Photo Credit: Barrier 4 – Love Wins, by hji, Flickr
In a previous post I shared some observations on my top blogs posts from 2015. In the coming weeks I will be taking time both to share new content and to share some of the top viewed posts from the past year.
The #7 post from 2015 was …
37 Barriers to Change
Change is an unavoidable reality in organizational life. Like death and taxes, change is part of life whether we like it or not. As a normal part of life in organizations, leaders must understand well but common barriers to change and how to effectively negotiate these barriers.
Continuity & Change
One of the key thought leaders on managerial theory in the 20th century was Peter Drucker. Peter Drucker regularly emphasized the importance balancing continuity and change in thriving organizations.
Organizational leaders have the responsibility of guiding their organizations in such a way that communities both benefit from time-tested practice (continuity) as well as creativity and innovation (change).
Facing Barriers to Change
Because change is a reality leaders must engage, it is vital that leaders understand not only their goals in a change process, but also the forces that are working against change.
In this top post from 2015, I present 37 barriers to change that leaders regularly face. Take some time to familiarize yourself with these key barriers.
Here’s a link to the Purpose in Leadership #7 post from 2015:
37 Barriers to Change
Photo Credit: Change, SomeDriftwood, Flickr
Change agendas often fail due to good visions that lack a thoughtful plan. I observed this in some of my previous work with smaller nonprofits. In these contexts, leadership energy was devoted to generating new ideas and visions for the future but there was not sufficient managerial energy devoted to plans that would support the enactment of vision.
Doing things Right
Peter Drucker noted that management is doing things right while leadership is doing the right things. Although leadership is focused on doing the right thing and casting appropriate visions for change, it is often management that focuses on doing things right. Change initiatives that are launched but not sustained often fail due to lack of effective planning and lack of doing things the right way.
Consistent with Drucker’s observations, John Kotter highlights the central functions of leaders and managers. Leaders focus on setting direction, aligning people, and motivating people. In contrast to this, managers plan and budget, organize and staff, and control and problem solve. Successful change efforts are not focused on only one of these lists, but rather both. Successful change efforts are not focused on leadership or management, but rather effective leadership and effective management.
Change Initiation and Change Implementation
Since leadership tendencies of setting direction often initiate change agendas, it is easy for change failure to occur in the absence of management. Without leadership, change fails due to lack of initiation. Without management, change fails due to lack of implementation.
What change vision are you pursuing as a community? Are you pursuing both effective initiation and implementation? How are you pursuing the change visions with a plan?