Supporting Your Team Through Change

How can you support your team through change?

Change is the norm now. Organisations are almost permanently making some change or another. It’s an upheaval while still trying to keep business as normal.

How can you get your team through the process?

I asked two Change Management Experts for their tips.

Listen in to today’s Unified Team Podcast to see what Daniel Lock and Lisa Cunningham DeLauney had to say.



Rob: [00:00:00] Something I imagine a lot of leaders struggle with is how do they manage their team through that process with the everyday tasks going on, but also needing to help them through that process.

Rob: So what can leaders do to support their teams through a change process? 

Lisa: Business as usual at the same time is a big one.

Lisa: I was going to say that It’s always a big challenge for leaders when they have to deliver business as usual at the same time as a change, depending on how big the change is. Whether it’s a full transformation will have a big impact on how it feels for them and for the team.

Lisa: Whatever happens actually a change program gives you an opportunity. to strengthen your team and to strengthen your leadership abilities, but it’s also a massive challenge. And I think it comes down to two things. Trust and clarity seem to be two big ones for me. There’s a lot of work that needs to be put into the [00:01:00] relationships and building the trust and knowing your team and knowing what they’re capable of and what support they need and what you can let them get on with. And then having the clarity to actually define what it is that you need to deliver at the same time as business as usual.

Daniel: I think I really like the two points around trust and clarity. Because any change program we go through, clarity of the vision is really important. And and trust with everybody that, you know, that you need to bring along that journey, that you need to enroll in taking new actions. Trust is so important.

Daniel: It’s been said before, change happens at the speed of trust. So the degree that leaders have that trust and rapport and in the organization is really important. So I really like that, Lisa. I just add that some of the, when you look at the challenge and the problem that leaders have in organizations that, thinking about leaders who are sponsoring programs, thinking of executive sponsors, Projects and programs have little to no training in change management projects in general, they’re business people, they’re [00:02:00] leading operations, they might be a finance, they would come up as an accountant, become a finance manager, for example, and now they’re leading a large project on top of a 50 hour a week project.

Daniel: And so one of the things we can do to answer your question, I think quite directly that, to empower teams leaders. Ideally the sponsor has carved out time commensurate with the gravity and size and complexity and scope of the program and project. The best project I’ve worked on have had that allocation and so it’s really important because all of the data process, everybody’s data that looks at this all validates.

Daniel: It says the same thing. The leader is the main constraint in terms of the the pace and quality of the change in an organization. And it’s so important, there’s so much uncertainty with these projects that we need someone with gravitas to work through it.

Daniel: So that’s just a really important point is that leaders have a conventional amount of time allocated so that they can actually make this work. Ultimately this comes down to, I think, conviction which is to what extent is this important project for them personally and the organization generally?

Daniel: Because if it’s [00:03:00] important, then people will allocate and prioritize the time accordingly. So I think that’s really important. So that leadership priority, that leadership allocation, time allocation to the project is one of the first places to look in terms of how leaders can support their teams through change.

Rob: That makes me wonder how often do you see that leaders have allocated enough time to the change? And how much is that? 

Lisa: I would say it’s usually not enough. Not enough time resources, but also probably not enough people or time other resources as well. I think it’s really easy to either underestimate the size of the change or the amount of energy that will be needed.

Lisa: It’s also quite often the case that people from above are saying just get on with this at the same time as delivering. So it’s not given enough resources and enough focus. So I think going back to what Daniel, what you were saying, when you need the commitment first, the leadership commitment to the person who’s leading the change, but also people above them who are going to get proper sponsorship and say, [00:04:00] yes, we need to do this.

Lisa: We need to deliver this by this time. And so we’re going to allocate the right resources and that the goals that you’re setting are make sense for the resources that you have and also for their personal learning, development, succession planning, so that you’re hitting two sets of goals with one project, that would be the ideal.

