‘Unfreeze, Move, Freeze ‘ – Using Kurt Lewin’s model to identify the need for change in your organization

Unfreeze, Move, Freeze

How many times have you or other disgruntled employees complained that your place of employment just did not get it? Complaints have surely reached upper management but you have yet to see the sort of change necessary to produce sustainable change.

Many have fought this organizational “beast” and continue to suffer or leave for the next “imperfect” organization.

What needs to change and how deep does this change effort need to swim to clean up all the griminess left at the bottom of the ocean?

Well there are many answers to those questions but, the simplest way to start this change effort is by first identifying, organizational wide the need for change.

Change Models

One way that I have mentioned in a previous blog can include the benefits of using the OCAI assessment tool.  Results taken from assessments from employees identify the current state of their organization and what all employees desire it to.

No doubt, this tool has the ability to open Pandora box. However if your organization is not currently in the position to present and deliver the time necessary to work through these assessments, why not try Kurt Lewins, three phase for organizational change “Unfreeze, Move, Freeze”?

Introduced in the early 1900’s this tool is considered by some to be “too simplistic”, yet sometimes it is my belief that some things do not require in depth analysis to determine the need for change.

Once it is unfrozen, any unacceptable policies and procedures can be altered or “moved”, and then taken back to its original frozen state. Business professionals lament that this theory fails to identify the various elements and variables that need change, however it is great to get the conversation going.

Lewins’ theory (that helped cement others more in depth theory) illustrates that organizations move from being stagnate or in their current state, to new changes (implemented), and back to its original state.

This theory identifies those who are for change and those who want to maintain the “status quo”.  But it also has the opposite effect.  Employees against change, push back.  A force field, where you have employees for organizational change, and those who are against change are easily reflected. Change is not foreseeable when those for it and against are opposing one another. Therefore you have what Lewin calls a Force Field AnalysisKurtLewinForceField

Opinion’s to refrain from new trainings (lack of resources, time, or implementation for training) represents arguments for status quo (Anderson, 2015). Request such as new customer demands, market demands, organizational growth can represent the need for change.  The force for change and the argument to sustain creates the force field effect. Although there are different interest represented in force field analysis, it is an eye opener for organizations no matter what side of the fence you stand.

Representation of the battle that lies ahead allows for employees and stockholders to understand why change takes time and effort to embrace.

The conversation is ignited, presenting the steps for organization development. Yes, practitioners agree that it is not the most complex models, but at least it has the ability to get the conversation moving in the right direction.

Although change may be a feat, at least your organization will have a brilliant painting of those for change and those who oppose it.

When management ponders why change is not sustainable, this illustrations will help paint the picture why.

Reference

Anderson, D.L. (2015). Organization Development: The Process of Leading Organizational Change. (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications

Connelly, M. (2016). Retrieved from http://www.change-management-coach.com/force-field-analysis.html

 

The “Red Pill” of Cultural Change: Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)

The “Red Pill” of Cultural Change: Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)

Are you seeking to understand why workers and management are not on the same page? Does your manager demand that you produce more work than you believe can be completed in a day? Do you have a micromanager who is quick to point out your errors and/or lack of efficiency? How about that rowdy boisterous team, are they overly engaging and collaborative to the level that it is making you uncomfortable? Are your unique ideas unappreciated or underutilized?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you are in no way alone.  For years, many have battled to understand why management “just did not get it.” No doubt, some managers have the same sentiment as their employees.

If you would like to learn more about your culture and may be ready to consider change, I recommend the “Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument” (OCAI) – OCAI-Assessment. Like the “red pill” in the 199o movie, The Matrix, the OCAI can help you find the “truth of reality” in your organization, and knowledge is the first step toward enacting change.

According to authors Cameron and Quinn (2011) people are unaware of their culture until it is challenged until they have experienced a new culture, or until it is made overt and explicit. Their research has also found that organizational culture can impact individuals in many ways including morale, commitment, productivity, physical health, and emotional well-being. The OCAI can help you determine your organization’s culture and begin the process of addressing cultural change.

Is your organization considered a “Clan, Hierarchy, Adhocracy, or Marketing” culture?

