Tag: change

Managing change

Following on from yesterday’s post.

I paused yesterday’s post by writing this:

In addition, Dr. Lee said to always THINK BIG! Big in voice, big in attitude, big in stature.

Finally, let me share with you what was posted on the Visible Procrastinations blog back in 2009. Reposted with the author’s permission.

Change.

Change is unavoidable for everyone one of us. Some changes are certainly wonderfully positive ones. Others not quite so. But the thing about change is that whatever the reason in one’s life for having to experience change it has a disruptive effect.

Today’s post leans heavily on that Visible Procrastinations (VP) post but the main theme is fully endorsed by yours truly!

ooOOoo

My Change Journey

Some notes from My Change Journey: This workshop is designed to help you understand your emotional and psychological needs during times of change and strategies you can use to take control of your own change journey. It also focuses on creating opportunities and seeing possibilities in the new world of work.

change – an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another;

transition – the act of passing from one state or place to the next

Seeing the Big Picture

Many times we do not always see the bigger picture.

There are two examples of that; the first is this rather delightful 5-minute video that is just a bit of fun to watch. The second comes along shortly.

Experiencing Transitions

When change is implemented at any level in an organisation or personally, people typically respond by moving through a series of phases. People will spend different times in each phase. This is a crucial thing to understand and is at the heart of why change is always disruptive and frequently unsettling.

Take a few moments to reflect on the next item; this three-phase framework.

Bridges (1995)William Bridges (1995) Bridges’ three-phase transition framework: The first phase, the Ending phase, is about letting go of an old identity, an old reality or an old strategy. The Neutral Zone is akin to crossing the wilderness between the old way and the new. The final phase is making a new beginning and functioning effectively in a new way.

I am going to reinforce this message because it underpins everything to do with us understanding the business of change. Especially when we have to deal with unsettling events!

Ending – Letting go of what has been.

Neutral Zone or The Bridge – yes, it does feel like a ‘wilderness’ in some circumstances. Give it time!

Starting – Embracing the new way and making it work really well for you.

The key is to allow each phase plenty of time to take effect; frequently much longer than one senses!

The Process of Transition

John Fisher’s model of personal change – The Transition Curve – is an excellent analysis of how individuals deal with personal change.
J.M.Fisher’s ‘transition curve’

(More may be read here:  http://www.businessballs.com especially here: http://www.businessballs.com/personalchangeprocess.htm )

Influencing and exploring options

“You should only worry about things that are within your sphere of influence.”

This is such a key message. So take a long hard look at the things that make you anxious or worry you. Then clearly identify those things over which you have no or very little control. Then walk away from them!

There’s a great book: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, from which is taken:

You should only worry about things in your “sphere of influence.” If you have no control over certain aspects of your life, why bother worrying about them?

circle of concern

Mental Models: our way of seeing the world

(NB. This includes the second example of seeing the bigger picture)

Mental models are usually tacit, existing below the level of awareness. Another way of thinking about them is as a paradigm. This is a big topic and I am going to return to it by way of a separate post, probably one day next week.

But this second example of not seeing the bigger picture is also stirring the deeper waters of one particular personal paradigm.

Take 1000
add 40 to it
Now add another 1000
Now add 30
Add another 1000
Now add 20
Now add another 1000
Now add 10
What is the total?
Did you get 5000? The correct answer is actually 4100.

P.S. The number of times I did this, adding it up in my head, and finding it came to 5000. Then I did it on a calculator and it came to 4100. Talk about the eyes looking but not seeing!!

But there’s an important message. If you, as me and Jeannie did first time around, made it 5000 then you are demonstrating that what your eyes see, interpreted by your brain, isn’t necessarily correct.

So if it’s important: Give it a coating or two of thought!

Moving on!

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Peter M. Senge

References

Amado, G., & Ambrose A. (Eds.) (2001) The Transitional Approach to Change. London: Karnac

Amado, G., & Vansina, L. (Eds.) (2004) The Transitional Approach in Action. London: Karnac

Bridges, W. (1998) Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change London: Nicholas Brealey.

Bridges, W. & Associates (online resources to articles and assessment tools for ‘Managing Transitions’) www.wmbridges.com

Bunker, K. (2008) Responses to Change: Helping People Make Transitions San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Covey, S.R. (1990) The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People Melbourne: The Business Library

Duck, J. (1993) Managing Change: the art of balancing Harvard Business Review, 71 (Nov/Dec): pp.109-118

Ethical work and life learning (Free online education for ethical work, business, career and life learning; training materials for entrepreneurs, organizations, seflf-development, business management, sales, marketing, project management, communications, leadership, time management, team building and motivation) www.businessballs.com

Fischer, P. (2008) The New Boss: How to Survive the First 100 Days. London: Kogan Page.

