Managing At the Speed of Change


p.xix- Change is often perceived as a perplexing jungle that many people,
organizations, and even whole societies enter only to become entangled in the
undergrowth of confusion and dysfunction.

Part I The Speed of Change

Chapter 1 – Resilience and the Speed of Change

p.5- You can make a difference in the course of events affecting you and your
company today and in the future by learning how to better manage change.

p. 6- The single most important factor to managing change successfully is the
degree to which people demonstrate resilience: the capacity to absorb high
levels of change while displaying minimal dysfunctional behavior.

p. 8- The victimization lessons most people learn from their change
experience can be replaced with a real sense of empowerment, which stems from
the application of certain guidelines that foster resilience.

p. 9- Leaders must keep in mind that the accuracy of decisions alone can
never compensate for poor implementation.

p. 12- Just as some people walk faster, think quicker, or show emotion more
easily than others, so do people assimilate change at different rates.

p. 12- Regardless of age, position, wealth, status, motive, or desire, no
individual, organization, or society can adequately absorb life’s inevitable
transitions any faster than their own speed of change will allow. People can
face an unlimited amount of uncertainty and newness, but when they exceed their
absorption threshold they begin to display signs of dysfunction: fatigue,
emotional burnout, inefficiency, sickness, drug abuse. People whose lives are
challenging, but productive and healthy, are typically staying within bounds of
their individual and collective speed of change.

Chapter 2 The Beast

p. 15- When people can no longer deal successfully with the amount of change
in their lives, they begin to display dysfunctional behavior.

p.19- When life does not match how you anticipate it will be, the Beast takes
control.  [i.e.: expectations are resentment under construction ]

p.21-  sensing that some of relationship must exist between people who
face major, unexpected change in their lives and the decline that I could see in
their ability to cope with their environment.

p.22- intellectual preparation cannot be confused with emotional readiness.

We all have an extensive ability to deny negative realities.  … the greater the fear, the more effort people invest into portraying

p.25- Psychologists are at particular risk because their area of expertise
tends to breed a false sense of security. Their downfall is thinking that they
are able to understand the mother of all complexities: the human psyche, This
makes them more vulnerable than the average know-it-all.

Naive arrogance increase the impact when you get slammed by change.

p.26- Human are control-oriented animals.  …so we do everything we can to make our lives orderly and

p.27- For a species whose entire existence is predicated on its ability to
control its environment, the ultimate nightmare is an inability to assimilate
change in a world transforming itself faster by the minute.   …it is not the events of change that so confuse and overwhelm us, but
the unanticipated implications these events bring to our lives.

p.28- Just as a shark is attracted to the smell of blood, the Beast is
attracted to the scent of ambiguity.

Part II The Change Imperative

p.33- …many of the things we used to take for granted we no longer do: the
bank you have relied on for years, the background of the people who move into
your neighborhood, the values of the people who belong to your church or
synagogue, the security of knowing your life savings are safe, the faith you
used to place in your doctor and minister or rabbi, the security of your job or the
competence of those who manage where you work , the integrity of your

Chapter 3 Welcome to Day Twenty-Nine

p.35- The world is changing so rapidly that confusion and dysfunction have
become more the rule than the exception.

p.36- The capacity of the human mind for invention far outstrips its ability
to assimilate the changes that inventions produce.

p.39- …fundamental issues that seem to be contributing to the dramatic
increase in the magnitude of the changes we now face: 1. Faster communication
and knowledge acquisition; 2. A growing worldwide population; 3. Increasing
interdependence and competition; 4. Limited resources; 5. Diversifying political
and religious ideologies; 6. Constant transitions of power; and 7. Ecological

p.42- Suppose you are an executive driving down the road with the corporate
gas pedal floored, yet competitors are still passing you by. You are pushing
your company toward change as hard as you can, but the car will not go more than
35 miles per hour. You bemoan the fact that your competitors are advancing with
ease while you’re running your vehicle into the ground just to keep up.
Desperately, you look for answers. At the next gas station you receive some good
advice: “At twenty-five miles per hour, shift into second gear. You’ve done all
you can in fist gear.”