Most organizations have developed a dominant culture style. An organization rarely has only one type. Often, there is a mix of the four organizational cultures that are described in the Figure below: Clan, Advocacy, Hierarchy, or Marketing (OCAI online, 2017).

Competing Value Framework with link in picture

Clan (Collaborate) –

Clan cultures are collaborative, family oriented environments that have a significant amount of interaction between the employees and management. Management is a part of the building and mentoring process for the team (Cameron and Quinn, 2011). Loyalty, tradition, and commitment are highly regarded, leaders assume parental roles, and this warmth trickles down to its internal/external customers (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).

 Hierarchy (Control) –

In a Hierarchy culture, you have a controlled, formalized, structured environment where policies and procedures are established, and protocol and boundaries are set (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).  Implemented for uniformity and control, those who run such organizational cultures are more concerned with pushing out consistent, efficient productivity to remain a step ahead of its competitors (Cameron and Quinn, 2011).

BlogspotInternal-External FocusAdhocracy (Create) –

The Adhocracy culture values the “creativity “that employees produce and foster in the workplace. Innovation and commitment are regarded over loyalty, tradition, and family. Success is governed by the new opportunities that creativity can render, for example, new innovative products such as the iPad. Without restrictions, employees are given the freedom to create.

Market (Compete) –

The Market culture is an aggressive, competing, results-driven culture.  Leaders drive employees to increase profitability and meet company objectives (Cameron and Quinn, 2011). These organizational cultures are very intense. The bottom line is to compete for results that establish and maintain a brand amongst its competitors while also increasing the organization’s market share.

Knowing your organization’s current dominant culture, as well as what is preferred by you and your fellow employees, creates an opportunity for the organization to retain quality people, increase profitability, generate innovative products while unifying and presenting consistent and quality branding. The OCAI assessment is a wonderful tool that can identify where you and your organization’s expectations lie and it can help further the discussion on how to bridge the gap between the two.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How would you characterize the culture of your organization? Is it a Clan, Advocacy, Hierarchy, or Marketing culture?
  2. How effective is your organization’s culture? How might a different culture be more effective?

Reference:

Cameron, K.S., & Quinn, R.E. (2011). Diagnosing and changing organizational culture: Based on the competing values framework (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Giritli, H., Oney-Yazici, E. Gulfer T., Emarah Acar. (2013). The interplay between leadership and organizational culture in the Turkish construction sector.  International Journal of Project Management, 31, 228-238.  Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/figure/257094681_fig1_Fig-1-The-Competing-Values-Framework-Cameron-and-Quinn-1999

OCAI – Online. (2017, January 22).  OCAI Assessment. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/OCAI-Assessment

OCAI – Online. (2017, January 22).  Organizational Culture Types. Retrieved from https://www.ocai-online.com/about-the-Organizational-Culture-Assessment-Instrument-OCAI/Organizational-Culture-Types

Useful in Parts. (2013, May 15).  5steps in considering culture and business process improvement. Retrieved from http://usefulinparts.blogspot.com/2013/05/5steps-in-considering-culture-and.html

Has Survey’s lost their appeal?

Image Source: onepointglobal.com

Do you have the feeling that the “survey” no longer carry the weight that they once had?

In the year of 2017, it is almost impossible to avoid surveys.  Surveys are everywhere, from fast food restaurants, banks, schools, medical offices, and the list goes on and on. With the market being so overcrowded by this craze, one cannot help but wonder, if surveys are this common place, just how serious are organizations and customers taking them?

Inside organizations, employees avoid surveys because just about everyone knows, that they are not always confidential.

Yet more reject them after having submitted survey’s themselves in hopes for change only to see time and time again, the thoughts shared for a better organization fell upon deaf ears.

At this stage (of organizations seeking how to please all customers, internal and external), how can organizations revamp the survey to produce sustainable change?

Use the Feedback provided to your Organization through Survey’s

One of the easiest and clear cut ways of revamping surveys is for organizations to actually use the feedback that they receive.

To go through the lengths to imply that you are a customer service friendly organization that cares about the opinions and service provided to customers is not the same as actually ‘being’ that organization that takes all opinions and thoughts into consideration.  You cannot fake what is not there.  Either your organization cares and will make changes as needed, or you will lose customers like a rushing wind or a slow dripping faucet.  Why ruin the hard work that went into establishing such an organization just to see it falter because of a lack of concern for customers?

