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Lessons from lululemon

Now that I’ve left lululemon, it’s interesting for me to notice what wisdom has followed me into this next adventure.  Here are some lessons that have stuck with me and are particularly germane to change management:

          1.  People only complain because they care.

Think about it. It’s true.  If you were apathetic or ambivalent about an outcome, would you bother to express dissatisfaction about a current situation or the impact a new set of behavioral expectations was likely to have on you? 

So as managers of people in your organization, be grateful for that.  Harness your team’s passion (even if expressed as grumbling) and involve them as critical stakeholders in whatever change you’re trying to bring about.

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Change Management: Definition and Benefits

Here is a quick overview of what change management is and the benefits it can bring to project delivery and overall business results.

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A Trifecta for Effective Change Management

I started up the Change Readiness & Sustainment department at my former company in December 2014, and I thought that sharing my experiences and thoughts on the subject of change management might be valuable to others.

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It’s More Than Just Having Coffee

An important distinction between project management and change management* is that change management requires a keen sense of what’s going on in the organization – what people are experiencing and feeling that will affect how receptive they are to learn about and adopt a proposed process, systems or organizational change. As a result, it’s important to have built vehicles to sense “vibrations” in your company before you embark on any major change initiatives. Conversation over coffee can be one such vehicle.


Beyond sensing, however, is a whole range of additional programs that are needed to ensure the successful movement of an organization from awareness to understanding to adoption to ownership.

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Where Should Change Management Sit in Your Organization?

It’s an interesting question. Where should Change Management sit within an organization? The short answer is: where it can be most effective.

At my former company, we asked that question a lot and contemplated different organizational models. While I’m glad that the value my team has provided in supporting the implementation of key business initiatives resulted in a “play” for our services, it’s not easy to determine the best place for change management to reside, organizationally, to serve a company optimally. Because we work with many cross-functional partners and support a range of change initiatives, there are a number of adjacencies that make sense and could work. Below is a quick list of pros and cons for each.

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