Key to Successful Change: Jeanenne LaMarsh #CASROmanage #MRX

Welcome to this series of live blogs from the CASRO Management Conference in Chicago. All posts appear within minutes after the speaker has finished. Any errors, omissions, or silly side comments are my own.


  • We start with a challenge: What is REQUIRED to get that change in place, not just what IS the change you want
  • Make it easy for people to change – Contain the cost, attain the schedule
  • Your role? Company leadership is the sponsor. People who make it happen are the Change Agent. People who have to change are called Targets.
  • Is “Targets” a bad word? Would you rather call them victim or partner? They feel like victims so lets find a nicer word for targets. Maybe later they will feel like partners.
  • Some of us are all three – sponsors, agents, and targets.
  • Why resist a quality solution? We just asked to change 5 pieces of our outfit. @Jhenning and I did the five same things – glasses off, moved the name tag, removed/moved the rings, shoes off. Glasses off was funny – we couldn’t see what the other did. 🙂
  • She asked us to CHANGE but most of us REMOVED – removed our shoes, removed our jacket, removed our glasses. (As opposed to putting glasses on upside down? 🙂  )
  • It is natural for people to resist change. We couldn’t share with each other that we thought this was stupid. Some people only changed 4 things, not 5 things. Would she embarrass us if we were found out? Would we be pointed out?
  • We weren’t told why or what was going to happen. We were left in the dark, confused. We weren’t prepared to move together – she failed as a sponsor of change.
  • We could have picked up a pencil, held a glass, put paper in our pocket. We didn’t think outside the box.
  • AND, we all now look exactly the way we did before. My glasses are on again, my shoes are on again, my rings are back on the right fingers. No one told us to do this.Change Management: Story War
  • We were gracious and kind enough to go along with her but went right back to the old way. The sponsor let us slip back into the old way. This was a simple exercise but imagine a difficult change.
  • Resistance to change is not a bad thing. It is natural, normal, and logical.
  • Risk/reward ratio assessment. Would you walk along an 18 foot board to get $10 000 dollars? What if the board was placed 50 stories high? [yeah, i’m out. sorry] What if it was $250 000? [nope] What if the building was on fire? [yuppers!] You DO have a choice, you want to make an informed choice.
  • She created a “pull” with an attractive reward – a motivator for change. Whether it’s more money or less fire.
  • How do we “push” people out of their normal state?
  • People need to know what is BETTER over there. And, what happens if we STAY here.  What happens to business, employees?
  • WHY are you asking people to leave here and go there? WHAT do they need to do? HOW do they need to do it?
  • Targets are thinking: What if this change doesn’t work? What if it is the wrong decision?
  • Don’t just sell and tell people what they need to do or they’ll just keep doing what they’ve always been doing. Give them WHY WHAT and HOW.
  • Maybe the targets don’t see how it’s good for the business and, maybe they don’t see how it’s good for THEM.
  • Some people know it’s bad where they are and good where they need to go but they just don’t want to move – hey, i’m retiring in a couple years anyways. Can we give these people a safety net, a parachute, something to help them across that 50 story potential fall.
  • [Great story about a bridge builder who physically put a safety net under a bridge being built and 19 lives were saved as a result. People were willing to take more risks and 19 people fell into the net – not into the water.]
  • Teach people how to go through the change process. Teach the change agent, teach the targets, teach the leaders too. And include a reward – reward of survival in these examples.
  • Have empathy – understand the illogical fear and apprehension. The fear is logical for the those who have it.
  • Change takes energy and commitment.  Take the time to share and explain and understand to those who have fear.
  • Use positive reinforcement as a leader – thank, reward, praise, even when we think something is obviously easy. [you DID praise your firstborn rather profusely when they took that obvious first step, right?]
  • results equals a quality solution times its adoption R = Qs X A
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