Marketing and Sales: The Secret of Stuck

By |2020-03-07T11:15:10+10:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

Marketing and Sales: The Secret of Stuck

This is the third article in a 3-part series on marketing and sales. In the first article, we considered marketing and sales as engaging in the first two steps of the change process. In the second article, we considered the importance of good communications to help prospects make forward progress through the two steps. In this article, we consider how to help prospects who get stuck.

Stuck Is Normal

You should understand that getting stuck within a step of the change process is not uncommon and it’s quite normal. We will consider some of the main reasons for it in a moment, but you should understand one thing.

Stuck threatens your sale. If you can’t help prospects move out of stuck, they will not convert into clients – at least not yet. So, do what you can to get them unstuck.

Reasons for Stuck

There are 3 main reasons why a prospect might get stuck in one of the 2 steps of the change process. These are:

  • Low trust
  • Fear
  • Confusion

Let’s consider these one by one.

Low Trust – the prospect doesn’t trust you enough and this becomes an obstacle to them. If they don’t trust you, they may not like you, warm to you, feel connected to you, or listen to what you say. They may feel like you want to take advantage of them, or that you’re trying to sell them something that’s good for you, but not for them.

You really need to work on this.

Fear – even if prospects trust you, they may not trust themselves. People have a lot of performance anxiety. Can I do this? Am I good enough? It’s okay for him, but I’m not like him. What if I spend a lot of money and fail? What will other people think? I’m not confident enough to put myself forward. 

Everyone has fears, and it’s okay to have them. But we need to understand what to make of them. Most of the time our fears are based on our imaginations rather than the facts of our circumstance. We fear things we haven’t done yet and we fear what might happen. We undersell ourselves, question our ability, think negatively, and worry too much about what other people will think of us. Other people are probably too busy thinking about themselves to care much about us.

You need to help the prospect handle these fears. Tell them you’ll be there to offer support, or tell them where they can find support elsewhere. Offer them a full refund if they decide that working with you was a bad idea. Do things to help take away their fear.

In reality, what they should be more afraid of is getting stuck and staying stuck.

Confusion – some prospects get confused because their heart says one thing and their head says something else. Or they get too many facts and then get confused. You job is to cut through the confusion and to bring clarity.

You first need to understand why they are confused. Don’t guess – ask them. And then think about how to overcome their confusion in ways they can understand. Remember your audience.

If you find there is a lot of confusion with your prospects, you may well have a communication problem, or perhaps you are not sure what you’re offering. If you come across clear and confident, it’s less likely your prospects will be confused.

Objections

Expect to get some objections. If you don’t handle objections effectively, your prospects will get stuck or go elsewhere. Here are some common objections:

  • It’s too expensive
  • I need more time to think it over
  • I want to talk it over with a friend
  • I need to look at other options

Some people are more risk averse than others, and this could be why they make these objections. But ask yourself these questions. Do they know what they really want? Do they see that your solution will give it to them? Do they trust you? Do they have a sense of urgency about the solution? Do they fully understand how good your offering is?

Often, objections like these say more about you than about the prospect. They say you need to do a better job of leading the prospect through the two steps of change.

Conclusion

I don’t want to be too hard on you – it’s not easy. Believe me, I know this stuff, but that doesn’t mean I actually do it all the time. I do it some of the time, and when I do, it works.

I want to help you understand that marketing and sales are about helping people change. You can think of them in terms of the psychology or marketing or sales, but I prefer to think of them in terms of the psychology of change. To change in a way that advantages them – and you too. There’s nothing wrong with a win-win.

I hope these ideas help. If so, drop me a line and let me know.

Written By Steve Barlow

Steve is a change fitness coach and change readiness trainer and consultant. If you would like some help with any of the ideas presented in this blog, please book a free consultation with Steve.

steve@thechangegym.com

Marketing & Sales: The Secret of the Stories

By |2020-03-07T10:51:42+10:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Leadership, Uncategorized|

Marketing & Sales: The Secret of the Stories

This is the second article in a 3-part series on marketing and sales, taken from the perspective of change and change readiness. In the first article, we considered that the two steps of the marketing and sales process and the goals of each step. In this article, we examine how to use communication to move a prospect towards becoming your client.