… To increase your organization’s speed of change you have to look at
change differently.

p.43- Learning how to view and manage change in a new way is possibly the
most important change that you will ever have to make.

p.44: corporate America’s view of change 1970s, Today
No Change 60% 1%
Sporadic, incremental change 35% 24%
overlapping change
5% 75%

p.45- The ability to successfully manage change has become one of the most
important skills needed for personal happiness, the prosperity of organizations,
and the health of the planet.

p.45- The programs, procedures, and strategies that we develop to take
advantage of new opportunities or solve new problems are becoming obsolete
faster than ever.

p.46- The solutions to your emergencies may seem to have no more duration
than the spark of a match; one use and you need a new one.

You have more control and less ambiguity today than you are likely to
have for the rest of your life.

p.47- We must broaden our capabilities and dramatically increase our facility
for not only accepting but flourishing in constant transition. We must change
how we manage change.

Chapter 4 Future Shock is Here

p.50-…the monumental freedom of choice immobilized them.  [ story of
Russians faced w/US Supermarket choices ]

p.50-…Alvin Toffler  … “Future shock is the shattering stress and the disorientation that we
induce in individuals by subjecting them to too much change in too short a

p.52- Many people have learned to accommodate the stress of increased change
by reducing their expectation for success.

p.53- The human race is ill-equipped to deal with the burden of major changes
already occurring, let alone those to come. Most people today have learned to
handle change the way someone would pilot a houseboat on a lake.  The houseboat
captain does well when there is plenty of room on the lake to maneuver, and
there are many protective coves should an occasional storm develop. But today,
managers familiar with houseboat-style challenges find themselves in the middle
of white-water rapids. Because their only experience has been with navigating
calm waters, they tell themselves and their crew that these problems are only
passing squall. “Hang on, things will smooth out soon,” they say as dramatic
change continues to toss everyone about.

p.56- When you make the right decisions but the lights don’t come on, you
may be dealing with people who are overwhelmed on a personal, organizational,
and/or social level.  …  A saturated sponge can no more absorb spring water than it can sewage;
hence, the correctness of ideas or change objectives do not ensure
effective response.

p.57- The main ingredient of success is the ability resilient people have
to understand and use to their advantage the principles underlying basic human
patterns that operate during change.

Part III Lessons Buried in the Mystery

p.61- In his book Fifth Discipline, Peter Senge asserts that the
“structures of which we are unaware hold us prisoner.”

p.61- People who see change as a mysterious event that lacks structure and
predictable sequence needlessly waste time and energy being confused by
reactions that are really quite common during transitions.

p.62- Not understanding that a truck is bearing down on you from behind
offers no protection from the consequences.

p.62- If you anticipate why and how strongly a particular group will resist a
in your office before it is announced, you may be able to modify your
announcement in some way to avoid or minimize their concerns. For those concerns
that you cannot mitigate, you can at least anticipate the reactions people will
have and prepare a response.

p.63- A detective works with what appear to be unrelated facts, perceptions,
observations, inferences, and intuitions to find an explanation for events. A
detective looks for order beneath confusion, a flow embedded in frenzy.

p.64- Resilience is the pivotal clue that allows the mystery of change to be
reframed into an understandable and manageable process.

p.65- Resilient people face no less of a challenge than others when
confronting a crisis, but they typically regain their equilibrium faster,
maintain a higher level of quality and productivity in their work, preserve
their physical and emotional health, and achieve more of their objectives than
people who experience future shock.

p.65- …what if you lacked some of the intellect and talent of several of
your contemporaries, but your ability to perform your job was more than adequate
and your capacity to assimilate more change than they with minimal dysfunction
was a well-known fact. You would probably get the job.

p.67- Bruce Laingen, one of the American hostages held in Iran for 444 days,
commented on how some people endure such ordeals better than others: “Human
beings are like tea bags. You don’t know your own strength until you get into
hot water.”

Chapter 5 The Nature of Change

p.69- …the same event can be perceived as a negative change by one person
and a positive change by another.

p.70-…often found that whether people perceive a change as positive or
negative depends not only on the actual outcomes of the change, but also on the
degree of influence they believe they exert on the situation.

p.70- Change is not perceived as negative because of its unwanted effects as
much as because of our inability to predict and control it.

p.71- These kinds of misconceptions make change more of a mystery than it is.
It doesn’t matter if the change costs a great deal of money or very little. Nor
does it matter if it is initially seen as positive or negative. What matters is
how disruptive it is to those who are affected. Remember, we feel the most
vulnerable to change when we are surprised that we are surprised.

p.73- …the key difference between equilibrium and chaos is not the volume,
momentum, and complexity of the surrounding events, but the degree to which
one’s expectations are met.