Lisa: And those are the projects where I’ve worked on where people have really enjoyed it because they have delivered. under pressure what the company needs, but they’ve also developed themselves the leader and the team members because there was time put into thinking where are we? What are your skills?

Lisa: What’s your learning style? What challenges would you like to take on? How can we use this team in such a way that we have rotation of roles where’s appropriate? So that people get a chance to learn new things. And how much support is there ongoing? So it’s hitting those two sets of goals as well.

Lisa: I think the company goals and the [00:05:00] individual and team goals and leadership goals. 

Rob: That resonates with me, because for me in my work, conflict is always an opportunity to connect. It can either break people, but if they work through it, talk through it they find a higher level where they can bond of commonality. 

Rob: What it comes to mind is when you’re talking about trust and relationships, often companies are working at a deficit. A lot of leaders don’t realize that they’re working at a deficit. It’s not just a level play when you start with a team, but there’s the number of factors like the setup of the organization.

Rob: I keep banging on about the industrial revolution and people often don’t see the link, but it means that we’re in an environment where our biology is already stressed before we’ve even started. So we’re operating at a deficit. The mentality of organizations where the focus is on money and less on people means that we’re operating at a deficit and the basic operating model that we operate from for relationships, I think is at a deficit.

Rob: So we’re already at a deficit. So the leader’s role is to make up for that. And I think when you’re talking [00:06:00] about the trust, there’s like a triangle of the people, the leader and the organization, and a good leader who’s able to build that trust and carry along their team can make up a lot of that deficit.

Rob: But if they haven’t already done that. The change is the time when you are making an ask of the team members and when you are making an ask and you haven’t got any credit in the bank and you are maybe already overdrawn is I think where a lot of the problems and perhaps that’s what your work.

Daniel: Yeah, no doubt. Leadership is a very hard job, but like these senior leaders and executives, there’s an enormous amount of pressures on them. I’m very busy, not to mention, like their own personal lives complex as well, not just their work lives, they’re humans as well. There’s there’s some stats that about how more senior leaders tend to have lower EQ.

Daniel: And that may be because they get selected into those roles through the type, the type of person that I don’t know why that is, but maybe they’re self selected into that for some reason, and that could be where some of that thinking, maybe that some of that [00:07:00] observation comes from, I should say that you mentioned, Rob.

Daniel: When I’m dealing with change I’m thinking through the strengths and weaknesses of the different, of the strata of leadership. So I’d encourage change practitioners. But out there, I’d be thinking, okay, what kind of sponsor do I have dealing with this project? There’s not a lot you can do about nature that they don’t have enough time to throw out this project or that they’re a difficult, they have low EQ and they’re overly assertive, the over index on assertiveness, for example.

Daniel: So you just got to work through the strengths and weaknesses of that sponsor. In projects, there’s always another powerful person that is not the sponsor, but another powerful leader that has veto, more or less veto power to some extent on a program or project.

Daniel: So for example, if you’re implementing a CRM system, it could be driven by technology, the head of sales is The one, say, hey, this isn’t good enough. We’re not going live yet. So this is fixed, which can, orbit derail a project.

Daniel: For example, that’s just a hypothetical example. And then you’ve got the range of frontline leaders, middle managers, and so on that all through that chain. And you’d be looking at, okay given that context and the strengths and weaknesses of the different players, how am I going to Push this message through.

Daniel: What’s how do I create [00:08:00] this narrative? Who are the best people to lead those conversations? Is it me as the change practitioner or do I take a backseat and I’m empowering someone else? So you just thinking through this range of activities, given the strength and weaknesses and the given context of the program and how you’re going to drive that leadership message and narrative and who’s the best place to do it and how you might, it becomes obvious to you as you start to immerse yourself into it.

Daniel: But I think the right approach to take is exactly that. Let’s look at the strengths and weaknesses and, assess the context and then adjust our plans accordingly. 

Lisa: Yeah, I think, ideally you have a leader who is able to use their soft skills, EQ, let’s say is better, but some hard decisions.

