Change Management Learnings & Thoughts

Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @
By: Whittney Baldwin

Are you a leader? Looking for common language, most people would respond with “Well I don’t know. What do you consider a leader?” I would share my perspective that if you are a working individual in effective control of any type of project, persons, and/or tasks at hand, you are a leader. Most people are leaders, I think the bigger questions are, “Are you a good leader? Can you effectively implement change? Would you support change?”  No matter the position you hold in a company, the company needs your individual support in change to be effective.

Deros et al, did a study on the effectiveness of change to lean manufacturing. The most effective change happens when a manufacturing company identifies why the change needs to happen and then thoroughly communicates the change to all individuals within their company. Every person needs to be on board with the change and there needs to be a plan. Deros et al said, “Successful implementation of lean manufacturing requires announcing, explaining and preparing people for change and the effects of the impending change especially in the early stage to become lean”. Whether you are a small fish in the ocean or a big fish in lake Poygan, the company needs you to implement change! Read more about this article!

Most manufacturing companies need change but simply have problems coming up with a plan and/or implementing it. The beginning of the year is the perfect time to look at your company and make the changes needed to become more profitable. Change Management Communications Center is your solution to become a lean manufacturer. They can help you and the people around you become better leaders and make your company and your pocket books more profitable.
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @
By: Tina Schuelke, Executive Director

Give More. Be Generous. Many questions surface when we bring up generosity and leading with generosity. Let’s explore some of the questions and see what comes up for you.

- What does it look like when we are generous in leading change? What is your first thought on this?  

- Does generosity pay off, or do we end up doing most of the work ourselves? Why? What is the payoff? Does the payoff serve the cause for change and for future change?

- Is generosity in leading change a bribe, a payoff or an incentive? How is it? How is it not?

- How does generosity work in leading change?  

- As the leader, what can I be generous with? What can’t I be generous with? What can others be generous with?

When we lead change and when we coach others who lead change, we explore generosity. Most of our clients see generosity as giving time, money and talents. We often explore these ideas with them and we talk about whose time, money and talents? Chasing those thoughts and beliefs eventually leads to a discovery and new belief: The most generous a leader can be is to allow others to identify how much of their own time, money and talent they will spend in support of a change. Leaders allow others to be successful with change, and they generously acknowledge others’ work and behaviors that create successful change.

There is a “common” way to lead change by being generous. “Common” leaders see themselves being generous in giving financial rewards and bonuses to their team, by giving their own plan, by giving a timeline they developed themselves, and by using only their own knowledge and skills to get their team through a change.  When a leader is so giving of themselves, they almost always rob their team of success. When the leader does the bulk of the work to get the change done, the change does not last, divides are created and people end up abandoning the change or finding work-arounds. In fact, this method works well for less than 20 percent of changes that rarely last enough to see a profit resulting from change.

A less common way of leading change is to be generous and intentional about learning, understanding and then giving each individual on your team what they need to make the change happen. This way of leading change gives opportunity, is successful about 75 percent of the time and yields higher than expected profits associated with the change. Individuals you lead are empowered and entrusted to spend their own time, money and talent at work, so change is ignited. Your team becomes enrolled in the cause for change, they identify ways to make that change work within their department budget (money) and each person will leverage their time (workday priorities) and talent (old and new knowledge and skills) to accomplish the changes that serve your organization.  

If you would like to explore what leading change with generosity looks like to reach your business goals, contact us.  We specialize in generosity!
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @
By: Whittney Baldwin, Change Management Intern

A few weeks ago, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and was a crabby patty. I proceeded to go to Aldi as I had planned for that day and realized I did not have a quarter handy (for the cart). Grumbling and mumbling, I searched my car and found one. I forced myself out of my warm car into the cold brisk day to grab a cart and get done with my shopping. As I walked toward Aldi, a gentleman gave me his cart and did not want my quarter. This small generous act changed my day in one second. He literally turned my frown upside down.

Tina , owner of Change Management Communications Center, did the same exact thing when she offered me an internship position. She continues to make me smile every week that I work with her. She generously gives me tips, teaches me things and is tenaciously helping me find a career. My generosity stems from her and people like the Aldi guy.

Generosity is not about money, it’s a small gesture that goes a long way. Joseph Andrew Chancellor found there is a ripple effect of generosity in the workplace. He writes about it in his dissertation (Ripples of Generosity in the Workplace: The Benefits of Giving, Getting and Glimpsing) at the University of California Riverside. He found that “Givers and Receivers inspired others in their social network to act kindly toward others.” A workplace will benefit from one or more generous people in it.

To learn more information, read the Chancellor's Dissertation.
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @
By: Laura Dowdy, Change Management Specialist

The final stance in our series about posture is the heart posture.Heart Posture is essentially “the way mom always told you to stand” - shoulders back, stomach in, head held high. This posture conveys a sense of trust, which is an important signal to send whether you are pitching a new idea, interviewing for a job or trying to close a deal. The last thing you want is for your posture to be interfering with what you are trying to communicate.