p.74- Assimilation is the process we use to adjust to the positive and
negative implications of a major shift in our expectations.

p.76- Disruptive change always exacts an assimilation fee. We spend
assimilation points whether we accept or reject changes that come our way.

p.77- For example, we have found that most companies with a poor track record
for implementing new technology focus too much on the hardware and software.
Organizations that successfully introduce new technology concern themselves with
the implications of the new systems as much or more so than with the
technology itself.

p.78- In nearly every project plagued by the resistance to the change itself,
there is an underlying, negative personal implication for one or more people
affected by the change. These hidden implications cause most of the assimilation

p.79- Micro change is when “I” must change; organizational change is when
“we” must change; macro change is when “everyone” must change.

p.80- …if you consider yourself an architect of change-whether it is
organizational (the installation of new information systems) or macro (a new
worldwide economic order)-the intended goals will not be achieved unless there
are micro implications for the people involved.

p.80- Until people see a personal connection between their own behavior and
resolution of the organizational or macro issue, the problem is simply an
intellectual exercise and not personally relevant.

p.81- Much of our problem with making organizational or macro changes is that
we fail to adequately communicate to people the impact these decision will have
on them.

p.84- We have learned that neither the amount of money a change costs nor
whether it is desired is a good indicator of how people will resend to change. A
much more reliable indicator is how surprised by a change people are. Major
change occurs when expectations about important events or issues are
disrupted-when people anticipate one thing is going to
happen, and yet something drastically different occurs.

p.84-85- When involved in major organizational change, you can enhance
resilience if you:

  1. Realize that control is what we all seek in our lives, and
    the ambiguity caused by the disruption of expectations is what we all fear and
  2. Are able to exercise some degree of direct or indirect control over
    what happens during the implementation of change.
  3. Can assimilate change at a
    speed commensurate with the pace of events taking place around you.
  4. Understand the micro implications of organizational or macro change.
  5. Face a
    total assimilation demand from the micro, organizational, and macro transitions
    in your life that is within your absorption limits.

Chapter 6 The Process of Change

p.86- People who adapt more slowly than the pace of the changes occurring
around them do so partly because they have low tolerance for ambiguity and
therefore they generally perceive life in binary terms: yes or no, black or

p.87- Resilient people tend to avoid the more limited binary view of change.
They realize that major change is a fluid phenomenon, like ice cubes melting and
refreezing.  … In today’s fast-paced world, refreezing to a permanent state is not
likely. Most of our time will be spent in transitions, not stable states.

p.87- …Kurt Lewin in 1958 classifies the change process into three phases:
the present state, the transition state, and the desired state.

p.88- Keeping major change alive is only possible when the pain of the
present state exceeds the cost of transition state. It would be expensive to
leave behind your house and possessions during a flood, but the likelihood that
you would drown by staying makes abandoning your home the least costly course of
action. Likewise, it would be risky to leave a safe, secure job. But if a new
position at twice the salary was offered, the pain of missing the opportunity
could be too great to pass up.

p.89- During the transition state, people are neither what they were, nor are
they yet what they will become.

p.89- Many change projects are never completed because the people involved
could not tolerate the sense of ambiguity and lack of control inherent to the
transition phase.

People will even choose to stay in familiar situations that they know
are not working rather than face the ambiguity of the unknown.

For most of us, the unknown is so terrifying that we will remain with
what we have long after it is apparent that it is punishing to do so.

p.90- …only by developing the resolve to sustain the transition can you
attain the desired state.

p.90-91- Issuing a memo or making an announcement of a change project is not
the same thing as ensuring its success.

It requires no special skill to just announce that a change is going to
take place — losers do it every day.

Winners, on the other hand, understand that
when the price for maintaining the status quo is higher than the price of
transition, making a change is mandatory.

p.91-…you should not undertake major change unless the organization cannot
afford to fail at the implementation.

p.92- Story of Andy Mochan and a disastrous explosion and fire that occurred on an oil-drilling platform,
from which he jumped.  When asked why he took that potentially fatal leap, he did not
hesitate. He said, “It was either jump or fry.”  He chose possible death over
certain death.
Consider this:

  1. He didn’t jump because he felt confident that
    he would survive.
  2. He didn’t jump because it seemed like a good idea.
  3. He
    didn’t jump because he thought it would intellectually intriguing.
  4. He didn’t
    jump because it was a personal growth experience.