Hiring Quality People

Survey-Source iStock

Source:  iStock

To my statement that “you cannot fake what is not there”, it behooves organization to really take the time to vet during the hiring process.  Many have no problem with lying on their applications, or faking and taking on a false persona that does not exist within that individual.

Therefore whoever is in charge of hiring should have the ability to read people and not just there resume’.   Embellishment on resumes and job applications are not unheard of. So knowing how to read people during the hiring process is the key to ensuring your organization has nothing but the best.

Create Trustworthy Survey’s

In today’s digital age, just about anyone within an organization can use a free website or applications like Google to create surveys.  As a result, the responses to these surveys are not always confidential.  In the event that organizations must present a survey to employees, please ensure that the surveys are confidential.  It is not confidential if you or upper management receives the responses back from the email address of the employee’s (some companies have their employees name as part of the email address). Thus if a survey is completed by that particular employee, it is not difficult for the individual who is collecting the survey to know exactly who completed it.

Employees that are interested in keeping their jobs more than pleasing upper management with a survey, will either not answer truthfully or may avoid the survey all together.

Therefore if you are really interested in real genuine authentic results, make sure it really is anonymous or confidential. And in the event that being anonymous cannot be avoided, it may prove useful to use a third party to collect the results (someone who does not have a ‘dog in the fight’ and who can remain objective).

“Using interviewing tips to get the job can be the downfall to the employee as well as the organization.”

Do job interviews raise your anxiety levels?

Do you polish your apparel and try to recall all the interviewing tips that you learned so that you can appear confident?

In the past, you might have been successful with this feat. Other times you may have walked out the interview knowing you were ripped to shreds as soon as you exited the room.

Next time around when a potential job is at stake, and if your livelihood depends on it, it may be a clever idea to follow the interviewing tips and convey that air of confidence. No doubt you may be successful at landing the job.  However keep in mind that if you mimicked interviewing tips, you might find yourself hired because of your acting abilities, and not because you were the most qualified for the job.

You got the job! Yay!

Firm handshakes, direct eye contact, smiling, no fidgeting, sitting up straight, answering the questions in a way that is acceptable to the interviewer, may carry out its intended motive. Yay! You got the job!

For organizations, this is important. Every day a role is unfilled costs a company money. So it is not surprising that they would like to hire and fill those roles, as quickly as possible. But, can you say unequivocally, you were the most qualified for that job or did you just pull off the best acting job of your life?

Or, did that organization reduce the reputation of their brand, by hiring someone who will be damaging to it?  Hiring according to an image a person portrays, is not an indicator that they will be successful on the job.

 

Sociapathlovefraud

Image source

Sociopaths in the workplace

Many organizations are accepting of various “interviewing tips.” Business articles reference emulating professional behavior, almost to the point (in my opinion) of wearing a mask. However, there is a caveat to such tips; interviewing tips at times become a ploy to the interviewee. Therefore the hiring manager must be prepared to peel back the layers of deceit (if there is any).

Training individuals on how to interview until it is clear that you have located an individual who embodies the competencies and skill set necessary for that particular job, may be the better route to go.

Sure, it may be more time consuming and require additional resources, but in the end, you would have “built your organization on a strong foundation”, not sand.

Also, with all the talk of sociopaths in the workplace, hiring managers may want to think about learning how to read actions, word choices, and behavior, as accurately as possible.

Deception is difficult to identify when the interviewee is wearing a mask. Therefore, in my opinion, these interviewing tips should be disclosed to the public with caution (to cut down on those who strive through deceit).

The Aftermath

Deceptive behavior does not stop at the interviewee.  If the hiring manager is “playing a part,” the interviewee may incorrectly believe this organization is a good match for them.  When in reality, they may be “selling their soul to the devil.”

The aftermath of hiring under false pretenses can not only bring stress to that employee, but that stress can and almost always does, trickle down to all who interact with that employee, poisoning the work environment.

Still not convinced it’s a bad idea?

