When Bill Lee and I wrote Organizing Change (San Francisco: Pfeiffer-Jossey Bass, 2003), we did so from a large-scale perspective. Our premise was that it is easier to consider change from a high-level such as a one that affects an entire organization, then, whittle it down to whatever level you want to use, such as a division, department, or unit.
While the magnitude of a change may differ by size, the principles do not. As you read our book, you will find three major concerns that you want to be aware of for any change that you lead or initiate. These are to be:
inclusive – go as deep as possible in the organizational charts of the areas affected by the change; get input from as many people as you can; it is difficult to argue against a change you helped create. Remember what Covey said years ago – “without involvement there is not commitment.” Make the change “our initiative” not “mine.”
systemic – consider how the change will affect all types of stakeholders; consider other departments or units in the organization, internal and external customers, consumers, and so forth.
systematic – organize the change phase by phase; decide who does what when; get it right the first time, and you will not lose productivity while kicking off the change initiative.
When you lead change, you are in the driver’s seat, not the passenger’s seat. You make decisions that craft and create important paths that various stakeholders take to solve a problem, correct a difficulty, or make something that is “good” even better. What is important, however, is to know that you never begin with the change initiative. You always begin with the recognition of a problem, issue, or uncomfortable situation. That principle will remind you of John Kotter’s first step in his change process, which is URGENCY. In fact, he wrote an entire book about that step, which you can purchase a synopsis of from 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
It is amazing how many people I have taught this process to in professional workshops and courses over the last ten years. I remember the first one for Citi so well, as if it were yesterday. Right now, we have two weeks to go in the MBA course “Leading Change” at the University of Dallas College of Business, where I use this book and teach practical implementation of the process. In this course, we don’t talk about change – we make change.
I know it works. We would not have had this many interested people if the process were unsuccessful. Fortunately, I hear back from so many individuals who implement the program in their organizations, that I am inspired to continue to share it with others.
At Creative Communication Network, we offer two paths for change. We do this in workshops, consulting, and coaching for both paths.
Take MANAGING CHANGE
if you want to:
Cope with change you didn’t create
Work in a change-friendly environment
Reduce personal anxiety about change
Produce an environment of freedom
Look for positive changes to implement
Take LEADING CHANGE
if you want to:
Reduce the impact of a problem
Design an organized change initiative
Gain commitment by influencing others involved in the change
Boost the positive impact of change on those affected by it
Measure and evaluate the effectiveness of the change
We’re really excited about these programs. We will be going into companies as well as conducting public workshops. Complete information, including agendas, outlines, objectives, pricing, and other details are available by calling (972) 980-0383 or sending an e-Mail to:
Don’t wait! Join the fully satisfied individuals from many organizations who have benefited from these programs.
Here is how to get the book that we use in Leading Change. It is now a print-on-demand book directly from the publisher. After you get it, you can contact me for the templates that are featured within the book. This is the link to use:
I am frequently asked what I think was the greatest speech of all time. I receive these questions since I coach professional presenters in the marketplace, as well as teach business presentations as part of the MBA program in the College of Business at the University of Dallas. I think that many people like to benchmark features of their own presentations against famous speeches that they are familiar with.
Since we recently passed the 50th anniversary of the great “I Have a Dream” speech by the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., you have likely seen several editorials about the context, the speaker, and the speech. I will not repeat any of these here as they are readily available for you. There is no question in my mind that it is one of the greatest of all time, but it is not THE greatest.
That honor goes to the Reverend Jesse Jackson, who at the Democratic National Convention in 1988, gave the most inclusive presentation I have ever seen. That evening, he put it all together. There is no single presentation that I have seen which embodies all of the elements of successful speechmaking this well. No matter what you wish to critique – projection, tone, eye contact, posture, gestures, language, verbal and vocal variety, storytelling, and on, and on, and on….this speech is a model. I am especially impressed when I see how he touches all elements of his audience – young and old, white and black, rich and poor, able and disabled, male and female, and any other demographic classification that you want to examine. I especially encourage you to watch Part 7 by clicking here. He would be nominated for the presidency of the United States the next evening. Had he been elected, I think he would have been powerful with foreign leaders, but would have had great difficulty passing legislation through his own bodies of congress.
Two other items about this speech stand out to me. First, he has energy. Even 75 minutes from the beginning, Jackson has the same enthusiasm he started with. Second, he puts elements from the African-American pulpit into a political speech very successfully. As you watch Part 7, note features such as repetition, parallelism, cadence, etc., which you would see any Sunday in this type of church.
So, for what it is worth, here is my list of the top five American speeches of all time, with links to a YouTube version of the speech where available:
1. Rev. Jesse Jackson – 1988 Democratic National Convention
2. President Ronald Reagan – Challenger Explosion Speech – January 28, 1986 – in just 4:40, he settles down the country, gives hope to children who watched the broadcast, praises NASA, and restores faith in the United States space program.
3. Robert F. Kennedy Announces Death of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – April 4, 1968 – en route to a political campaign stop in Indianapolis, RFK receives word of the King assassination, and speaks from the heart in an attempt to unify the country which could experience significant polarization; he holds an envelope with scribbled notes that he barely refers to.
4. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. – “I Have a Dream” – August 28, 1963 – an electrifying, sincere, and emotional presentation filled with striking metaphors and allegories that marks a transition in civil rights
5. Jim Valvano – ESPY “Don’t Ever Give Up” – March 3, 1993 – filled with terminal cancer, the famous NC State basketball coach stirs the crowd with hope, passion, and humor
You may ask where are these American speeches? Yes, they are great, and likely in a “top 20,” but….
JFK inaugural address – January 20, 1961 – upbeat and enthusiastic, but disorganized, and one famous line does not make an entire speech famous
Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address – November 19, 1863 – we all memorized it, but our effort is why we probably think it is great
Richard Nixon “Checkers” Speech – September 23, 1952 – the first of many defiant and denial attempts by an elusive liar
Barbara Jordan addresses Democratic National Convention – July 12, 1976 – a remarkable address by a woman of color who left us way too soon, but she was the star, not the speech
What do you think? Do you have other favorites? Let’s talk about it really soon!
In addition to serving as President of my performance intervention business in Dallas, Creative Communication Network, I also teach part-time in the College of Business MBA program at the University of Dallas, and for two community colleges in the Dallas County Community College District.
I thought the format of one of the books that we have adopted at Brookhaven Community College for the freshman course in Speech Communication is quite revolutionary. The book is entitled Think Communication, authored by Isa N. Engleberg and Dianna R. Wynn (Allyn & Bacon, 2011).
This is a 4-color, ultra-glossy book, that looks more like an oversized magazine. The pages are 8 1/2 x 11″ in portrait format. It is 386 pages long. It is “snazzy” with a busy, nontraditional format on each page, with different and striking headers. The book also links to a web site for interactive exercises and reflections (www.thethinkspot.com).
You are probably thinking this book sounds very expensive. In fact, I have seen some accounting textbooks that are 4-color run more than $350. You will be as shocked as I am to find that the book is only $57, and on Amazon.com, sells for just $45.
The book should be a major hit for Generation Y and Z college students. Each page looks just like they are used to on computer and television screens. The pages are busy, filled with format that changes as they go through a chapter.
This book is part of a larger series that all have the same format. There are books for courses in government, psychology, sociology, public relations, human sexuality, and critical thinking.
We are just now starting to use this book in the fall 2011 term. I am interested to see how students like it, and more importantly, if it results in higher test and course grades.
How do you react to this?
Let’s talk about it really soon