p.94- “Current pain” is what inspires commitment to change late in a

p.95- Anticipated pain can be more powerful due to the extra time available
in which to make strategic moves; however, it is often more difficult to
convince people to take direct action when no current pain is felt.

p.97- If your organization is facing a burning-platform, don’t worry about
generating commitment; worry about timing this commitment so that it can make a
difference before irreversible damage is done.

p.97- …two prerequisites for successful organizational change:

1. Pain:
a critical mass of information that justifies breaking from the status quo.

Remedy: desirable, accessible actions that would solve the problem or
take advantage of the opportunity afforded by the current situation.

p.98- Remedies without a costly status quo produce short-term interests which
often dwindle.

And, of course, pain without remedy produces only ulcers, not change.

p.101- Managing effective transitions does not allow for dealing with a
single reality; it involves managing multiple realities as seen through various
people’s fears, hopes, and aspirations-their frames of reference.

p.101- Even if a new initiative is absorbed easily by senior management
but causes significant disruption for others, winners approach the task as
if it is a major change for those who perceive it that way.

p.101-Edison knew that human perception is often the biggest hurdle to
implementing change.

p.101-102- A personal story may further illuminate the importance of managing
perceptions. When my youngest son, Chase, was four years old, he watched a movie
one night when he was alone in the room there was a wolf in his closet. All the
explanation and conclusive evidence in the world could not convince him that
there wasn’t a wolf waiting to pounce on him once it was dark.

p.102-103- By treating workers as if their fears and anxieties about changes
are so much “unnecessary crying,” you are inviting them to keep their concerns
to themselves. And that is dangerous for both you and them.

p.103 – Change management is perception management.

p.104- When involved in major organizational change, you can enhance
resilience if you:

  1. Approach change as an unfolding process rather than a
    binary (either/or) event.
  2. Accept that you will either have to pay for getting
    what you want or you will pay for not getting what  you want and the
    payments may come early or late — but change is expensive, and you will
  3. Believe the status quo is far more expensive than the cost of
  4. Accept the discomfort of ambiguity as a natural reaction to
  5. Are attracted to remedies you see as accessible.
  6. Are presented
    with changes in a manner that takes into account your frame of reference.

Chapter 7 The Roles of Change

p.107- Linear relationships are represented by the usual management chain of

p.107- Triangular relationships are more complex and, in most situations,
largely ineffectual.

p.108- In ODR’s research we have found that as much as 80 percent of the time
organizations are not reaping the rewards they should from their triangular

p.109-Having agents tell targets who don’t report to them what to do almost
always fails.

Such attempts to influence may work for minor changes, but rarely
in major transitions.

p.110- In effect, the mandate is to “Tell people who don’t report to you what
they must do.”  Of course, when this message meets a brick wall it is the agent
who takes the heat for not doing his or her job.

p.110- I spend a great deal of my time advising sponsors and agents on how to
succeed in triangular situations. To sponsors I offer this guidance: Always
endorse the change project with the targets yourself before you
have the agents actually implement the change. Once, employees realize that the
boss is supporting a particular change, they are much more likely to cooperate.

To agents I strongly suggest that you never take on a project that
calls for you to give orders to people who do not report directly to you

p.110- In the square relationship structure, agents report to one sponsor and
targets to another.

p.111- Successful advocates spend their time with the sponsor of the targets
engaging in remedy selling and pain management. They help the sponsor realize
the importance of the desired change.

p.112- But do not confuse sponsorship of change with advocacy for
. The
fact that a person wants a change to happen does not mean that he or she holds
sanctioning power with the target population.

p.113- Successful advocacy has nothing to do with being right. The corrupt
and malevolent forces of the world will always dominate the moral and benign as
long as they have an endorsement (or legitimization) from those in power.

p.113-When sponsors don’t fully understand a project’s implications or are
unwilling or unable to take the necessary action, advocates must either convince
the sponsors of the importance of the change, be in a position to replace them
with people who will provide the needed support (e.g., a coup or recall vote),
or prepare for the change to fail. These options reflect the critical role of
sponsorship-if it is weak, advocates must educate sponsors, replace them, or

p.114-115- Critical Dimensions
for sponsorship of change

p.115- Unless you are acutely aware of the steps to building commitment, you
can initiate major change, but it will rarely be carried out.