How we stand, carry ourselves and perceive others' body language is generally an unconscious act, but we can consciously change our posture. <a href="http://">Start by evaluating your natural stance.  Stand in front of a mirror or an honest friend and look at how you stand and sit when you are relaxed. Don’t try to hold yourself upright. You may find that you naturally hold your head down (from looking at your smart phone all day) or you might naturally have a larger sway in your low back pushing your hips forward.

Once you figure out where your problem areas are, try sitting and standing with a heart forward posture. You want to be able to draw a straight line from your ear through your shoulders, hips knees and feet. There many resources on the internet regarding good posture to help you accomplish this.

It is probably impractical to think about your posture 24 hours a day; we have a million other tasks to do throughout the day. Start by consciously holding your posture in the heart stance when walking into important situations or sitting in important meetings.

Over time it will become a habit, creating a natural, powerful presence. Plus your back will thank you, too!
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @
In October, we discussed head posture, which is one of the three main postures people adopt that trigger snap judgments about you. People make judgments about you in less than a second.  Your initial appearance is important.  The unconscious mind processes about 11 million bits of information in a second, whereas our conscious brain only processes 40 bits per second. This means that people are making judgments about you without even thinking about it.

Let’s look at the pelvis forward stance.

Think about this as how a model stands when posing for a picture, hips out in front of your feet, larger arch in your back. (It’s important for women to know that high heels will force your body into this position, but its also common for men to adopt this stance.) It may be obvious that this stance conveys a sense of flirtatiousness.

A study by the Haas School of Business several years ago showed that women who flirt at work are perceived to be more effective and close better deals. Madeline Albright has admitted to flirting with world leaders on the job, but being perceived as flirtatious is not be a path to long-term success. A more recent study showed that workplaces with competitive cultures tend to judge flirtatious women harshly.  For men, there appears to be no benefit at all to appearing flirtatious and may prove detrimental to your success at work.

A perception of flirtatiousness can create an uncomfortable situation in a business environment. A pelvis forward posture undermines the message of competence and professionalism one needs to embody at work. A neutral pelvic stance creates a safe environment to have a professional conversation.

Be conscious about how you carry yourself. Be sure that you are not inadvertently sending out a flirtatious signal when in fact you intend to be evoking a sense of competency. Stand with your hips over your feet and a small natural curve to your spine, not overly swayback. Stand like your mother always told you. Take control of the small, unconscious signals you are sending to others.

Look for Part 3 in our series on posture where we will talk more about how to stand and create a sense of trust so posture does not interfere with your message.
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @

By: Tina Schuelke

Saying “thanks” at work isn’t easy for everyone. Sometimes we can let our beliefs about social norms and diverse cultures get in the way of showing appreciation for that special touch that made the difference, a great idea, commitment to results, etc. There are so many reasons to say and show thanks at work, but for some, it can also feel like there are just as many potential pitfalls to showing gratitude at work.

We’ve heard our clients making statements like, “There are so many wrong ways to say 'thanks,’ that it really is easier for me if I just don’t do it at all,' or 'when I think about what’s at risk, I get discouraged.'” We also hear words and phrases like “favoritism,' 'what if I saw one but missed someone else,' 'what if they always expect it?,' 'I can’t afford it,' 'what if it makes someone uncomfortable,'” etc. It is important to know the value of showing gratitude at work to overcome the obstacles that might be in the way of saying “thanks.”

Saying thank you matters!

The peace symbol design (above) showing the primary benefits of expressing gratitude at work is intentional here. Every employee needs to know that their contributions have value and that their work is meaningful beyond their paycheck. Saying thank you helps people recognize when and how they have brought value to your business. You can make co-workers and staff feel great about what they are contributing by saying thanks in meaningful ways. You will also have a better, more trusting and productive team. When people know you value them, they are more likely to value you in return, and you are better able to work through the messy stuff when others know you value them. This is important, because work gets messy sometimes, especially during change.

There is one more thing — happiness. It has been studied and reported through the ages: People who say "thank you" are happier.

If you want to explore ways of showing gratitude at work, Change Management Communications Center is here to help. Our clients find their own unique style and ways of showing gratitude at work, such as:

• How to say thank you to your boss (or customer) without coming off as being fake or a suck-up
• How to say thank you to a peer, where relationships are less defined
• How to say thank you to employees; the most prescribed “thank you” and incredibly valuable when done right.

Thank you and enjoy today!
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @

By: Dianna Gaebler, Milwaukee Area Director

It’s November. As I write this, the wind is HOWLING and the temperature is successfully discouraging outside activities. Days are short, dark comes early and there’s anticipation (or dare I say … dread) in the air. Fall is clearly over, and the long Wisconsin winter is settling in.