In the previous article, we considered the imperative to move prospects into greater awareness of their needs and desires, and then move them towards making the decision to work with you. We noted a list of things prospects do in these two steps of the change process. Your job is to help them to move forward and one way you can do that is through targeted communications. Here are some ideas.

Be Clear About Your Prospects’ Needs and Desires

You need to think this through and do some research. What problems do your prospects have and how do these limit them? What does it feel like to have these problems? If they could change their current reality, what would they change it to? What would they eliminate?

If you aren’t clear about issues like these, your communications will be ineffective, and no one will pay attention to you.

Be Clear About How You Can Satisfy Their Needs and Wants

Your product or service may or may not provide a total solution, but it may go a long way towards one. But you must be clear about how it does that. Again, if you are unclear of this, your communications will suffer.

Craft Your Messages

Here are some guidelines to help you with that:

  • Audience – who is the message intended for? You need to speak to a clearly defined avatar, not some general notion of a ‘good prospect’.
  • Purpose – what outcome do you want from your message? Are you raising awareness? Answering a FAQ? Trying to persuade? Asking the prospect to take some action? If you’re not clear about the purpose, the message will be random, and you won’t be able to evaluate its effectiveness.
  • Vocabulary – you need to use words that are relevant to your intended audience. Use words they would use. If you don’t know what that is, do some research.
  • Register – we’re talking about how formal or informal you should pitch your language. This needs to be appropriate to your intended audience.
  • Tone – this refers to your attitude towards your audience and the topic of the message. It could be respectful, sensitive, playful, satirical, cynical, professional, etc. This will come through your message, so make sure you get it right to impact your audience in the way you want.
  • Content – these are the ideas you want to communicate. What do you want to say to your audience? Be very clear about this. Make sure your message ends up saying what you want it to say.
  • Medium – how will you communicate your message? Through a blog post, a Facebook ad, a video on YouTube, a page on your website?
  • Structure – This is how you shape your message through the medium you choose. Make sure the structure of your message is appropriate for the medium. For example, if it’s a blog post, structure it in short sections with multiple headings.

Position Your Solution

Think about how to get across the idea that you have the solution to the prospect’s problem. What makes your solution better than others? Why should they pick you rather than someone else? What unique features can you offer? What are the key features and benefits of your solution?

Think of how you can communicate these messages to your prospects.

Empower Your Language

You want your prospect to believe you have the right solution and they can be successful at it. So, use language that builds up their confidence and belief in themselves. Be realistic about it – if your solution is that good and you can see how it would work for the prospect, let them know it. People often second doubt themselves, but you can help them make a firm decision.

Focus on Benefits

The solution you’re offering may cause some anxiety to the prospect. Remember, if they knew how to solve their problem on their own, they wouldn’t be coming to you. So, in addition to using empowering language, get the prospect to focus on the benefits of your solution. Get them to think about how great it will be when clients are lined up waiting to do business with them, or when they are travelling to an exotic destination.

Support Your Prospect

Support the prospect, but don’t smother them. Lead them towards a decision to work with you, but don’t make them feel like you’re pushing them.

Ask Lots of Questions

Lots of open-ended questions. Ask them what they want to achieve, how much they want it, when they want it, how much they intend to spend, when they want it by, etc. If you ask, they will tell. If they don’t tell, there’s a problem with trust and you need to work harder.

Review

Powerful communication is a tool to keep prospects moving forward through the two steps of change. In the next article, we consider what to do if they stop moving forward.

Written By Steve Barlow

Steve is a change fitness coach and change readiness trainer and consultant. If you would like some help with any of the ideas presented in this blog, please book a free consultation with Steve.

steve@thechangegym.com

Marketing & Sales: The Secret of the Steps

By |2020-03-07T10:35:25+10:00March 6th, 2020|Categories: Leadership|

Marketing & Sales: The Secret of the Steps

This is the first article in a 3-part series on marketing and sales form a change perspective. If you’re in the early stages of building a business, chances are you have some marketing and/or sales challenges. Even if you’re employed by someone else, I bet you are still involved in marketing or sales in some ways.