p.116- In the workplace, initiating sponsors are those with the power to
break from the status quo and sanction a significant change. They are generally
higher in the hierarchy than those who must perform the duties of the sustaining
sponsors. Sustaining sponsors are the people with enough proximity to local
targets to maintain their focus and motivation on the change goals.

p.117- Any time there is a gap between strategic rhetoric and local
consequences, targets will always be responsive to the consequences
.  When the rhetoric the targets hear from senior
managements is not consistent with the positive and negative consequences that
they see coming from their supervisors, a corporate “black hole” forms.

p.118- When management cannot fulfill the promise of its announced
intentions, people learn to associate strategic rhetoric with impotent tactics.

p.119-The tendency to ignore management directives reduces an organization’s
response time to major changes, increases the probability of miscommunicationand distortion, and minimizes the likelihood of changes being made on time and
within budget.

p.120- When there is poor execution of sound decision, problems are left
unsolved, opportunities are squandered, and moral suffers. But the greatest cost
of all is the loss of confidence in the organization’s leadership and the
perception by others that the leaders are not in control. Such perceptions
devastates senior management’s capacity to lead in the future and may ultimately
jeopardize the organization’s long-term viability.

p.121- Whenever there is a discrepancy between your leadership pronouncement
and the day-today reality of the people you lead, a black hole forms and you
lose twice; you not only don’t get what you want but you also teach people not
to listen to you in the future.

p.122- CEO, midlevel manager, or first-line supervisor-all must display a
high level of resolve to actually achieve major change, not merely announce it.

p.123-When you’re involved with a bad-business project, the issue is not “if”
the project fails but “when.”

At that point, you will invariably be blamed.

p.123-124- When involved in major organizational change, you can enhance
resilience if you:

  1. Understand and can recognize the key roles in a change
  2. Are familiar with the effective operation of linear, triangular, and
    square relationship configurations.
  3. Understand the general requirements
    associated with strong sponsorship.
  4. Recognize that a change must be clearly
    and strongly sanctioned by those in initiating and sustaining sponsorship
  5. Perceive that the rhetoric of change is consistent with meaningful

Chapter 8 Resistance to Change

p.126- In fact, the phrase resistance to change can be considered somewhat

People don’t resist change as much as its implications — the ambiguity
that results when the familiar ceases to be relevant.

p.127- People can only change when they have the capacity to do so.
means having the necessary skills and knowing how to use them.
is the motivation to apply those skills to a particular
situation. If you lack either ability or willingness, it is unlikely that you
will successfully adapt to a change.

p.128- Behind-the-scenes resistance is usually the result of low trust and
inadequate participation.

p.130- “We believe that challenging dialogue is not something to be
tolerated; it is something we demand. Dissent is not merely allowed; it is an
that we owe each other and the company.”

Negative Response to Change

Positive Response to Change

p.143- “It wasn’t if but when the pressure of other project was
going to wear down some of the boss’s initial enthusiasm. I’ve got to keep him
on board as the competition for his attention becomes greater.”

p.145- When involved in major organizational change, you can enhance
resilience if you:

  1. Understand the basic mechanisms of human resistance.
  2. View resistance as a natural and inevitable reaction to the disruption of
  3. Interpret resistance as a deficiency of either ability or
  4. Encourage and participate in overt expressions of resistance.
  5. Understand that resistance to positive change is just as common as resistance to
    negatively perceived change and that both reactions follow their own respective
    sequence of events, which can be anticipated and managed.

Chapter 10 Culture and Change

p.163- Corporate culture is an organizational self-concept roughly analogous
to individual personality.

p.165- Organizational culture reflects the interrelationship of shared
beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions that are acquired over time by member of an

p.166-167- …culture is a true part of organizational life that can be
conveyed by a number of practices, including: oral and written communications,
such as presentation and memoranda; organizational structure
as reflected by line and staff relationships; the way power and status are
defined both formally and informally;  what is measure and controlled, such as
time and quality; formal policies and procedures found in employee manuals and
official communication; reward systems, such as compensation plans and
supervisory techniques; stories, legends, myths, rituals, and symbols, such as
company heroes, award banquets, and corporate logos; and the design and use of
physical facilities, including how space is allocated and furnished.

p.167- To effectively align your company’s culture with a decision to change
often requires developing beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions that are
consistent with the new resolutions.

p.168- Figure 17

p.169- Few cultures develop from a carefully constructed plan. Most unfold
over the years without conscious design, a  result of the many policies and
decisions that have accumulated over time.