Lisa: And that’s a really difficult balance to get that somebody who is an empathetic, but who can also say, for clarity and to get what we need to, and make unpopular decisions that is really difficult. So I would agree, like looking at the landscape of who is in, which stakeholders, which leaders, who has leadership role, and it [00:09:00] can be the one with the title leader, but it can also be someone who hasn’t got that title, maybe somebody who’s doing admin. I’ve certainly worked in change projects where a person who’s got a much, less formal role in terms of leadership can be the one who can really help. to build the empathy or the enthusiasm, motivation. And then yes, perhaps the person who’s very like an implementer, somebody who’s very focused on completing the task is more in the background.

Lisa: So I think that’s, yeah, good approach, but I would also agree with what you said, Rob, about, starting with the deficit. If you have the trust to start with so much easier. Those times when you’re not in a massive change program, which may be quite rare nowadays, then, use that time to have to build relationships, to understand, without having to be in everyone’s business, but to be understanding of what people’s personal styles are, what their values are, which hopefully should be in line with the [00:10:00] company as well.

Lisa: That’s also a big challenge for a lot of organizations that they will have some values, but are they the ones that they actually live? Knowing all that background of your team members really helps as well, but you have to start where you are and what you have as well.

Rob: It’s interesting about senior leaders having lower EQ. But it makes sense in the way that most CEOs, managing directors tend to have been the finance director, which we tend to overemphasize the logistical or the financial or. analytical aspects rather than the people like the HR.

Rob: So I wonder if it’s worth looking at the best examples, maybe you’ve seen of teams supporting for a change or, and maybe the worst examples to see some of the differences.

Daniel: So best in work is worst examples of leadership. 

Rob: Yeah. Yeah. During a change, really.

Daniel: In terms of best examples, one comes to mind, a project I worked on a few years ago, which was a large ERP accounting software rollout. And the sponsor, [00:11:00] yeah, she was great when it came to the EQ and also just fully allocated to the program. It was a very large program.

Daniel: It was really no way not have that, but she was fully allocated to the program and, several hundred million dollars worth of investment over several years in this program. Very high risk. But she was, yeah, fully invested, which really made it work. And it was so important.

Daniel: And in the detail, maintain a strategic vision, would get on the phone and speak to everybody from, right on the front line to everybody in the program on a regular basis as many issues came up, but also just, proactively keeping in touch about what was happening in extreme.

Daniel: That was really proactive and engaged leadership and we were able to then I then, had cascaded those messages and we started to give a voice to different players, underneath that reported into her for different spots from it to, the front, the actual work, the technical work.

Daniel: And then we even cascaded it down lower again to try, as we started to go down the chain so we could build, we really ladder those leadership vibes, if you will, all the way through. And that was a, that’s an example of it. [00:12:00] Done. 

Lisa: I can give a good examples of things not working so well if you want and then we can stop.

Lisa: I think it’s good idea. But yeah, having to work with people to change things, turn things around. I think two examples that come to mind. One was actually where the leader was a really nice guy, really focused on his team, but there wasn’t the clarity. So that’s why I came back to that work.

Lisa: Nobody was quite sure why they were doing the change and what, and even though, the atmosphere wasn’t toxic, it was just, why are we doing that? And then, as human beings, if you feel you don’t need to do it. You won’t do it because there are lots of other things that are much more important.

Lisa: So we really had to work on them, the clarity there and what were the goals. And, some of it was actually just dropped because it wasn’t as important. So I think, sometimes You have to be brave to say we’re not going to go forward with this because it’s not really a priority.

Lisa: And some change just doesn’t need to happen. And another one would be a sort of [00:13:00] a toxic environment where I think the most difficult to turn around as well is where people are not saying what they’re thinking. Leaders are not saying what they’re thinking. There’s so many different agendas, political agendas. People are briefing behind other people’s backs, the teams have no trust, and I think in that sort of environment it’s difficult to even deliver business as usual properly, although you may have Processes that are just almost so automated, even involving humans. So you can, but you’re limping along, but when it comes to change again, as we said, you’re putting another layer of asking of energy on it, onto it that can be catastrophic.