One more thing that I have witnessed are employees that ask themselves a few months into the job, why in the hell they accepted that job in the first place. Organization’s culture are impacted majorly increasing turn-over rates.

Organizations have the opportunity to vet employees properlyand not just buy into an act, when individuals are able to “be” themselves.

Am I missing something here or do you feel the same? It is preferable that a person comes into the interviewing room being their authentic selves than acting a part. Consequently, the interviewer and interviewee can determine if this will be a viable relationship.  Hiring prematurely or going by the act a person portrays on the outside no doubt can result in the organization doing more damage to their brand.

Many may not agree with me, and that is totally okay, but I if were looking to hire a competent employee I would prefer for someone to be honest, as opposed to playing a part. What do you think?

Reference:

Elliott, M. (2017). “10 Body Language Mistakes to Avoid in a Job Interview”. Psychology Today.  Retrieved from http://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/body-language-mistakes-to-avoid-in-a-job-interview.html/

(2013, September 29). “Are You Working With A Sociopath? 4 Signs That Your Co-worker Could Have an Antisocial Personality Disorder”. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/digital-leaders/201309/are-you-working-sociopath

 

 

“Hierarchy structured insurance company Aetna, cause organizations, and pharmacies to suffer in their lines of communication” -The Imperfect Org

2017, January 1st to be exact and I called the Walgreen’s pharmacy to check on my husband’s medication.  We had been trying to refill it since a week and a half ago.  After countless communication with my doctor’s office and pharmacy, I discovered that my insurance company, Aetna can no longer refill his medication (nor mine) at Walgreen’s.  We can now only use CVS to refill prescriptions or we must refill them through a mail order.

CVS is not an option, as it is miles away from my home.  Walgreen’s is less than a mile.  How long will we have to wait for the medication if we order through the mail? Will my husband’s health suffer or deteriorate in the meantime? Is it already possibly suffering since it has taken way longer than expected to receive his refill?

The most disturbing piece about this is that the doctor’s office and the pharmacy had no idea what was going on.  I am not faulting them at all.  Whom I fault is Aetna for not adequately updating or notifying the doctors’ offices, nurses, and pharmacist who had actual scripts in their office waiting to be refilled. After about the fifth time I called I finally spoke with a rep and pharmacist who called the insurance company and was notified of the refill changes.  The pharmacist was just as shocked as I was about the ordeal. The pharmacist even tried to get Aetna to approve a few pills for my husband, just to hold him through until we could obtain the new prescription from CVS. Aetna said this could not be allowed.

Yes, it was open enrollment at my place of employment in November, but none of the seminars that I attended from Human Resources department bothered to include in their webinars and seminars that the way in which we obtained our medications could possibly change. Perhaps they did not know. I have checked my insurance companies site and I do not see updates regarding this recent change. Because it is the holiday and Sunday, they are closed and I cannot communicate with them myself. Frustrating.

My husband and I, as well as my place of employment, doctors’ office, and the pharmacies that we choose to obtain our medications through are customers of the insurance company. Communication is very much owed to the pharmacies as it is the doctor’s offices.  Despite how large these insurance companies are, and no matter how far up the corporate ladder or how deep the political affiliations; the people down on the lower frontlines should know how their jobs are being impacted by any updates to policy.  To bother not to communicate with all necessary parties is to leave many, as in our case, perplexed and inconvenienced.

And what’s up with the monopoly on prescriptions?  What sort of partnership or deal has CVS made with Aetna? Is it cheaper for the insurance companies? If so, what about the possible inconvenience to the person that needs the medication.  Some do not have a CVS nearby and not to insult the postal service, but some of us cannot trust our “friendly” mailman or mail woman or our neighbors for that matter.

So, note to you and to my future self, after open enrollment or updates to your insurance please make sure that you are not being limited or directed only to one particular pharmacy.  To not know this, is to potentially risk the health of you or your dear loved one due to poor lines of communication.

The use of “Unconscious Bias” Training to counteract diversity in the workplace

“Unconscious bias training” are launched by organizations to conquer the “unconscious” workplace bias and stereotypes that take place more often than not.

Indian employees have complained of being mistaken as the “tech guy” instead of the owner of the business, or an African American woman categorized as an “angry black woman” because she was passionate about her viewpoints.

