Learning and Change Mgmt LO7016

jpomo@gate.net ("jpomo@gate.net")
Sun, 28 Apr 1996 09:51:04 +0000

Replying to LO6993 --

On Fri, 26 Apr 1996 17:56 Richard Weeks wrote -

> I have been following the various debates on this net with some interest.
> The debate as regards leadership and leadership training in particular is
> rather stimulating. In debating the concept of leadership with a fellow
> consultant this morning we attempted to define where our paradigm of what
> constituted effective leadership originated and what it looked like. (Just
> the thing to do over early morning coffee.) The result: we came to was
> that a host of learning experiences had generated our mental models and
> that no single event or learning experience had established our prevailing
> leadership paradigm. This could imply that leadership training will not be
> an event but a series of events that will establish our mental models of
> what constitutes effective leadership. What this translates to in practice
> from a training perspective could be rather interesting.
> This brings me to a next question, namely change management. If we accept
> that all change requires a new way of thinking and of seeing the world
> around us, or of the way things are done around here, this implies the
> need for a change in our mental models or traditional paradigms that have
> evolved over a substantial period through a commmon learning exprience. It
> appears that these models will only change if we are subjected to a new
> learning experience that is so great that the old models will be discarded
> for no longer being relevant. In practice we can introduce new processes
> and systems but unless people begin to act differently it will be a case
> of business as usual. All to often is this not the case with some of our
> training processes. With this in mind does this imply that all change
> management in effect constitutes organizational learning? If so is
> organizational learning and change management not two sides the same coin?
> What does this mean for us in terms of change management practice?

Change management is not an entity in and of itself. Rather it is one
of the parts of what we include in good leadership. Let me explain.

I have previously discussed how a boss leads people to trust and
commitment through one-on-one and group meetings by taking their
complaints, suggestions and questions and allowing them to influence
everything which they believe affects them in the workplace. The key
is that we cannot distrust something we know everything about and
also had the opportunity to influence every step of the way. A boss
acts as a supplier of support (tools, material, discipline, planning,
training, documentation, compensation, procedures, rules, peace of
mind, direction, etc.) and through that support of standards for
performing work. Meeting higher standards for all commonly held
values is the name of this game and is the way to better leadership.

In the process of creating trust and commitment, the boss will have
had to change many things about which the people have objected. As
time goes on, their suggestions will require more changes - all of
which achieve higher standards through improved tools, training,
procedures and other support elements. In this process, change
becomes a normal event and one which always starts with something
which could be better as judged against some standard. Because of
this, every person becomes a change agent and change itself a way of
life. Besides, this is the only way to meet customer expectations of
having more for less and employee expectations of higher pay for the
same number of hours, otherwise kown as productivity increases.

One of the reasons this process works is that individual people share
common values, but have different standards. In creating trust
and commitment, the boss exposes everything in the workplace to
judgment against these standards. Those who are the most outspoken
are not necessarily those with the highest standards. But if the
meetings are run correctly, the highest standards will be accessed
and thus the biggest possible improvements will be brought to the
boss' attention. In this mode, people will actively seek out training
and the opportunity to use it. Training becomes a valued resource.

More of my two cents, Joan
Joan Pomo The Finest Tools for Managing People
Simonton Associates Based on the book
jpomo@gate.net "How to Unleash the Power of People"


"jpomo@gate.net" <jpomo@gate.net>

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