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Ring # 6: COMMUNITY/SOCIETY: Social Involvement Resistance, Dismay and Skepticism Political Unrest and Pushback Factions Formed for/Against Critical Mass, Support Grows Enthusiasm Builds for the New Order
Wave After Wave of Changes
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Ring #4A of the Rollercoaster is about intergroup change. Developing process/project teams and creating learning organizations where knowledge is shared across departments/boundaries is not easy. The Experiential Learning Cycle, as well as accelerated learning, have, at their core, the fact that adults learn best by doing. Effective training and development build on this.
It is not enough to just acquire knowledge. It requires emotional stimulation, practice, learning from the experiences, and applying the learnings.
Learning results in changing a person. Learners go through the Rollercoaster of Change as well. Change agents must ask three key questions to finish the cycle: What? So What? Now What?
One of the authors at one point in his career was hired to be the president of University Associates Training and Consulting. He was brought in to turn the business around. He found that the EWC process could not begin and that he had no credibility until he became lead trainer and was able to apply the Experiential Learning Cycle in training programs. He had not fully understood the cycle until then and it was a seminal learning experience in his own career and life.
Simplicity: The Rollercoaster of Change
The Rollercoaster is a vital tool for change consultants to learn and apply at all different levels within an organization. The Rollercoaster reflects the natural and normal cycle of change. It should be recognized, shared, and appreciated as such by all members of the organization.
Exactly how change occurs is different and unique at each of the levels of living systems: at the self level, the interpersonal level, the department level, the crossfunctional team level, and the organization-wide level. They all must be attended to, a complex undertaking. Enterprise-Wide Change can seem highly complex, but through the simplicity of the Rollercoaster consultants can spread the word.
Use the Rollercoaster concept to create simplicity on the far side of complexity. It is natural, normal, and highly predictable.
Implications for the Enterprise-Wide Change Journey
When the Rollercoaster of Change begins on its downward trajectory, cascading through all levels and subsystems and seeming out of control, how can change consultants and leaders stay focused on the simplicity to be found in the model day-to-day? We recommend the following activities:
Activity #1: Regular meetings of the Enterprise-Wide Change Leadership
Activity #2: Tracking and regular reporting of results and key success
measures, core strategies, and key initiatives
Activity #3: Creating a full-time Program Management Office to oversee
and implement the process
Activity #4: Conducting an impact exercise to search for any unintended
consequences within each of the key initiatives
It is not enough that EWC requires core strategies, key initiatives, and work plans that are implemented through vertical department plans and horizontal innovative project/process teams. These process/project teams also must consider the impact of their initiatives, the unintended consequences, by conducting an Enterprise-Wide Assessment, as described in Chapter Six.
Throughout EWC, you obviously cannot know everything in advance. The plan you have at the beginning must be continually updated as the journey progresses. The EWC Game Plan is by nature a living, breathing document, subject to change as a result of dynamic discoveries, unintended consequences, starts and stops, and the inevitable unpredictable complications that will occur.
Furthermore, the time and attention of executive leadership usually will be focused on the day-to-day tasks and stresses, rather than on the change effort. Human nature being what it is, which do most of us choose?
Servicing Today's Business—or—Creating the Future Business
It takes almost superhuman discipline to rise above the stress and pressure of servicing today's business. Today's urgent matters usually drive attention away from the future's important matters. The urgent usually trumps the important in time-management terms.
Wave After Wave of Changes
While the day-to-day organization chart defines jobs in terms of servicing today's business, change is a completely different matter. Asking the current organization to change itself is folly—it cannot. That is where the Change Menu, the Change Leadership Team, the Program Management Office, and the systems consultant become indispensable. They remove the heavy responsibility of piloting Enterprise-Wide Change from the people who must turn most of their attention to the day-to-day pressures of servicing today's business.
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A well-run, medium-sized financial services firm in California embarked on a long-term EWC process. The CEO gave a talk at a local association meeting (source requested anonymity) where she discussed the phases of her firm's EWC journey.