Architectural development of corporate culture is the conscious design
and maintenance of a set of specific beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions.

p.170- Evolutionary Culture: Reactive. Reinforces beliefs and behaviors
developed in the past.  Allows for multiple, inconsistent beliefs and
behaviors. Subcultures form that represent potentially contradictory beliefs,
behaviors, and assumptions, resulting in destructive conflict. Unconscious
assumptions are the strongest influence on the success or failure of change.
Culture is difficult to manage because it is composed primarily of assumptions,
which are covert and difficult to change.

Architectural Culture: Proactive. Reinforces beliefs and behaviors needed to
support present and future strategy. Establishes multiple, but consistent,
beliefs and behaviors throughout the organizational system. Subcultures form
that represent different beliefs, behaviors, and assumptions, but they operate
synergistically to support one another. Conscious beliefs and behaviors become
the most important determinants of success or failure. Culture is more
manageable because it is composed primarily of beliefs and behaviors, which are
overt and are easily measured and changed.

p.171- When development is evolutionary, culture is unplanned, emerging in
reaction to sporadic short-term needs rather than according to a long-term view.

p.171- Evolutionary cultures rarely drive new strategic initiatives

p.172- Evolutionary response to new initiatives is a hit-or-miss proposition.

p.172- In these situations, strategic decisions are not likely to be well
implemented, and the results are poor or mixed at best.

…an architectural culture is more manageable due to the public
nature of its beliefs and behaviors.

p.172- The primary steps involved in the architectural process are:

  • Senior
    management defines the specific characteristics of the desired culture.
  • Management then conducts a “culture audit” to determine the gaps between the
    existing culture and the one desired.
  • Management identifies detailed action
    claims to close the gaps.
  • Management engages in a structured implementation of
    those plans.

p.173- A key element to enhancing resilience and minimizing the chance of
dysfunctional behavior is to actively manage your organization’s culture.

p.174- You can’t change a culture without strong resolve from top management
and a wide-angle view of the situation.

p.174- …vision (why the organization exists), mission (what it is going to
accomplish), and strategy (how it is going to work toward its objectives).

p.174- If the existing culture is inconsistent with the beliefs, behaviors,
and assumptions necessary for success, that culture must be altered or the
effort will fail

p.175- Essentially, there are three basic types of working relationships that
will produce a positive cultural environment after a merger or acquisition
agreement is reached:

  1. Coexistence: Here, two separate but mutually
    supportive cultures work in sync. A new organization is added to the framework
    of a larger or more powerful business, but it is expected to operate with
    maximum autonomy and flexibility. The alignment of the cultures is minimal, and
    may be restricted to the corporate level of the business.
  2. Assimilation:
    The dominant culture prevails here, either through natural attraction or greater
    strength. For the acquisition to succeed, one company must alter its culture by
    aligning with the dominant culture of the other.
  3. Transformation: While
    a coexistence and assimilation represent options for acquisitions, this third
    alternative is available only to companies attempting a merger. A true merger
    results when two or more companies integrate their resources to form a new, more
    powerful entity that represents a substantial change from either of the previous
    organizational cultures. This involves identifying strengths from each
    organization and exploiting them to create a synergistic union.

p.176- Unless managers gain the necessary skills for integrating two or more
previously separate cultures into an effective working relationship,
merger-and-acquisition efforts will either fail outright, produce performance
well below expectation, or succeed much later than anticipated and cost much
more than planned.

p.176- If your organization’s current culture and the change you want to make
in the company have little in common, your chances of successfully achieving
that change are slim.

Whenever a discrepancy exists between the current culture and the
objectives of your change, the culture always wins.

  • p.178- Modify the change to be more in line with the existing beliefs,
    behaviors, and assumptions of your culture
  • modify the beliefs, behaviors, and
    assumptions of the current culture to be more supportive of the change
  • or
    prepare for the change to fail.