Full disclosure: I am not a marketing or sales professional. And you won’t hear what I’m about to share with you from most marketing or sales professionals. Not because they don’t know it, but because they haven’t thought about it in the same way.

I don’t think about marketing or sales like a marketer or salesperson. I think about it as a change specialist. And that makes a lot of difference. Let me explain.

Marketing and sales are two distinct disciplines. They are areas of expertise practised by subject-matter specialists. But they are also a means to an end. A business doesn’t really want a great marketing campaign or a top gun salesperson. What they want is more customers, more clients.

So, if we want more clients, we must recognise what that means. First, it means we need to find good prospects. What’s a good prospect? It’s someone who has a need that your product or service will satisfy. And second, it means getting that person to change from what has been normal – not being your client – to what is new, becoming your client.

And it’s that change journey that interests me.

In this article, I want to help you understand how to lead a prospect along that change journey by knowing the goal of each step. In the second article in this series, I want to show you how to move a prospect along the change journey through targeted communications. And in the third article, I want to show you how to lead a prospect along the change journey by overcoming obstacles that can get them stuck.

The Change Process

You need to understand that the change process has 5 steps. We are only interested in the first two steps – those are the two that are most relevant to marketing and sales. Before we consider the different goals of the first two steps, we need to think about what is possible for a prospect on each of these steps. There are three possible outcomes for each step.

  • The prospect can complete a step and then move forward to the next one
  • The prospect can get stuck on a step, unable to make any progress
  • The prospect can find a step too challenging, give up, and go backwards

In the broadest sense, your job is to help the prospect achieve the first of these three possible outcomes.

The Goals

Let’s think about the goals you should have for the prospect in the first two steps of the change process. The goal of the first step is to lead the prospect towards awareness. The goal of the second step is to move the prospect towards commitment. These should be your goals because these are what the first two steps of the change process are all about.

Towards Awareness – the prospect needs a growing awareness of their need. It could be that something is no longer working for them and they are increasingly out of step with their lived reality. This might cause them pain – either physical pain or psychological pain. They might have a sense that something’s wrong, or things aren’t quite right.

The prospect needs to become aware that there’s a better reality out there, waiting for them. This better reality may be expressed as something they want, something that will put them back in sync with their lived experience. Something that will remove that unnerving feeling that something is wrong.

Without an awareness of need, the prospect can’t make any further progress with change. Your job is to help them become aware of their need with as much clarity and emotion as you can get from them. Get them talking about what’s wrong and how it impacts their life. Ask them to think about life without this problem – how would it be better, what would they be able to do, how would they feel, etc. Help them get in contact with these two realities – the unsatisfactory nature of their current reality and the wonderful reality that will unfold once the problem has been solved.

I think it is fair to say that creating awareness of problems and solutions is largely a marketing task. You put out messages designed to relate to the needs and desires of your target market. Good prospects are people who relate to those messages – “Yes, that applies to me. That is exactly how I feel, and I want those things you describe.” And because they relate to those messages, they are naturally inclined towards what you have to say.

Towards Commitment – this is the Step 2 goal and I believe it is largely a sales goal. To be effective, it’s important to understand what people do in Step 2. Here are some of the things they do:

  • Weigh whether the solution is worth the effort 
  • Consider whether the solution offered is the right one for them
  • Consider the pros and cons of the offered solution
  • Decide whether they have the capacity to make it happen
  • Deal with feelings of uncertainty and insecurity
  • Talk to someone who realistically understand their anxieties and will help them come to a decision
  • Assess who they can trust to guide them
  • Get excited about a future where their problem is solved

This is what people do in Step 2 – they think through the offered solution and decide what to do about it. Some can do this well, and others struggle with it. But, at the end of Step 2, the prospect will decide (make a commitment). They will decide either to accept your solution, or to reject it.

An Example

John began his coaching business 6 months ago and is yet to attract his first fee paying client. He is aware of his marketing problem and he is very worried about it. He worries he won’t be able to pay his bills and his business will fail. But he can also imagine himself as a successful coach. He can picture a waiting list of clients, being busy every day and feeling he is really making a difference. He can imagine having the lifestyle that goes with success – taking holidays to exotic locations, driving a nice car, providing good things for his family.