Johnson, S. (1999) Who Moved My Cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life London: Vermillion

O’Hara, S. & Sayers, E. Organizational change through individual learning. Career Development International, 1 (4): pp. 38-41

Rogers, C.R. & Roethlisberger, F.J (1991) Barriers and gateways to communication. Harvard Business Review (Nov-Dec): pp.105-111

Stuart, R (1995) Experiencing organizational change: triggers, processes and outcomes of change journeys Personnel Review, 24 (2): pp.3-88

Vansina, L. & Vansina-Cobbaert, J-M (2008) Psychodynamics for Consultants and Managers: From Understanding to Leading Meaningful Change. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Williams, D (1999, 2008 update) Transitions: Managing Personal and Organisational Change.

ooOOoo

Tomorrow I cover the specifics of what took Jeannie (and me) to OHSU in Portland and the consultation with Dr. John Nutt and what flowed from that!

I so hope you found in today’s post some nuggets of personal gold for you!

I will close with a quote from the BrainyQuote site:

Personal journeys

Life is a one-way track.

Those of you who follow this place on a regular basis know that last Friday I published a post under the title of Friday Fondness. You will also know that later that same day I left this comment to that post:

Sue, and everyone else, we returned from seeing Dr. Lee, the neurologist, a little under two hours ago. Dr. Lee’s prognosis is that Jean is showing the very early signs of Parkinson’s disease, and Jean is comfortable with me mentioning this.

Everyone’s love and affection has meant more than you can imagine. I will write more about this next week once we have given the situation a few ‘coatings of thought’.

Jean sends her love to you all!

Thus, as heralded, I am going to write some more.

You would not be surprised to hear that the last few days have been an emotional roller-coaster, for both Jean and me. Including on Monday Jean hearing from our local doctor here in Grants Pass, OR, that a recent urine test has shown that Jean has levels of lead in her bones some three times greater than the recommended maximum. While our doctor is remaining open-minded it remains to be seen whether Jean is exhibiting symptoms of lead poisoning, whether the lead is a possible cause of the Parkinson’s disease (PD), see this paper, or whether it is a separate issue to be dealt with.

However, I want to offer some more from the consultation that Jean had with the neurologist Dr. Eric Lee last Friday. Shared with the full support of Jean who has read the whole of today’s post yesterday evening; as she does with every post published in this place.

But before so doing, please understand that while I was present throughout the complete examination of Jean, what you are about to read carries no more weight than that of any casual onlooker. If you are at all affected by any of the following make an appointment to see your own doctor!

Jean’s examination lasted for about an hour. It consisted of a great number of checks and tests on how her body responded to many different tests and stimulations. At the end of the examination Dr. Lee said that while he wasn’t 100% certain the balance of probability was that Jean was demonstrating the very early signs of PD. For example, showing such signs as walking and not swinging both arms in a normal, balanced manner. Or having a very slow blink rate. Then she was exhibiting some difficulty with rapid finger-to-thumb taps.

However, Dr. Lee did say that Jean was at the very early stages of PD and that we would have to wait another six months to see if the PD indicators were firming up. He also said that he had PD patients who had had the disease for twenty, even thirty years. Some of the general indicators that PD is progressing include a stooped gait, decreasing size of handwriting, and a quieter speaking tone. The NINDS website has more information on this. Here’s a little of what they explain about PD:

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s disease (PD) belongs to a group of conditions called motor system disorders, which are the result of the loss of dopamine-producing brain cells. The four primary symptoms of PD are tremor, or trembling in hands, arms, legs, jaw, and face; rigidity, or stiffness of the limbs and trunk; bradykinesia, or slowness of movement; and postural instability, or impaired balance and coordination. As these symptoms become more pronounced, patients may have difficulty walking, talking, or completing other simple tasks. PD usually affects people over the age of 60.  Early symptoms of PD are subtle and occur gradually.  In some people the disease progresses more quickly than in others.  As the disease progresses, the shaking, or tremor, which affects the majority of people with PD may begin to interfere with daily activities.  Other symptoms may include depression and other emotional changes; difficulty in swallowing, chewing, and speaking; urinary problems or constipation; skin problems; and sleep disruptions.  There are currently no blood or laboratory tests that have been proven to help in diagnosing sporadic PD.  Therefore the diagnosis is based on medical history and a neurological examination.  The disease can be difficult to diagnose accurately.   Doctors may sometimes request brain scans or laboratory tests in order to rule out other diseases.

