Organizational changes are many - however - during any organizational change, you usually get to play any of these three roles at different times:

Change Sponsor: Sometimes you play the role of the change sponsor because you are the person who initiates a certain change - you have the resources and the authority to do so.

Change Agent: Sometimes you play the role of the change agent because a manger above you in the organizational hierarchy starts a change, and you become the change agent because you are asked to plan and execute such change.

Change Target: Some times you simply have to change because of an organizational change.

If you have played any of these three roles, you must have experienced some degree of resistance to change - which is perfectly human. Resistance to change is a natural reaction of all human beings.

Now, let's assume you lead a Department where you have employees who report directly to you, whom in turn also have employees who report directly to them.

Let's also assume that in the last couple of years - for strategic and business reasons - you have played both roles as change sponsor and as change agent (you have initiated changes in your Department, and you have also been asked to plan and implement changes that were initiated by top management).

Finally, let's assume that you have observed two performance patterns among your direct and indirect reports - which are:

On one hand, you have observed that a couple of your direct and indirect reports (John and Mary) always resist the change, they reluctantly get involved in the change, and they fail to see any positive outcomes from it - thus, making it more difficult for your Department to reach its goal.

On the other hand, you have also observed that Linda and Peter (two of your indirect reports) always welcome the change, they try to understand the reasons behind the change, and they look for ways to implement it - thus, making the work of your Department a lot more effective.

Who are you more likely to promote in the future? Are you more likely to promote your employees who resist the change (John and Mary), or are you more likely to promote your employees who welcome it (Linda and Peter)?

I have asked this question to hundreds of managers, and invariably all of them have responded with the same answer: They are much more likely to promote their employees who continuously welcome change.

In the same way that you are always watching the performance of your direct and indirect reports, your superiors are also watching your performance - always.

How are you more likely to be promoted by your superiors, if you resist the change - or if you welcome it, find ways to be useful, and look for opportunities for improvement?

For your own good, for the good of the people you lead, and for the good of the organization you belong to, always welcome change, no matter how difficult or illogical it might seem. You will learn more, you will grow more, and you will progress through the organizational ranks a lot faster.

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Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
March 1, 2011. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Ezine" on the first Tuesday of every month

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