Friday, March 11, 2011

CEDO 565 - Leadership and Planning - Week Five

Making Change Happen

The past week we completed the Change Game simulation and reflected as a group on what activities helped foster change in a system.  I also completed an assignment where I examined how change occurs in my organization.  When it comes to making change happen one has to do a lot of talking.  An e-mail, like a message in a bottle, may not reach the right audience.  Plus, it does not convey the same meaning as a good conversation where ideas are shared, connections are made and awareness of issues/challenges emerges.
Looking back at the Change Game simulation and my own personal experience with system wide change, understanding the overall system and interrelationships is critical to affect and sustain continuous change. It is not enough to create a coalition.  One needs to get system or organizational buy-in from all of the stakeholders.  Not everyone will embrace change or system improvement initiatives, but they do come around eventually.  Identify who the key influencers are in each part of the system and sound them out.  How do they feel?  What are their concerns about change?  Bottom line:  keep talking to everyone and asking questions.

Awareness of a need for change is always the first step and one that can not be skipped over. Be patient, have conversations, listen and reflect.  Things may not happen as fast as we like, but trust the system, and trust the people around you to see opportunities for improvement.


  1. Talking and finding those key people are very important. It was difficult for our team to get that done. Just when we thought we had talked enough we find out that we didn't use the right people and had to go back and talk some more. Having been involved in system wide change in the past, I should have used that knowledge during the game. Instead I was anxious and wanted to move forward too quickly. Going through this process in a game setting is much different than in real life. It is hard to gauge reactions and feelings and know how quickly time is moving during a simulation.

  2. Hi Brian,

    Couple thoughts...I've been trying to relate our class and the game to our current political situation. I'm really trying to figure out how much was done right or wrong in the process that got us to the latest policy change. Now, I think we all know that changes needed to be made and a budget needed to be balanced. In the end, you say that not everyone will coe along with the change, but eventually they will, and that's just what the governor has been saying. BUT...I think about all the stuff in the middle of the process: talking, listening, collecting data, sharing results. None of that happened very well, so I wonder what the outcome or success of this change will be. We didn't really talk about this kind of leadership in the class or the game!!! Tyrant, as in leader, doesn't show up in our studies, yet I think it should. Historically, there may be some tyranical successes and failures! I guess we really are making history in Wisconsin.

    See you Monday!


  3. Brian,

    Due to the fact that I am a digital native, I have found myself using e-mail a lot as a means of communication. This has gotten me in trouble! Old(er) co-workers and principals are not a big fan of email. They find it quicker to just walk and find the person to talk to. However, I feel it is just as effective to shoot off a quick email!

    I need to work on this to become a better leader as this is how my work place communicates.

    The Change Game made me look at how I do things currently. Communication and talking are the best way to get things done. You need to make sure that everyone is in the loop and supporting your ideas before you try and implement them!