Lisa: Yeah. 

Rob: It’s interesting that you say about clarity because you can have teams that are too nice. They think that they have to please each other and appease each other to get along as opposed to actually being honest. And so the lack of clarity can come from that and it can also [00:14:00] come from a leader that is scared of saying something threatening to their team.

Daniel: No doubt. I’m wondering if people have worked in those toxic environments that, that Lisa’s pointing out and that you’re speaking to Rob, yeah, it’s very difficult to work in and really get anything meaningful done. I can recall one organization I worked in that just churned through top notch professionals and it was a very difficult place to work.

Daniel: And each one of those professionals before that place had, had good careers, they’d go to that place, really struggled, questioned themselves. And then left there and went on to have a fulfilling work in these other organizations was all included in one one does just like, how did this happen?

Daniel: And you question yourself and it’s just really bad leadership and you just can’t work through it. either leadership changes or nothing really changes and and, I think Edward Deming talks about the system in which people work and part of that is the leadership context and that cultural leadership context that’s created is part of that system.

Daniel: I see it anyway and very difficult to work in those environments, let alone cause meaningful change. 

Rob: It when you talk about that, it reminds me of in [00:15:00] football, you might not be aware Daniel but there’s you can see it play out where you can have a great manager that’s proven himself club after club and I look at Man United at the moment.

Rob: Successful, great manager left ever since then they’ve had the best managers, the most money and yet everyone’s gone in there and failed. And it just seems to be a system and this similar thing with our national English team. We’ve had great managers who’ve won leagues everywhere else come in and no one’s been able to make it work.

Rob: So a lot is the the cultural context within which you’re operating in, because that’s what’s going to determine whether it’s high trust, low trust and all those other, how much communication is going to determine how much clarity there is. And where people know their roles, isn’t it?

Rob: Definitely. Absolutely. Absolutely. I 

Lisa: think it is possible. And I have seen it worked for not within a toxic environment, but let’s say within a company culture, which is not conducive to change. You can have a sort of micro subculture [00:16:00] of the team where, you know, because it’s actually the team is actually operating with the clarity.

Lisa: Let’s say the trust is there, but normally the clarity isn’t. So if you then have a smaller group and obviously smaller groups are easier, to manage as well. Up to 50 is the ideal, isn’t it, for a company? If you know everyone’s name, then you’re going to be more likely to work better together. But yeah, then if you suddenly have if you’re able to deliver a change with a group, which can add another level of clarity or trust on top of the, perhaps not ideal company level.

Lisa: I think you can see, that’s where you see really high performing team and results that you wouldn’t have necessarily expected from that organization and that’s great to see. But then you would like to replicate that. You need an actual reason, that’s why I said the change can be the catalyst and can be the opportunity, because if there’s a really strong reason to change, a really exciting or scary reason to change, [00:17:00] that can really get the best out of people as well, if it’s well managed.

Rob: In one of those difficult companies say you’re a mid level leader, you can’t change the culture, you can create the trust within your team.

Rob: I suppose really it is just to focus on your team and then communicating as clearly as you can. And I suppose you just operating within a context where your results will be limited by the amount you can communicate and function with externally leaders, 

Daniel: yeah, I think what you’re saying, so you’re saying like, what can you effectively do if you’re working in a low trust poor leadership environment? 

Rob: Yeah, basically 

Daniel: yeah, to my way of thinking, managers, rather mid level managers, senior managers who are not the ones responsible and accountable and, for the overall culture and the organization.

Daniel: I was thinking it comes down to those spheres, your sphere of influence and you just want to, as much as you can run a tidy shop in that regard. Then be the change you hope to see, all those sort of cliches, but I think it’s true, is that you just want to run the best game that you possibly can.