But here’s the good news regarding my darling wife – there are three things that Dr. Lee strongly recommends:

  1. Hang on to a positive mental attitude for the body actively produces dopamine when in a positive mental state.
  2. At least 30-minutes of good aerobic exercise three times a week,
  3. And physiotherapy.

In addition, Dr. Lee said to always THINK BIG! Big in voice, big in attitude, big in stature.

Finally, let me share with you what was posted on the Visible Procrastinations blog back in 2009. Reposted with the author’s permission.

ooOOoo

My Change Journey

Some notes from My Change Journey: This workshop is designed to help you understand your emotional and psychological needs during times of change and strategies you can use to take control of your own change journey. It also focuses on creating opportunities and seeing possibilities in the new world of work.

change – an event that occurs when something passes from one state or phase to another;

transition – the act of passing from one state or place to the next

The Big Picture

You are not always seeing the bigger picture;

Experiencing Transitions

When change is implemented at any level in an organisation, people typically respond by moving through a series of phases. People will spend different times in each phase.
Bridges (1995)
William Bridges (1995) Bridges’ three-phase transition framework: The first phase, the Ending phase, is about letting go of an old identity, an old reality or an old strategy. The Neutral Zone is akin to crossing the wilderness between the old way and the new. The final phase is making a new beginning and functioning effectively in a new way.

The Process of Transition

John Fisher’s model of personal change – The Transition Curve – is an excellent analysis of how individuals deal with personal change.
J.M.Fisher’s ‘transition curve’

John Fisher’s transition curve – the stages of personal transition – and introduction to personal construct psychology. http://www.businessballs.com

http://www.businessballs.com/personalchangeprocess.htm

Influencing and exploring options

“You should only worry about things that are within your sphere of influence.”

You should only worry about things that are within your sphere of influence.

From The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People – you should only worry about things in your “sphere of influence.” If you have no control over certain aspects of your life, why bother worrying about them?

circle of concern

Mental Models: our way of seeing the world

Mental models are usually tacit, existing below the level of awareness – they should be tested, examined and evaluated.

Joel Barker pioneered the concept of paradigm shifts to explain profound change and the importance of vision to drive change within organizations. View The Power of Paradigms [SWF].

Take 1000
add 40 to it
Now add another 1000
Now add 30
Add another 1000
Now add 20
Now add another 1000
Now add 10
What is the total?

Did you get 5000 ? The correct answer is actually 4100 .

The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Peter M. Senge

References

Amado, G., & Ambrose A. (Eds.) (2001) The Transitional Approach to Change. London: Karnac

Amado, G., & Vansina, L. (Eds.) (2004) The Transitional Approach in Action. London: Karnac

Bridges, W. (1998) Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change London: Nicholas Brealey.

Bridges, W. & Associates (online resources to articles and assessment tools for ‘Managing Transitions’) www.wmbridges.com

Bunker, K. (2008) Responses to Change: Helping People Make Transitions San Francisco: Jossey-Bass

Covey, S.R. (1990) The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People Melbourne: The Business Library

Duck, J. (1993) Managing Change: the art of balancing Harvard Business Review, 71 (Nov/Dec): pp.109-118

Ethical work and life learning (Free online education for ethical work, business, career and life learning; training materials for entrepreneurs, organizations, seflf-development, business management, sales, marketing, project management, communications, leadership, time management, team building and motivation) www.businessballs.com

Fischer, P. (2008) The New Boss: How to Survive the First 100 Days. London: Kogan Page.

Johnson, S. (1999) Who Moved My Cheese? An amazing way to deal with change in your work and in your life London: Vermillion

O’Hara, S. & Sayers, E. Organizational change through individual learning. Career Development International, 1 (4): pp. 38-41

Rogers, C.R. & Roethlisberger, F.J (1991) Barriers and gateways to communication. Harvard Business Review (Nov-Dec): pp.105-111

Stuart, R (1995) Experiencing organizational change: triggers, processes and outcomes of change journeys Personnel Review, 24 (2): pp.3-88

Vansina, L. & Vansina-Cobbaert, J-M (2008) Psychodynamics for Consultants and Managers: From Understanding to Leading Meaningful Change. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons

Williams, D (1999, 2008 update) Transitions: Managing Personal and Organisational Change.

ooOOoo

LearningFromDogs_3DBook_500x

Let me close today’s post with the opening and closing paragraphs from Chapter 25 of my book: A Way into Our Own Soul.