John is lucky because he knows what’s wrong. Some people haven’t identified that yet. Either way, your job is to help them get connected – emotionally and rationally – with their present reality and the reality they long for.

Let’s say in this example that you operate a marketing business helping coaches get more clients. You create a piece of content and John sees it. This content speaks directly to John’s problem. You sound like you might have a solution that could help him. The result is that he emails you.

The fact that John has emailed you means he has moved from Step 1 into Step 2. He has moved from simply being aware of his reality to wanting to think through the solution you offer. Never underestimate the magnitude of that step.

Now that John is in Step 2, your job is to help him move towards becoming your client. But to do that, he needs to trust you and to know you understand him. He needs to be sure your solution will work, and you need to help him overcome his concerns and answer his questions. If you can do all those things, he is likely to become your client. Step 2 is largely a sales role.

How can you help John along this process? Ask questions, explore, dig. Ask ‘why’. And keep asking. And when you think the prospect is fully aware of and in touch with their problem or opportunity, move them through Step 2.

In Step 2 you move the prospect towards commitment. Commitment towards solving their problem and grasping the opportunity. And commitment to letting you help them do that. At the end of Step 2 you want them to make the decision to become you client.

Review

In this article, we have considered the first things you need to understand about marketing and sales. For your prospect, they mean engaging in the first two steps of the change process.  The better you understand exactly what that means for the prospect, the more likely you are to convert them into a client. If you need help exploring what your prospects need to do and how you can help them do it, reach out to me and I will help.

In the next article in this series, we consider how you can use effective communications to move the prospect through awareness and into commitment.

Written By Steve Barlow

Steve is a change fitness coach and change readiness trainer and consultant. If you would like some help with any of the ideas presented in this blog, please book a free consultation with Steve.

steve@thechangegym.com

Are We Leading Change with the Wrong Framework?

By |2020-05-09T07:09:41+10:00September 22nd, 2019|Categories: Change Readiness, Leadership, Managing Change|

Think of the term ‘change management’. What framework is implicitly related to that term? Obviously, it’s the management framework. Accordingly, change management is one type of management. ‘Management’ is the broad framework and ‘change management’ is a subset of that framework.

But when we talk of management or change management, what we mean is a framework shaped by research. Research into management didn’t really get going until the late 1800’s. Before that time, organisations still needed to manage change (think of the Industrial Revolution), but instead of basing management on a scientific understanding of social systems, it was based on the military model. In other words, civilian organisations were very hierarchical and the military framework of ‘command and control’ was the normal way they functioned. Even the formal business suit was adapted from uniforms worn by military officers.

What we know from research

But towards the end of the 19th century, management studies began appearing in academic institutions like the Wharton School in the US. Later, in the early to mid-20th century, management gurus like Peter Drucker and Alfred Sloan were instrumental in bringing evidence-based practice to the forefront.

So, what does research say about frameworks and leading change? In the 1930s and 1940s, an early researcher into change management theory, Kurt Lewin, showed the power of a simple 3-step process – unfreeze, change, refreeze. That means something like this: change is easier to bring about if you begin by disrupting the old way of doing things, introduce a new way of doing things, and then make the new way the normal way of doing things.

How is this different from the ‘command and control’ approach of the military framework? It’s mostly different in the in terms of power. In the military framework, power is centralised in the leaders – they give the orders and the rank-and-file carry out the orders. But Lewin sees more complexity of the civilian organisational system, where power is distributed more widely throughout the system. ‘Unfreezing’ involves taking power away from practices that are normal and ‘feel right’ to employees. Or, to put it another way, it’s helping employees to release the power they have over familiar ways of working. And ‘refreezing’ is about strengthening the power of new practices, so employees become attached to them (or, to rephrase, helping employees increase the power of attachment they feel towards new ways of working).