Daniel: And in the context [00:18:00] with what, which that you’ve got to work with. Now, no organization is perfect. And no leadership structure or leaders are perfect. And there’s always these, and there’s not, There’s never perfect clarity on a project or, and there’s always competing priorities in a complex dynamic environments we work in.

Daniel: And so all of that’s true. And so we just want to work through, I think you just working with what you’ve got. Now, if it’s truly a toxic environment, you can’t work there and you’re not well suited. Then, a manager might want to question whether or not they continue to work there.

Daniel: Assuming that. No, I’m balance. It’s okay. Then you influence what you can and then you advocate for change to the degree that you can. I think that’s the way I approach it, but I think one, one needs to have a high degree of pragmatic the thing I’ll say though, is that like when I coach change managers who are working and often they just, especially the more junior ones, like don’t have the skills and experience. They’re not getting the response that they’re looking for, and they’re thinking that it’s poor leadership or toxic behavior, but actually they’re approaching things wrong.

Daniel: They’re more complaining. They’re not really approaching things with data. I’m thinking one person, I coached her on, okay I think, if you approach your manager in this way, in this sense, you brought [00:19:00] data, you frame the problem in a certain way, and I’ve coached them through how they would bring the data and frame the problem, advocate for a solution present options.

Daniel: The reaction was chalk and cheese from the manager, right? And so you’ve got to think that through. And then I think a lot of middle level managers have unrealistic expectations of what the boss is actually can and will do for them. Haven’t really thought through how to. Like how a boss is thinking and how a boss is thinking about them and the range of complexity and breadth that a boss has.

Daniel: There’s a world there where people need to manage themselves a little bit better and that needs some coaching on that. And that’s definitely what I help people with. And I can appreciate one person’s toxic environment is another person’s sort of place to flourish in some regards as well.

Daniel: On LinkedIn, a lot of people are throwing around the toxic environment working in a toxic culture and so on, and they give the 10 points of what to do about that, or 10 points of definition, like it’s all valid but on balance you wanna look for patterns of behavior. But before you get to that, how can you improve your game and and manage through that as best you can.

Lisa: Yeah, I think it’s a good point [00:20:00] that I would say there was only one company that I really worked with where I would say it was toxic because it was at so many levels and over so many years of poor decisions and also political, from outside and everything that had an effect. Normally, I think, yeah, what you’re talking about, Daniel, is yes, stakeholder management and managing efforts, the management piece in change management is very often just too sketchy, you need to think about the actual groups of people and individuals that you’re managing for the project and for your career, for the team, for the whole longevity. So there’s a lot of different layers to it. And I don’t think people are taught that or, you develop that with experience quite often. But yeah, for change management, I think starting with the stakeholders is a really good point. And yeah, knowing that something could come across to you is really passive aggressive or toxic or whatever you want to say, and actually just be someone’s [00:21:00] natural response given what their priorities are.

Lisa: And yeah, just that whole piece around the EQ to be able to recognize that and to manage your own reaction to that is massive. And yeah, that’s where there is a lot of challenge and even for people with a lot of experience, as you were saying, if you’ve really been measured all your life on delivering results and the bottom line, it is really hard to think about the stakeholder management piece with enough clarity and put enough effort into it, I think.

Rob: It always comes to leadership that there’s two journeys. There’s what you have to do. And then there’s the like personal character challenges of not wanting to speak up or feeling defensive or whatever that you have to overcome. It’s like personal development before you can professionally develop.

Rob: I’m reminded when I was talking to Niki, he was talking about under stress, people see people as objects. And when you said, Daniel, that often we don’t [00:22:00] think about the senior leader’s position that often I’ve noticed in conflict, we think someone’s against us, but it’s really that we’re just on colliding paths and we happen to meet.

