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What to Pack in Your Survival Kit
By Dr Ken Blanchard

Stick with it, says author and guru Ken Blanchard, as he gives some practical answers on getting the best results when you’re dealing with hard times and tough people.

During tough economic times, some kind of change in organisations becomes inevitable. Unfortunately, because people find change threatening, they tend to focus on themselves, becoming concerned about their security, safety and well-being. Then, if too many people get stuck in the change process itself and can’t see the bigger plan to move through change effectively, individuals and organisations face a struggle for survival.

Simply getting rid of people - or allowing them to stagnate - is the east way out. Sticking with your people and encouraging them to advance themselves in the process is inspiring and effective. It is also a wise economic decision when you consider the cost of training new people from scratch.

A major study at the University of Texas, which involved The Ken Blanchard Companies associate Pat Zigarmi, isolated six stages of concern which people go through during times of either planned change, or change caused by unexpected events such as the world is facing now. To help people get through theses seasons of change, leaders should familiarise themselves with these six stages.

The first three are particularly important, yet too often forgotten by leaders who initiate change processes by pitching only the benefits and the impact of the desired change.

1 .Information
People what to know what’s happening, so you need to over-inform at the beginning of a change effort. Use voicemail, e-mail – any way possible to tell your people what’s happening. They want to know what you have in mind. They want any and all information.

2. Personal
People are worried about themselves and how the change effort will impact them. Will they survive? Timely training can help people move quickly through this stage.

3. Implementation
What will happen first, second, third, etc.? People need a clear mission to help put strategies into practice. Now people are ready to hear about the benefits of change and focus on the last three concerns that really come to the fore in tough times.

4. Impact

Is the effort worth it? Will the change make a real difference? This is where people start selling themselves on the benefits of the change.

5. Collaboration

Who else should be involved? How can we work with others to make this new plan successful? Again, people only think about collaboration after they’ve taken care of other things.

6. Refinement

How can we make the change even better? Can we improve on the original idea? At this point, people with refinement concerns have bought into the change and are focussed on continuous improvement.

You are much better off training your people in new skills during tough times because it moves people through the six stages of concern more effectively. Without learning new skills and tasks during times of change, people tend to turn inward and get stuck in the personal concern stage.

Also the positive sense of morale and loyalty you create when you invest in your people in absolutely incredible. If everybody is wondering when they’re going to get their P45, nobody is going to be effectively focussed on the key values and strategies that drive your business forward.

One of the most creative and productive ways you can move people past their personal concerns is to say: “we’re going to hang with you because you are part of the group that got us to where we are today. If we have to redeploy you, we’ll give you the training you need to contribute to the bottom line more effectively.”

We said in our company: “you might not have the same job you had before, you might not have the same responsibilities you had before, but we’re going to hang with you because you are part of the group that brought us to the party. We’re going to train you in an area where you can contribute to the bottom line more effectively.”

Organisations that are going to be successful during tough times are those that are willing to keep investing in their people; that keep moving forward and inventing new ways to deal with the various stages of concern.

Make these challenging times special. Don’t look back on them with regret. Step out in faith and redefine the bottom line in your organisation by valuing the people who brought you to ‘the dance.’ After all, you’re only as good as your people.

Leadership and the One Minute Manager
Kenneth Blanchard, et al

Leadership and the One Minute Manager (The One Minute Manager)

Leadership and The One Minute Manager goes straight to the heart of management as it describes the effective, adaptive styles of Situational Leadership. In clear and simple terms it teaches how to become a flexible and successful leader, fitting your style to the needs of the individual and to the situation at hand, and using the One Minute Manager techniques to enhance the motivation of others. "Situational Leadership has been the cornerstone of our management training programme for the last five years. Now the model is available to everyone through this action-oriented book" MIKE ROSE, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Holiday Inns Inc.

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Ken Blanchard is the founder and Chief executive of The Ken Blanchard Companies, an international training company specialising in leadership, organisational change, team building and customer service. Contact the UK office on 020 8540 5404 or send email enquiries to janet.leeson@kenblanchard.com. Website: www.kenblanchard.com. This article was originally published in Training Magazine but copyright remains with The Ken Blanchard Companies.






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