Part IV One plus One is Greater than Two.

p.183- How people relate to each other during change determines their
individual and collective abilities to absorb the implications of what is

Chapter 11 Prerequisites to Synergy

p.185- Before you attempt to make a change, you must examine the
relationships among the projects, key sponsors, targets, agents, and advocates.
These relationships can be viewed as self-destructive, static, or synergistic.

p.186- Justification by subsidy often allows dysfunctional behavior to
continue that would normally not be tolerated.

p.187- …a static relationship has little chance of long-term survival and
no chance of prosperity.

p.188-9- A strong correlation exists between successful change implementation
and synergistic teamwork among sponsors, agents, targets, and advocates.

p.190- We have found that the only time people are motivated to pay this
price is when the parties believe that they need each other to achieve mutually
desired outcomes.

p.192-3- Most executives who really share power are the ones who realize that
they will not get what they want if they refuse to cooperate.

p.193- Do you want to feed your insecurities, or do you want to succeed in a
world that has grown too complex for leaders to deal with alone?

p.193- The biggest barrier employees face is their reluctance to accept
responsibility for asserting their opinions.

p.194- Empowered employees are those who provide true value to the
organization, influencing the outcome of management’s decisions and actions.

p.195- When someone has been assigned the right to make his or her own
decisions, it is more appropriate to call this delegation. The term empowerment
should be reserved for those situations where employees are not granted
permission to take action on their own, but instead are asked to provide input
to management as decisions are being made. You are empowered when you are
valuable enough to others to influence their decisions–not when you are allowed
to make your own.

p.195- The act of offering someone your ideas or thoughts does not constitute
empowerment unless you are considered valuable by that person.

p.195- The students at Tiananmen Square were courageous, but they lacked the
value to be influential with their government leaders.

p.195- To be empowered is to believe that you can significantly influence
your own destiny.

p.196- An empowered person has the creativity to define a situation in such a
way that the likelihood of success improves.

p.196-7-Since all decision are made with insufficient data, once decisions
are made, they can be sustained, modified, or reversed based on new information
that is obtained over time.

p.197- More managers have turned to participative management as a means of
allowing people throughout their organizations to come to terms with the
accelerated rate of change and the resulting new work environments.

p.198- Participative management is both a philosophy and a method for
managing human resources in an environment in which employees are respected and
their contributions valued and utilized.

p.198- Participative management should not be confused with consensus
. Inviting employee participation does not mean that management has
relinquished its responsibility for final decisions. Participative management is
not an abdication of management control but a form of management control.

p.198-9- Management must remain ultimately responsible for all final
decisions, but managers who use participative techniques make their decision
with a much broader input base.

Chapter 12 The Synergistic Process

p.201- If people working together have little or no opportunity for
appropriate interaction, things degenerate quickly.

p.202- 1. Communicate effectively. 2. Listen actively…contentthe
underlying values of the message…feelings.3. Generate trust and credibility

p.203- Sponsors and targets often communicate so clearly with each other that
each group is convinced of the others incompetence.

p.204- Agreement is not the key test for synergy; in fact, natural conflicts
of diverse options are evidence that synergy is building.

p.205- 208: For implementation teams to be synergistic, there must be a balance
between both the rational, critical-thinking process and the creative, merging
process. There are four elements to achieving this balanced, appreciative

  • Create an open climate…conflict is not inherently
    negative, but rather a normal and even positive occurrence.
  • Delay negative judgments. Most innovative ideas or
    perspectives about a change cannot survive unless someone takes responsibility
    for their protection and development… you cannot afford to cultivate an
    environment in which only a few ideas survive the incubation stage
    [cf.: 3M Corp: “Thou shalt not kill a new product idea]
  • Empathize with others.
  • Value Diversity

p.208-211 Everyone is committed to identifying the positive aspects of a
divergent perspective before finding faults. Such behavior generates a powerful,
nurturing incubator for new ideas.

  1. Tolerate ambiguity and be persistent. …H.L. Mencken…
    “For every complex problem in the world, there exists a simple solution– which
    is almost always wrong.” …the desire for an answer is so strong that even
    faulty ones are appealing.
  2. Be pliable. Synergy can only occur when all
    members of an implementation team are willing to, and actually do, modify their
    views so they can be integrated with others.
  3. Be creative/ Logic is the
    tool that is used to dig holes deeper and bigger to make them altogether better
    holes. But if the hole is in the wrong place, then no amount of improvement is
    going to put it in the right place. No matter how obvious this may seem to every
    digger, it is still easier to go on digging in the same place than to start all
    over again in a new place. Vertical thinking is digging straight down,
    deeper into the same hole; lateral thinking is trying again elsewhere.
  4. Be selective. There is such a thing as a bad idea.

p.212-14- 1. Strategize. 2. Monitor and reinforce. Lack of
watchfulness during implementation rarely results from laziness, but from an
error commonly made in human relations–the belief that once a common goal is
announced, all parties will perceive that goal in the same way and feel the same
urgency to achieve it. To sustain your change, you must apply positive
reinforcement or appropriate behavior and progress, as well as negative
consequences for inappropriate behavior or lack of sufficient process. 3.
Remain team focused.
You will rarely find a successful team-sport superstar
who ignores the efforts of his or her teammates. 4. Update.

p.215- …I have seen strong, sustained synergy take place only when the
people involved believed the price for not functioning this way was
prohibitively high.

