Addendum to "Change and Grow"

A reader from Israel - who is a management consultant - gave me this feedback about the March Leader Newsletter issue whose title was "Change and Grow" (I am including his feedback with his permission):

"Dear Jose Luis,
I read your recent article with great interest, and my reaction to it is based on mixed feelings. I must admit that I did not very much like the conclusion in the last paragraph, saying that one should "always welcome change, no matter how difficult or illogical it might seem..."
I think this is a very dangerous recommendation because of its totality: one should always be ready to listen and consider changes - but not necessarily to accept them up front, no questions asked, as may be understood from that statement.
As a manager - which I was in the not too far past - I would always prefer people who would question things and try to understand them before complying, rather than acting as "yes-men" just because they want to improve their chances for promotion.
I think I understand what you wanted to say, but my feeling is that some people, somewhere, will get the wrong ideas from it...
I shall appreciate getting your reaction to the above - and please forgive my straightforwardness...
Best regards,

First of all, I want to thank Nir for giving me his honest feedback.

And second, I totally agree with him - when I wrote this last Leader Newsletter issue, I was not aware that this last paragraph could be misinterpreted.

One vital ingredient in any organizational change initiative is that communication must never be uni-directional - but rather multi-directional (downwards, upwards, sideways, etc.)

When a new change initiative is communicated, top management must ask if there are any questions - and whether top management asks for questions or not, employees must always do both: ask as many questions as necessary in order to clearly understand the nature of the change and the logic behind it - and voice their concerns in order to provide feedback about the change initiative.

Top management does not always have all of the answers - they invariably benefit from the employees' perspectives, knowledge, and input. This is why an ongoing dialogue among all stakeholders involved in a change initiative (change sponsors, change agents, change targets, clients, suppliers, etc.) is so valuable in terms of execution effectiveness.

I hope you - the reader - find this addendum to "Change and Grow" clarifying and useful.

Please click here to see the entire "Leader Newsletter" Archive.

Questions? Feedback?
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Most recent 12 "Leader Newsletter" issues:
Change and Grow
Firefighting Management
The Soft Skills are the Hard Skills
Friendship versus Performance
Does a leader need intuition?
First leadership book I would give to a new manager
The Morale of your Organization
Why is it so difficult to find an excellent employee?
Advice to a new manager
Leadership is First Among Equals
Serious Workplace Perspective
Is this Innovation?

See you next month!
Jose Luis Romero - Publisher
March 20, 2011. Copyright: All rights reserved
I publish "Leader Newsletter" on the first Tuesday of every month

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