The management framework recognises that power is distributed around the organisation. John Kotter is arguably the leading exponent of the change management framework in the world today. His 8-step process highlights that leading change is about recognising where power is distributed in the organisation and performing certain tasks that utilise that power to effect change. Consider his 8 steps:

  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Build a guiding coalition
  • Form a strategic vision and initiatives
  • Enlist a volunteer army
  • Enable action by removing barriers
  • Generate short-term wins
  • Sustain acceleration
  • Institute change

Here change leaders have power, but they are not like a military general who gives orders and expects them to be followed. They are more like facilitators who enlist the support of other power brokers, facilitate an urgency, focus, and strategy, and clear the pathway so successful outcomes can be achieved.

This management framework is the dominant framework in the world today. And it is a clear improvement on the military framework – at least in civilian organisations. But is this framework the last word in how to lead change? Is it the best we can do?

I want to suggest another framework. A more expansive framework.

I call it the ‘readiness framework’.

The readiness framework

The readiness framework is also concerned with power, but with a different kind of power. In fact, I want to draw your attention away from the concept of power and onto the concept of capacity.

Readiness for change is primarily about two things – the psychological capacity to succeed at the change process, and the will-ingness to engage in the change project. Let’s unpack that. What does ‘psychological capacity’ mean? First, it doesn’t mean technical know-how. You certainly might need some training to succeed at change – there may be skills you need to develop, or new information you must acquire. But that’s not psychological capacity. The psychological capacity that’s needed is the capacity to succeed at every step of the change process. Even when it gets unbearably frustrating. Especially when you keep failing. It’s the grit that keeps you in the saddle, but it’s much more than grit. We have a term for this psychological capacity – it’s called ‘change fitness’. To succeed at change, people need enough change fitness to meet the persistent and challenging demands of the change process.

And then we come to the ‘change process’. Every time an organisation makes a change, it participates in the change process. For every change project an organisation embarks on, success means one thing – it means successfully completing every step of the change process. There is no other way to succeed. So, change readiness is not about being ready to begin a change project; it’s about being ready to succeed at every step of the change process. If you’re not ready to do that, you’re not ready for change and you’re not likely to succeed.

It is important to highlight this point; the readiness framework relates to the readiness to succeed at the change process. We’re talking about the deep, underlying structure of change. If an organisation doesn’t have the readiness to succeed at the deep structure of change, it isn’t ready for change. There is much more to be said about this, and this article is not the place to explore this at any depth. However, understand that readiness is always readiness for something, and change readiness is readiness for each and every step of the change process.

So, effective change leadership isn’t so much about utilising power or facilitating certain tasks. It’s more about helping stakeholders develop or exercise their capacity to succeed at every step of the change process, and managing the risks posed by the limitations of their capacity. 

The third issue is ‘will-ingness’ to engage in the change process. Even if a group of employees have the change fitness capacity to succeed at a change project, they also need to engage their will and offer their support and participation. So, change leadership is also about helping employees make the choice to support the change process, recognising they also have the power to resist. Therefore, the right kind of communication is important.

Redefining power

In the military framework, power is centralised. Change happens because employees are told to change. In the management framework, power is distributed. The change leader draws upon distributed power and facilitates a strategic pathway towards success. In the readiness framework, the focus is less on power and more on capacity, commitment, and the deep structure of the change process. This is shown in Table 1.

Table 1: The Three Frameworks

Military Framework

Management Framework

Readiness Framework

Power is centralised

Power is distributed

Power is distributed

 

 

The greatest power is the power to create and capitalise on readiness for change

 

  

Successful organisational change means engaging successfully in every step of the change process. It depends upon employees’ capacity to succeed at each step of the change process, change leaders’ capacity to lead them towards success at each step of the change process, employees’ willingness to engage and remain committed to each step of the change process, and change leaders’ capacity to communicate in ways that engage that commitment.

The real power of the change leader in the readiness framework is the power to create readiness for change. Creating readiness for change means creating readiness for all employees to succeed at each step of the change process. And successful change is only likely when readiness for change is maximised.

What you can do

You might be wondering how to achieve this readiness. We provide a structured pathway to help you do this, and this pathway begins with information. Before you can work a readiness framework, you first need to understand what you’re trying to do.

We offer two, one-day online training programs to help you understand what you need to know and what you need to do. You can learn more about the first of these programs here.