Rob: So I suppose it’s not taking things personally, it’s looking at your, yourself and your own personal defense structures and ways that you operate and at the end it’s being focused on what is needed. What, what needs, what do we need to do and not I think people can be myopic and take it.

Rob: Oh, I just need to do this and not think about other people as people with their own challenges and their own yeah, their own constraints. 

Daniel: I like how you put that describing people. We sometimes we might think that people are against us, but we’re perhaps just on colliding paths. I like that. That’s a good example.

Daniel: I just think what a good example is. People who want to get promoted, you’re thinking about your career all the time, all day, every day, your boss is thinking about your career, almost never and how do you get on your boss’s radar in that regard?

Daniel: Number one is I just don’t want you to be a pain [00:23:00] because everybody’s a pain to them. Like you just, everybody’s bringing them problems all day. And if you’re not bringing them problems, you bring them solutions and ideas and how you can support their agenda. Then all of a sudden you’re showing up as a completely different person.

Daniel: And so few people thinking about, so think about it like that. Because I’ve never really been a boss in that situation and just how frustrating it is to have difficult people because they take up all your time. Once I get people to step out of Themselves for a bit and think it through, think through the incentive structure and they can say, ah okay, if I want to make progress here, I’m going to have to get inside my boss’s world and build relationships, at their level and so on and start getting inside what they need and providing solutions to do that. Now, all things being equal, this all is broadly aligned in terms of what you should be doing as a job and what they want to need is aligned to corporate goals and so on and so forth. 

Daniel: So I’m not advocating for people to betray their values in any way, but I’m just helping them understand that it’s not about them and then doing a good job and then they’ll be rewarded.

Daniel: It doesn’t work that way. And so that’s, so you can apply that to change management. You’re starting to think through, okay what’s in it for [00:24:00] me, what everyone’s always asking, what’s in it for me and that what’s important as a stakeholder to them. And how do we address that? And ultimately you’re going to have a conversation because you don’t really know you’re teasing it out and you get, and you’re guessing and you’re bringing some data and some you’re languaging the problem and you’re providing options and getting people involved in.

Daniel: More often than not, you’ll get a decent amount of consideration for from your stakeholders from there. So that’s what I think is important, look, every project I go and work on, every project, says you need, I want to know how good you are at managing stakeholders.

Daniel: And there’s, because we’ve got some prickly ones, everybody says Because, there’s always, it’s just that’s just the law of the world and the universe. And I think it’s important that we I’m going to give an example. I’m thinking of like an IT project I worked on once. And there was, one of the IT leads for the, that managed the sort of central hub of tickets and problems.

Daniel: Very difficult, very skeptical about the project. And, and when you sit down and think about it you can understand why, because he’s the one who owns all the problems and anything that’s not in, not when the inevitably there’s technical debt [00:25:00] that’s incurred with these projects. And he is the person who will own it. 

Daniel: Once I was able to have some coffees, Empathize with him in this regard and find out what does he really need and what’s the range of support you would need to, to get on board with this project effectively. About labeling him as being a mercenary in any regard and also say face in front of his team and all the rest of it.

Daniel: And then, okay, okay. I had a, I had something to work with now. I can build out that training. We can provide that extra support in that regard. And yeah, this I agree with you. You’ve been left with A box of stuff you don’t want. So how can I’m empathizing with that regard and yeah, and we’ve got to support you.

Daniel: So how can we support you given that it’s not the right situation, not ideal and so on. This is not just one conversation, this was over several conversations and consideration. Large forums and one on one and a few coffee chats and stopping by their desk and things like this to get a win that relationship over and supply what they need for the program.

Daniel: And that’s very much sort of the political art, if you will, of projects and, supporting and really greasing that wheel to move [00:26:00] it forward. 

Lisa: Yeah. And that’s not the sort of thing that you’ve got on the project plan. There’s extra bits of work, which is the whole sort of starting point for a lot of the change work, I think.

