by Ian Saunders, Antony Aitken, Ray Charlton and David Flatman

How do you figure out what is wrong?

When you lead and manage change, there is much which can go awry. The challenge of achieving change successfully can be likened to learning to travel confidently in territory for which there are no maps. You may sense that something is amiss, but not know what it is.

So how do you figure out what’s wrong?

Key action

Listen to yourself.

Pay attention to your intuition

Your senses will help you.

  • How, and what, specifically, are you feeling?
  • What can you notice, listen to, look at, ask about and investigate?
  • What might be the source or cause of your disquiet?
Key action

Listen to others.

Pay attention to others

Be similarly careful and aware of what those involved are doing, saying and feeling – and not doing, saying and feeling. You might ask ‘What do you want instead of this?’

Key action

Create a positive and blame free climate.

Create and nurture a positive climate

  • Consistently behave with mutual respect (assertive ‘I’m OK, you’re OK’).
  • Ask open questions, listen actively, and check for understanding.
  • Model and encourage trust.
  • Replace criticism with curiosity.
  • Instead of asking ‘What’s wrong and who’s to blame?’ ask ‘What’s missing and what’s next?’ and then listen.
Key action

Involve those affected when creating measures.

Take care to devise and use appropriate change measures

Beware the seductive myth of command and control, and measurements without real meaning. Encourage those involved to take responsibility for deciding and employing suitable indicators.