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”

So wrote the philosopher Democritus who was born in 460 BCE (although some claim his year of birth was 490 BCE). He acquired fame with his knowledge of the natural phenomena that existed in those times and history writes that he preferred a contemplative life to an active life, spending much of his life in solitude. The fact that he lived to beyond 100 suggests his philosophy didn’t do him any harm.

………..

In humans, that part of the brain in which self-awareness is thought to arise is called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Apparently, that just happens to be located behind the eyes. Ergo, we learn[1] to associate the identity of others with our eyes. Then as we mature, our eyes take on more importance because we develop awareness and a better understanding of the social cues that other people convey with their eyes.
Therefore, is it any surprise that dogs, being the intuitive creatures that they are, soon learn to read us humans and the feelings and emotions that we transmit from our eyes? There’s a knowing in my mind, albeit an unscientific knowing, that dogs, too, give out emotions and feelings from their own eyes.

That loving a dog and being loved back by that dog truly does offer us a way into our own souls. No better put than in the exquisite words of Anatole France,

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.


[1] Refer to Christina Starmans and Paul Bloom of the Mind and Development Lab at Yale University.

ooOOoo

Oh, and a postscript. Having a loving contact with another person or your dog also releases dopamine within the body – so go and hug your partner or your dog! Now! 🙂

Theo19

 

The challenge of change

A personal muse.

Today’s Post was prompted by a recent email, here it is in full,

Dear Brian et al,

I know it’s really tough, but we have to figure out a way to take the message of the Steady State Economy  viral.

We HAVE to.

Every time I look at who has signed the petition at www.steadystate.org,  I am inspired, because the signers come from all over the world. But two or three a day?

Certainly, I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. I’ve tried on my own, and when I talk to folks one-on-one, they often enthusiastically sign, but they don’t “pay it forward.”>What can we do together to break through this wall of apathy?

Very best regards,

Carla Rautenberg
Cleveland, Ohio

I was one of the 8 addressees, for reasons that I am not really sure about.  But it doesn’t matter.  Here are my thoughts.

There is no doubt in my mind that the present course of mankind on this planet is not sustainable.  There is much on Learning from Dogs from my ‘pen’ and others that supports that view.  As Carla writes, when one speaks to others, the majority seem to share that view.

So what is it about change that is so difficult?  Well, I’m not competent to give a reliable answer to that but a web search on change delivers yards of material and even more quotations.  Just as a random example, here is a website that offers ‘The 45 Most Inspiring Quotes on Change.‘  But do you know what?  There’s only one which, to my mind, hits at the real heart of change.  It was this one,

“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” -Deepak Chopra

Last week I published a short story that ended,

The message from the night, as clear as the rays of this new day’s sun, the message to pass to all those he loved. If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.

‘Chaos’, ‘getting lost’ are expressions of, to use a relatively modern phrase, ‘tipping points’ !  It seems to me that real motivation to change can only come when one’s present world is falling apart in spades.

Then, and only then, those that offer clear ways forward will be held up as saviours.

So there’s my thought for the day!  And if any of you wonderful readers have further thoughts and contributions, please offer them as comments.  Big thank-you.

The way forward?

A big vote of thanks to Paul for plugging away for so long without any contribution from me.  Unlike Paul who is retired, well retired in the sense of a paying job, I have a family, a dog (Jess) and the usual set of household overheads to cover, so the week is very much a working week for me.  Ergo, I shall never be able to contribute to Learning from Dogs in the same manner as Paul but a regular contribution is assured. To get things rolling again, I want to re-publish an article that I wrote on my business blog the other day.

Removing the fear of the unknown

Seeing the light

I’ve been working with most of my clients recently through painful transformations brought about by the economic downturn.

An interesting metaphor really because since the first wave of uncertainty triggered panic, first noticed in the UK banking system, I have been picking up on that uncertainty that feels like it’s stalking the globe and has been for some time. Recent stock market crashes have simply exacerbated this and that, coupled with the riots taking place in major cities in the UK, make for pretty disturbing reading.

Interestingly, I, too, have been aware of an underlying fear that was difficult either to name or source.

It has been rather like a deep river in that whilst the surface feels slow-moving, currents are moving things powerfully below.

So this ‘fear’ has caused a few household changes.

1) We now are the proud owners of 12 chickens. Our youngest son and I have dug up the back lawn and planted vegetables and built a poly tunnel.

2) We have also installed a wood burning cooker. Right back down to the base of Maslow’s triangle really!