Lisa: And I would agree that, the resistance you actually want to surface the resistance, you want to talk to those people, you want to find out what it is, because People will say, Oh, yeah, difficult, prickly, Oh, not that one again. Nine times out of 10, they, in fact, maybe always they have a point and, you just need to find out what that point is.

Lisa: You may be able to address it fully, you may not, but you need to find out what it is because There’s something in there. And that takes time. Like you said, Daniel, it’s not going to happen straight away. And sometimes it’s not even conscious to the per, for the person as well. It takes quite a bit of digging and cross referencing or, different activities, getting people involved is also how those sorts of things come out or doing something like with the process where suddenly it becomes clear that there’s a massive lot of, duplication, which causes a [00:27:00] huge amount of frustration, which has never been actually fully consciously known before or clarified.

Lisa: So I think some of those sort of the digging can come up with a lot of interesting things, but you need the time and energy to do that. And also, I think, just you mentioned before, Rob, the conflict, not shying away from conflict, but it’s really hard because very few people like it, a few people like it, but very few people like it.

Lisa: Where I’ve seen teams do really well is where they have actually allowed for that conflict to surface and, worked with it in a productive way, rather than, being really upsetting, but actually to get down to what do you really think, what are your issues with this?

Lisa: And then work on that. If you can get to that point and you’re allowed the time to do it, that there’s not, a really hard push for this go live, no matter what, then you will get a better result in the end. 

Rob: What comes to mind there is the as a quote, I can’t remember, I can’t remember the name but it’s connection before content.

Rob: That we can only take in content [00:28:00] when we have a connection. And it’s really interesting for me to listen to what you’re saying because it mirrors a lot of what I’ve done in relationship work. In relationships, we tend to blame other people and we tend to, they did this because of this.

Rob: And one of the key things that I teach people is you’re the hero of your movie. But you’re a supporting actor in everyone else’s, and because of the nature of being humans, we put ourselves at the center of everyone else’s narrative, and it’s understanding that the narrative that they’re working by. I can remember someone who was complaining Or it was a problem of worrying. Her husband constantly worrying and being very negative about things.

Rob: But his work was in insurance and his work was all about risk and seeing, being pessimistic. And so you can’t change the context of someone’s character is how they’re going to be. And it really is understanding their narratives. Which when you were talking, Daniel, about understanding bosses, it’s understanding their narrative [00:29:00] and where you can fit in as an ally.

Rob: That when you can help them on their hero’s journey, then that’s when you get what you want, but it takes an, another level of being able to move out of your own story and have that self awareness and being able to perceive the bigger picture. So I’m just wondering around that what are the challenges, but I think we’ve probably addressed most of them.

Rob: Is there anything we’ve missed about that that we should have double clicked on? One 

Daniel: thing I’ll add just from a, managing change point of view is you’ve got to think about radial sort of relationships out there. You want to start with winning the confidence of your project team and your colleagues.

Daniel: So those immediate people that you’re, that you were working with on a day by day basis, and you often might not even have a direct boss. You’re probably working, In parallel and dotted lines, different people and so on. So you have to think about that network of just those immediate relationships and winning their confidence.

Daniel: And that’s the first place to look. And then you start to expand that to all of the key leaders, whether they’re executive leaders or senior leaders and so on, and then you’re building that out. [00:30:00] As it extends to the rest of the organization, frontline leaders, and they start to build familiarity with you and starting to build that relationship and that trust throughout the project and program.

Daniel: That becomes quite important. So I think, really sitting down and mapping out who are these people and how can I start building relationships with them? So that you’ve really got that trust and from that, from your colleagues and peers, it becomes really important because when there are those difficult times, then you’ve got, a project manager or or business analyst or just those cool people you work with on a daily basis are there to support you.

Daniel: You’re supporting them. 

Rob: Do you as change managers actually do relationship mapping? 

