that bottom line
In other words:
- Treat employees like they're Kings of Your Company.
- See the magic.
This goes back to the above pyramid talking about resources. Resources are the key to making staff happy. If they don't have what they need then they can't do their job (read very unhappy).
Lastly, a great deal of change and pressure can cause even the best performers to become overwhelmed. In a post from Slow Leadership Killing the Goose that lays the Golden Eggs:
Stress in small amounts is a motivator; in large amounts, it is a killer.
As workplace pressures continue to increase, what happens to creative people is exactly what I just described: their thinking becomes overwhelmed, their creativity falls, and they try to cope by cutting corners and taking greater risks instead of being creative.
Their bosses are systematically killing the geese that used to lay them golden egg after golden egg.
Even when we decide to change for the better, staff must have all of the pieces they need. They must know there is a need for change, have faith that they will have the resources that they need when the time comes, and a plan (one which makes sense to them) to make it all happen. This is never easy to accomplish. This all came to my mind as I contemplate the upcoming changes our library system will face, some of the biggest changes our system has ever experienced. We will likely move to a new ILS in the Fall that will combine our catalog with 13 other libraries. It will create a lot of efficiency and provide help, but it will also cause great frustration in migrating to a new system. We will begin planning our Opening Day Collection for our new branch library, expanding from a one branch system, to a two branch system. In six months, we will begin to hire and train those staff and get everything ready for June 2009. Change management will be critical; if I can demonstrate a plan that makes sense, it will put everyone at ease. However, if the change isn't for a valid reason, staff are not likely to follow me into future change. That's why the message must always be clear and the process open. This way, we can help garner support for future change, which will always come.