Maslow's triangle of needs

These feelings have brought about such change everywhere and I wonder seriously whether we will ever return to what was; indeed would we want to?

I might not have mentioned it in previous blogs but as well as an engineering background, in latter years, I have focused on how success in business is linked directly to aspects of relationships and how we are in our relationships with others, so things like integrity, self-awareness and the ability to see the point of view of others, and modify our approach appropriately.

To inform this, some 7 years ago, I embarked on an MA in Core Process Psychotherapy, primarily to work on myself so that I could be the best I could be in my relationships, in and out of work.

The point I’m trying to make is that the same panic I notice in many of the companies I work in, and in me, is based on fear of the unknown and on a lack of trust in all its forms.  I’ve deliberately underlined that last phrase because it is so incredibly important.

The truth is that we get more of what we focus on.

So we can choose to focus on the constant news of more difficulties, hardship and redundancies, or we can focus on what is working.

In the workplace this positive focus has been pulling people together across functions and sites and pooling resources and ideas.

When we realise we’re not doing this alone it’s amazing how much lighter a load can feel and how much more inspired we all feel.

I also notice how humour begins to flow and what a powerful antidote for doom and gloom that is.

Transformation is never easy but the rewards far exceed the effort put in ten fold.

So what is it going to be? Are we all going to bow down to the god of Doom & Gloom, fear and anxiety, heaping more and more gifts around it, or are we going to start noticing and focusing on the other neglected god – that of relationship, joy, trust, abundance and lightness?

Whatever the future holds for us all a belief in our inherent ability to adapt and change and focus on the greater good rather than fear, anxiety, greed and selfishness is the only sustainable way forward.

By Jon Lavin

Letter from Payson – The Farmers Market

A foreigner but not a foreigner!

Despite the fact that we have now been living in Payson, Arizona, since the end of February and, therefore, a degree of familiarity exists in both directions, the local Saturday Farmers Market prompted this thought.

Why do I not feel a foreigner here?

There is no question that America, in general, and Arizona, in particular, is very different to England.  In many ways the differences are far greater than, say, England and Australia, or England and New Zealand (I’m picking other English speaking countries to avoid to obvious difference between countries of different languages).

Local goats' cheese

I love Farmers Markets.  They seem to encapsulate the wholeness of locals growing meat and produce for other locals. They seem to serve as a reminder of the integrity that is needed just as much in food as in all other areas of life.

Of course, I am not so naive to think that we could wind the food revolution back to before the days of supermarket chains – food is wonderful value nowadays especially for those families on tight incomes.

But I can’t be the only one that ponders what the long term effect of all those

Local jellies (jams to Brits!)

E-numbers and other strange ingredients that one reads on most packets of most items, and whether or not fruit is sprayed with anything that we should know about, and so on and so forth.

That’s why that place in my psyche is ‘stroked’ so well by wandering around the Farmers Market.

One would expect if there was going to be any place where yours truly, dressed and sounding like the Englishman that he is, is going to feel foreign, it would be at the Payson Farmers Market.  I don’t even try to hide my origins, responding to a “Howdy folks” from the stall-holder with a quintessentially English “Good Morning!

Inevitably there are reasons why I am made to feel welcome here in Payson, my hunch is that it is much to do with this being a pioneering town for most of the last 100 years, and therefore co-operation, collaboration and a welcoming attitude were key elements of sustaining a way of life, but, in the end, analysis is pointless.

What matters is how we are made to feel, and we are made to feel very welcome.

Indeed, Payson with it’s predominance of right-wing, independent thinking, tough ‘cow-boy’ inhabitants echoing a recent past, may have an important lesson for all of us, across the globe, as the forces of disconcerting change build and build: be local, think local, preserve local.

I’m very proud to be slowly but surely turning into a Payson local.

By Paul Handover

Beams of light in the darkness

These are very strange times: thank goodness for Blogs.

Learning from Dogs is a relatively young Blog (first Post was July 15th, 2009) but already it has opened the eyes of all the authors to the power of plain speaking.  All of us involved in bringing you a dozen Posts a week find inspiration for our creative juices from the corners, far and wide, of the virtual world of digital communications, the World Wide Web.

Because we are in the midst of huge turmoil it’s very difficult to see the underlying trends of change at work.  But see them we must if we are to be smart and work out, for the best, what needs to be done at the scale of the individual and the family.

So with that theme in mind, go to the Blog called Jesse’s Café Américain and read a recent Post about the behaviour of the price of gold.  But also read beyond the subject of gold and reflect on the deeper message.

Here’s an extract from that Post:

Read the rest of this Post