Fears such as these need not enter the workplace, but hey, they are seen and experienced in everyday life, so why would the workplace stand the chance of anything different?

As organizations grow and become larger, it becomes difficult to remedy such biases.  Therefore on the ground level, no matter how small the organization, these safe guards deserve consideration.

Communication

Keeping the lines of communication open and going, is one major way of battling workplace bias.  To begin the conversation, one suggested tool are assessments. The utilization of assessments are used to measure the state of the organization.

By introducing tools such as assessments, organizations can tailor make the sort of information that is to be imparted to employees as well as quickly gauge the temperature on diversity and cultural differences.

Pre-survey assessments & Training

A pre-survey assessment (provided to the employees before the training sessions) identify the baseline or starting point, as well as the sort of content necessary to implement into the training sessions.

Various training sessions instituted and illustrated through webinars, workshops, and e-learning can introduce topics where any deficits lie. The administering of post surveys (taken directly after trainings) can determine how effective training was to the learners.

Moving forward assessments administered to employees over a 30, 60, 90 day period, can provide valuable information about growth.  Assessments evaluate what was learned and if it is being practiced and integrated into the everyday culture or thread of the organization.

Evaluating Change

If change is not substantial enough, the pre-assessment, training, and post-assessments (provided yet again), will be administered until diversity and cultural awareness is eminent and sustainable.

Another way to fight bias and stereotypes is to ensure that the Human Resource department is truly interviewing and reviewing applications without discrimination.  The more diverse the workplace, the more likely bias and stereotypes are eliminated.  Nothing can deteriorate or build an organization reputation more than being culturally sound.

Can you think of more ways to create a culturally sound organization?

Retrieved from https://finance.yahoo.com/news/what-it-s-like-to-be-a-minority-in-the-workplace-today-222855417.html

Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/gaudianohunt/2017/02/27/workplace-diversity-tips-for-leaders-part1/#588541ea33db

A Message to Women – BEWARE of HR hiring practices and how you might be affected

At some point in time in most women’s career, they must carefully prepare for the dreaded interviewing process. However what some women do not realize is that based on how they respond to certain interview questions, they may disqualify themselves and leave the job open for the next woman or male.

According to Business Insider’s “I’ve-worked-in-hr-for-15-years-here-are-the-4-things-hiring-managers-dont-want-you-to-know”, many Human Resource (HR) representatives find deceptive ways to determine how committed a potential employee will be to their company.

It is possible the hiring manager may ask about plans that you have for the weekend to learn more about your family or childcare commitments. Why, you may ask?  Because most employers who are afraid of breaking sexual discrimination laws, will not ask up front if you have children.  However, they may have a strong desire to be in the know, as a way to avoid such things as maternity leave, a sick child (causing you to miss a day at work), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or parent/teacher conferences. Is it fair?  Absolutely not, yet it is done more often than you think.  Beware of such questions, it is designed to travel past the boundaries of information shared and set by you to learn how devoted you are to family (and not work).

Monitor Social Media

Facebook has a way of unveiling the most “colorful display” of an individual’s true character. The masks are off, leaving the bare essentials, revealing what hiring managers really want to know about you.

Do you live it up and like to party after work or on the weekends? Are you a huge supporter of family and kids? Do you place office rants on your page?  Anything to disqualify you can be found on social media.

This is more common knowledge these days, yet I see people posting things under their name on Facebook that should be avoided at all cost.

Not only should you pay close attention to what you post, you should pay close attention to what your friends post.  Simply tagging you into the photo that they took of you during your wild night out, can be enough to send the wrong idea to a potential or current employer. LinkedIn is becoming just as bad.  I knew I had to think twice who I networked with, when one of my previous coworkers had a picture posted that in my eyes was only deemed necessary for Facebook.

Change your social media name

Changing privacy settings or even changing your Facebook name may benefit you more than leaving your information out there for the world to see.

Even if you think you are secure in your job and you’re not actively looking for a job, you never know when the markets may change and you could potentially find yourself in the unemployment line. Therefore always remain vigilant and comprehend as some say, there is only “six degrees of separation”.