Part V The Nature of Resilience

p.219- …resilient, who have the ability to absorb high levels of change
while displaying minimal dysfunctional behavior.

Chapter 14 Responding to the Crisis of Change

p.229- …when resilient people face the ambiguity, anxiety, and loss of
control that accompany major change, they tend to grow stronger from their
experiences rather than feel depleted by them.

p.233- …common defense mechanisms
in resisting change: Denial, Distortion,

p.233- They tend to avoid the forces of change in themselves and others as
long as possible. When a major change can no longer be ignored, they have too
little time to plan an appropriate response strategy.

p.233- …D types often react to a significant disruption in their
expectations by throwing up smoke screens.

p.234- …type-D people often blame and attack someone or something for the
problems caused by change.

p.234- …most parents place more emphasis on competitive sports than they do
on cultivating the resilience capabilities of their children.

p.235- …positions change as a potential advantage to be exploited, rather
than a problem to be avoided.

p.235- Each day, type-O people assume that tomorrow will spawn a new set of
opportunities and choices that will produce even more demanding challenges.

p.236- …a type-O person tends to compartmentalize the stress caused by
disruptions and, in doing so, is able to contain the strain of change that she
may be feeling in one area of her life, and prevent it from causing disruptions
in another.

p.236- Type-O people also protect their assimilation capacity by not engaging
in change efforts that require resources they don’t possess.

p.236- Another mechanism that type-O people tend to use to bounce back from
the strain of change is their reliance on nurturing relationships.

p.237- A salient characteristic of type-O people is their acceptance of
change as a natural part of life.

p.238- Type-O people are therefore quicker to determine that a change is
inevitable, necessary, or advantageous. They engage their coping mechanisms
faster when old frames of reference no longer appear relevant, and move to a
problem-solving mode. Instead of blaming others for their unexpected, they
incorporate what they have learned from the disruption into new frames of
reference, which lead them to a fresh understanding of the situation.

p.238- 1. Display a sense of security and self-assurance that is based on
their view of life as complex but filled with opportunity (positive); 2. Have a
clear vision of what they want to achieve (focused); 3. Demonstrate a special
pliability when responding to uncertainty (flexible); 4. Develop structured
approaches to managing ambiguity (organized); 5. Engage change rather than
defend against it (proactive).

p.244-5- Resistance is a natural, healthy response to disrupted expectations.
An individual defines his or her personality, and a corporation its culture, as
much by what is rejected as what is accepted.

Chapter 15 Enhancing Resilience

p.248- 1. An understanding of the prevailing (but unseen) patterns that
influence how people operate in certain situations; 2. Respecting these
patterns; 3. Conserving assets; and 4. Liberating latent resources.

p.250- In any aspect of our lives, when previously hidden patterns are
decoded, existing resources that the mystery consumes are freed for more
productive use. For example, once a person unlocks the pattern that was the
basis for her recurring sickness, she can avoid the food source to which she is
allergic. The physical and emotional energy that she expended to deal with the
symptoms and the lost productivity and revenues that resulted from missed work
can all be redirected to more constructive endeavors.

p.252- Assimilation points are not invented; they are liberated.

Part VI Opportunities and Responsibilities

Chapter 16 The Ethical Ploy

p. 269- When using an ethical ploy to enroll other people into your
viewpoint: Be clear about what you want to accomplish. Identify what the people
you are trying to influence want to achieve. Promise to provide some aspect of
what they want. Fulfill this obligation exactly as promised. Expose them to a
new perspective.


Primary Goals sits at the intersection of three core ideas about communication:
  • Leaders create vision by communicating a compelling future to their teams.
  • Teams create success based on how effectively the communicate and coordinate with each other.
  • Entrepreneurial ventures are successful only when they communicate value to people with a concern that the business can take care of
In all cases, it’s about Conversations for Committed Results.  That’s our Primary Goal.  



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