Daniel: Yeah, we typically would call it stakeholder analysis. Sometimes there’s people do network analysis in organizations. That’s usually more used than when you’re trying to identify people informal positions of influence throughout the organization and correlations between groups and so on, and how you might approach different groups. But a project you would map out all your stakeholders and whether, and to what degree, are they someone who has a lot at stake for this project, to what degree are they highly influential, what [00:31:00] are their needs and wants with respect to this project, how are they positively, negatively influenced by a particular project.

Daniel: So that’s all this. You do this whole stakeholder mapping and then understanding through it, essentially what you’re doing is you’re understanding who the stakeholders are, what their interest is in the project, what their influences over it, how they’re impacted, and then how you’re going to craft messages to support them in the project.

Lisa: Yeah, I’ve never done this specifically relationship mapping. But as a methodology, it’s definitely as much information as you can get, as much feeling as you can have about it so that as Daniel said, what they need, what they want. And you know how you can balance that with the clarity of the goals that you have is really just key to everything you do really in change.

Lisa: And sometimes there’s surprising stakeholders who actually come to the fore. Again, maybe somebody who isn’t in a formal position of leadership, but who has a lot of influence. And this is where things like change agents can be really important where you identify [00:32:00] this person working on the shop floor or this person in admin actually is really well connected to everyone and very influential.

Lisa: And either they’re really on board with this or they’re not going back to the example of, oh, this is a real pain for them, then put some time and effort into finding out. What they need, what would make it work. And those sort of things just crop up as you go along the whole implementation.

Lisa: You’re not going to start off with a project plan with looking to this person here, but you actually, you will have to do it if you want it to work. So that’s the sort of exciting, interesting part of change, but also, when you’re on a deadline, it’s stressful as well. So thinking, I really need to get on with this, but there’s obviously something that needs investigation here. 

Rob: It just comes up to mind. It’s whack a mole, isn’t it? And it’s just, whatever, there’s always going to be something else popping up. But you just. Okay. Just to wrap up, if you were going to give a message to leaders who are about to go through a change what would be your message and any tips that you might have for them [00:33:00] supporting their team and, I’ll go back 

Lisa: to

Lisa: the beginning. I would just say what I was thinking in the beginning, build the trust. Hopefully you’ve already got it, if you’re new, if it’s a new thing, if it’s a new team, build the trust by doing things like walking the talk, being honest making, owning up to any mistakes, making hard decisions, all that kind of stuff, and getting to know people and where they’re coming from, what they need what skills they have, all of that. What sort of mentoring they could have, what training they might need, look at all that in terms of trust, and also focus on being really clear, and you need to get that from your sponsors as well, and the clarity on how important is this change.

Lisa: What do we need to deliver it? And make sure that’s in place and that you have everybody aligned around that, and then you work with the team and make sure that the goals are really clear and that everyone owns them. That’s what I would say. That’s the [00:34:00] best start to any project.

Rob: What you’ve said there really Lisa comes to mind, what comes to mind is I imagine the carpenter, they’ve got to measure up, they’ve got to align everything, they’ve got to make sure it’s straight, balanced. There’s always a physical analogy and it is, but it’s obviously much more complex to do all of that kind of thing.

Daniel: What would I say to leaders driving change or leading change? I’d say number one is just understand that change success or failure will very much hinge on you and your ability to lead and devote time and energy and resources to the change. 

Daniel: Number two, I’d say, take a lead on crafting the narrative for this change, why it’s important to the organization, why it’s important to you, why we’re doing it now, why it’s important for others to get on board and then really work to communicate that through all levels of the organization. 

Daniel: Then number three, allocate time, space, resource, and money to a change management team and align the goals between The various parties from project management and technical people to to the rest of the [00:35:00] organization, the change practitioners and what they’re trying to do in terms of having the change accessible means it’s actually in place and used and adopted in the organization.

Daniel: And that’s, if leaders can understand those three things then I think They’re really going to drive successful change. 

Rob: Thank you. Thank you. Thanks, Rob. Cheers.

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