In conclusion, I propose that the readiness framework offers a developmental improvement on the management framework. It recognises that power is distributed throughout the organisational system and that change leaders should facilitate certain tasks. In this way, it includes the management framework. But it also extends beyond it, recognising that organisational change is deeply rooted in the change process and people must be ready to engage in and succeed at every step of that process. And that changes what change leaders do. They should facilitate the emergence of change readiness, strategically deploy that readiness, and scaffold weaknesses presented by limitations in that readiness. We believe the readiness framework has much to offer organisations in this age of continual change.

Written by Dr Steve Barlow

How to Create Successful Change

By |2019-09-22T08:10:48+10:00September 19th, 2019|Categories: Change Readiness, Leadership, Managing Change, Programs, Resistance|

In 2010, McKinsey reported the findings of a huge study involving more than 315,000 respondents. They found that 75% of organisations were experiencing change and that 70% of change initiatives were regarded as unsuccessful.

Hundreds of other studies corroborate the 70% failure rate statistic. This statistic is often cited in the change management community as a reason to engage change management professionals as change leaders. But the problem is that the 70% statistic has remained stable for decades, even though change management principles form part of many graduate and post-graduate leadership programs. Maybe the message is not getting through to the right people. Or, in our view, there’s something wrong with the message itself.

Others totally debunk the 70% statistic. Claiming to be ‘superior’ change managers, they apparently experience success in most of the change initiatives they lead. This could, possibly, be realistic – theirs may be among the 30% of change projects that succeed. But it could also be a matter of pride: we all like to think we are successful.

But let’s not get too hung up on the 70% statistic. It is probably dependent on how things are measured and how reasonable initial expectations were. My interest in this article is not on the 70% figure, but on the perceptions of why organisational change fails or succeeds. I want to outline three reasons that are often cited.

The employees are the issue

McKinsey found that employee resistance to change was identified as the single biggest cause of change failure. If change fails, management often blames employees for having bad attitudes, for resisting change, and for disengaging from the process. Just when they should have been involved, they got negative and didn’t want to play ball.

Sometimes this is true and sometimes it isn’t. Maybe employees resisted for good reasons. But here’s the point – change leadership shouldn’t be about obedience – forcing people to do what they’re told.  It should be about developing readiness for change.

And let’s not just focus on failure. Employees are an organisation’s greatest asset and any change that succeeds does so, in large part, because of support from employees.

The leaders are the issue

Change managers may be delighted with or disappointed with the level of support they receive from senior leaders. Unfortunately, change can fail even though employees support it and skilled change managers lead it. It can fail if senior management pulls back their support for the change – they lose motivation or incentive, or simply under-resource it. Strong and continued support from senior leaders is essential for the success of any change initiative.

The change managers are the issue

Professionally trained change managers rightly take pride in the knowledge and skills they have worked hard to develop over many years. Many change projects underperform due to a lack of such leadership.

But as important as change management is, success requires more than good management. Management can only take you so far – managers can’t make the changes only the employees can make. So, there needs to be a readiness on the part of employees to support the change and engage with the process from beginning to end. And there also needs to be cultural readiness to support and sustain the change.

The landscape

Let’s look at the organisational landscape so far. It is a challenging landscape that offers many opportunities to fall short. Will the employees support the change, and do they have to capacity to succeed at every step of the change process? Will senior leaders maintain a strong commitment for the change at every step of the process? Do change managers have the knowledge and skills to deliver a successful outcome? And will the culture support and sustain the change long-term?

Look at those questions. Some relate to support and commitment – the enactment of the will to support rather than oppose change. And some relate to capacity. Even if people willingly support and engage in the change project, they also need the psychological capacity to meet the challenging demands of every step of the change process – the capacity to keep going when they are tired and confused and everything inside them wants to quit.  And they also relate to the capacity of change managers to follow an evidence-based process, to unlock the potential of the team, and to manage risks posed by the team’s limitations. This mix of will and capacity are aspects of an organisation’s change readiness. And there are other important ingredients in that mix as well.