Against all odds, this month, that has so little to recommend it, has become the month we focus on giving thanks.  Rather than think of the cold wind and short days, we think of family gatherings, turkey and gratitude. November, believe it or not, has become one of our most cherished times of the year.

This is a good reminder to me that what I choose to focus on will transform my experience. I can focus on the wind and the short days. Or I can take the bite out of the wind by cultivating gratitude.

The same is true when thinking about change. Implementing changes can feel overwhelming (and very windy!). Yet each success in a change process is something to be thankful for and to celebrate. A great way to develop gratitude in your change project, and keep your energy up to boot, is to catalogue and actively communicate each “little” win. Set multiple goals (stepping stones) along the way to achieve your big goal and celebrate your achievements. By changing your focus like this, you change your experience. Change becomes something you learn from, celebrate and achieve; not something you simply survive.

If you would like help setting goals that inspire you and the team you lead in achieving your desired changes, contact us at Change Management Communications Center!
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @

By: Whitney Baldwin – Business Law and Mediation Intern

Change Management Communications Center (CMCC) promotes business growth in small- and medium-sized businesses. They consistently get down to the “nitty gritty” of helping people work together. Dianna, our Milwaukee Area Director, put together a workshop on trust. Executive Director/ Owner, Tina, and Dianna introduced themselves and made everyone at the workshop feel comfortable enough to talk freely.

Below are some of the things I learned:

A component of Trust within a business is the ability to ask questions and openly talk (which is the exact atmosphere they started with). When organizations work on creating a high-trust environment, feelings surface about the changes.  Work is not always a comfortable place to talk about feelings. Talking about feelings along with facts builds trust between people and improves business. Trust within business brings motivation, creativity, returning customers and word-of-mouth (free) advertising. Without trust, customers and productivity plummets, hurting the bottom line.

Creating trust within business takes hard work and the right people to implement it. Does your company need more trust? Do people have free-will to ask questions and make suggestions in your business? Are questions answered? Are suggestions used? Are customers consistently satisfied? If you said no to any of those questions, you need more trust in your company.

CMCC has many resources for building trust. One resource that Dianna used to prepare our seminar was David Horsager’s book, “The Trust Edge.”

If you need help creating a high-trust environment at work, contact us today.  We will help you identify customized strategies to transition to higher trust.
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @

Body language is an important factor in how you exert power, influence and create buy-in with others.  Just how important is often under estimated. Others will make a decision about your competency in a given situation in less than a second, leaving no time to speak eloquently on a subject or even begin to make your case. In fact, once you do get around to speaking, what you say during an interaction with another person only accounts for about 7% of the impression you make. That being said the way you carry yourself, walk into a room or sit in the waiting area can have a profound impact on your ability to convey your message, sell your product/idea or get your team members onboard.
One of the most basic body language cues used to evaluate one another is posture. There are three basic postures: head posture, pelvis forward posture and heart posture. The one I want to focus on now is head posture.
When your head is down, as it is when looking at your phone, tablet, computer or a book, you are using the head posture. This posture indicates submissiveness and disinterest, the last thing you want to convey before an interview or sales pitch. However, we are in this position quite frequently due to the technology surrounding us. Our bodies can begin to become trained to stay in this position even when we are not checking emails or working on our computer.
It is important to consciously hold your head up high with your shoulders back. Sit (or stand) like your mother always told you to convey an impression of trust and competency.
Judgments are being made about you in a split second, so in the end, it doesn’t matter if you are playing Angry Birds or reading the Harvard Business Review on your phone, the impression left is the same. Use that split second to your advantage.

Look for the next installment of this series next month in our newsletter and blog!
Tina Schuelke by Tina Schuelke @

*ADKAR® and Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement® are trademarks of Prosci, Inc., all rights reserved.

Change does not occur in organizations until each individual within the organization changes, but project teams and even change managers sometimes lose hold of that important fact while they are planning, measuring and tracking the details and collective trends about the project’s performance to time and budget.  It is important to focus on all of the work they are doing, such as scoping the project, determining resource needs, creating a work breakdown structure, conducting readiness assessments and creating communication plans. However, the fact still remains, that true success only comes from individuals adopting a new way of doing their work.  

A change model developed by Prosci outlines the steps individuals must take to make change happen.  The Prosci Model is ADKAR® and when applied to the individual, it looks and sounds like this:

1. Awareness - I know why the change is needed
2. Desire - I've made the personal decision to participate and support the change
3. Knowledge - I know how to change and what to do after the change is in place
4. Ability - I can demonstrate the skills and behaviors required by the change
5. Reinforcement - I believe there are factors in place so the change will be sustained

A good way for a change practitioner to use ADKAR® is to encourage or even require managers to have face-to-face conversations with each of their individual direct reports affected by the change. Use coaching and leadership skills to help the individuals get what they need at each phase that will allow them to move to the next phase in the ADKAR® sequence.  

Contact the team at Change Management Communication Center if you need help coaching and leading individuals in your organization through change.