Readiness incorporates power, capacity, and will. Organisations are not ready for change if their people are not willing to exercise their power to support change and if they don’t have the capacity to succeed at the change process. Change readiness is readiness to succeed at the change process – not just readiness to begin. Sure, that’s important too, but what’s the value of being ready to start if you’re not also ready to succeed?

The 70% failure statistic carries a serious warning – 100% of organisations surveyed started a change project, but only 30% were ready to succeed. I am reminded of the 2015 Optus study that found just 27% of Australian businesses are ready for change. Look, who wants to be one of the 70% of businesses that are ready to fail at change? Where’s the honour in that? And why would you even want that when you can do so much to become ready to succeed?

How to create successful change

Change is inherently risky because it’s easier to fail at things than to succeed. Success depends on doing a few things right but there are many roads that lead to failure. So, why should people expect to succeed when they’re not ready to succeed? That’s not being positive, that’s being unrealistic.

Here’s the point of this article – the real power of change leaders lies in their power to create change readiness. Organisations that are ready to succeed are much more successful than others that aren’t ready. That’s not rocket science; that’s common sense.

So, if you want to learn how to create change readiness in your organisation, the easiest way is to join one of our 1-day, online training programs. We specialise in personal change fitness and organisational change readiness and we can lead you into greater awareness of what’s involved. Start with our ‘From Resistance to Readiness’ training. You can learn more about it here.

There’s a lot you can do to get ready for success. And that road begins with knowledge. So, join in the training and let’s build some readiness for change.

Written by Dr Steve Barlow

The Challenge of Organisational Change

By |2019-05-20T10:21:06+10:00May 20th, 2019|Categories: Leadership, Managing Change|

Some years ago, a yachtsman competing in the BOC challenge pulled into Sydney harbour. He and his fellow competitors were sailing solo around the world. They were competing against each other, but also against themselves. In a real sense, the challenge of the race is facing the fear of the unknown and the limits of one’s personal capacity and endurance.

Notwithstanding the dangers, most sailors succeeded – not in winning the race, but in facing the challenge and giving all […]

Recognising The Demands of the Change Process

By |2019-03-25T13:58:27+10:00March 21st, 2019|Categories: Change Fitness, Leadership, Managing Change|

This article examines why people find change difficult and how managers and leaders can help employees find success.

We all know change is, at times, demanding. It takes us outside our comfort zone and challenge us at every level.

In a 2017 article in the British Journal of Management*, Rafferty and Jimmieson explore three demands that cause people to struggle. Let’s look at them.

Disturbance

The authors write, “any modification to habitual patterns is disturbing, as functioning in repetitive ways helps individuals to […]

THE 3 ‘A’S OF ORGANISATIONAL CHANGE

By |2019-03-25T14:16:25+10:00February 11th, 2019|Categories: Change Fitness, Change Readiness, Leadership, Managing Change|

We need to start thinking more systemically about organisational change. I mean, we need to move beyond the first A (acceptance) and start thinking about the other two (acceptance and adaptability).

Approach

Lewin, Hiatt, Kotter and others have helped us think in terms of the first ‘A’ – how managers should approach organisational change. And it’s true – the way managers and leaders approach change makes a difference to how things turn out. They need to clearly understand […]

What Makes A Good Change Manager?

By |2019-02-28T13:39:27+10:00November 25th, 2015|Categories: Leadership, Managing Change|

What’s the best way of managing change?

In the past, leaders decided what to change and they developed a strategy and plan to get the job done. They established a game plan.

Today, some people persist with this approach. However, with the rise of agile methodologies, this ‘command-and-control’ approach is falling out of favour.

And it’s being replaced by an emergent approach.

The Cynefin Framework

This is a framework that helps you understand the level of complexity in different organisations. Many modern organisations […]

Reflections on Kotter’s Eight Step Model

By |2019-03-25T14:19:21+10:00November 16th, 2015|Categories: Leadership, Managing Change|

Kotter’s eight step model has become an industry standard in the change management world since its release in the 1996 book “Leading Change”. His model received an update in 2014, more closely reflecting current views of reality, but the general principles remain essentially the same.

A Balanced Response

Let me make it clear from the outset that I am not a fan of Kotter’s model. Later in this article I will give you my two strongest objections to it. However, I […]

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