Shakeup Don’t Blowup
Running from discomfort is normal but deadly. Shakeups – strategic discomfort – create vibrancy.
Repetition produces predictability.
Predictability produces comfort.
Comfort produces resistance.
Organizational rigor mortis sets in.
“We’ve always done it that way.”
Resistance rejects the new and unknown
because it’s new and unknown.
Patterns, processes, and systems are necessary for stability, productivity, and quality control. But, structures naturally resist change and innovation. Stagnation and death set in.
Leadership begins with disruption.
Shakeup don’t blowup:
Leaders don’t let disruption happen, they cause it.
Create vibrancy and growth with
The elements of successful shakeups include:
- Purpose. Shakeup for the sake of shakeup irritates. Effective disruption has positive intention that everyone understands, even if it’s uncomfortable.
- Timing. Shakeup after shakeup after shakeup exasperates. “Oh no! It’s another reorganization.”
- Duration. Temporary disruptions are tolerable even exciting. Permanent disruption deflates.
Successful shakeups inspire individuals and teams to rise up not blow up.
Temporarily reassign a team leader; replace them with a team member.
- Identify and agree upon a project that inspires and challenges the current team leader.
- Establish broader purpose. This project represents a new challenge and opportunity that expands skills and influence. It also makes room to develop members of the team.
- Clarify the disruption. During the project the current team leader will not lead or attend meetings with the current team.
- Discuss it with the current team. Explain intent and duration.
- Develop skill gaps in the new, temporary, team leader.
- Form a small taskforce to complete the new project. Set tight deadlines.
- Stay available during transitions. Don’t disrupt an abandon.
- Debrief when the taskforce disbands.
- Celebrate success.
- Explore guidelines for future shakeups.
Suggestions from Facebook include:
- Address uncomfortable topics.
- Say, “No,” and develop alternatives.
- Explore how to better utilize people. Value people over processes.
What are the elements of successful disruption?
How does disruption go wrong?
As you say Dan, shakeups can not only be tolerable they can also be exciting and educational. Your 3 key elements are really important though. When planning a shake up some tend to use the old Nike slogan “Just Do It”, while I advocate modifying it to “Just Do It Right!”
To quote another excellent leader, once you get those key elements right it is time to “Embrace the shakes!”
Thanks Paul. “Just Do it Right.”
I’ve been a “just do it” leader and it can frustrate people who look for purpose. They ask, “What’s the point?”
Doing it right means engaging people through out the process.
Great post. I like the point that shakeups need a purpose. That is too often forgotten.
I think disruptions also go wrong if they are poorly planned. This includes not getting input from teams and affected individuals on how to manage the disruption. We may want to change things and that causes stress (and that can be good) but we have to be able to support our teams during that stress, and that means a roadmap. Find a way for the team to win or else the failure could be catastrophic.
Thanks Anthony. Successful disruption includes asking WHO is being disrupted and what should we do about it.
Element of successful disruption……….an open mind.
Disruption goes wrong with the absence of an open mind.
Basically with an open mind, willingness followed by action any of the 10 suggestions above will work. Without fertile ground, nothing grows. Pearls before swine.
Like recommending a video that shows 72% employee flourishing as opposed to doing what we are doing now that results in 70% opposite result and no one listens or even watches
No one listens or watches cause they do not see it is a problem.
One would ponder with 70% failure how that is not seen as a problem needs a fixin.
Shifterp Back to the Present!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks Scott…great suggestion. Seems like leaders should be developing an open minded culture.
Thank you kind sir.
Coming from a man I respect means a lot.
Would mean more if you took 1 hour and 9 minutes and watched Bob Chapman’ s video on youtube free except your time. Video called Defining Moments.
If your mind is open it would be so great if you watched then you could share with everyone else here if in your opinion it would be a good use if their time to spend an hour of their time listening to Bob’ miraculous story.
See Dan if you don’t watch you can’t share with everyone here if it would benefit them or not. Heck you don’t even know if it would be a waste of your time or not. Till you open your mind and watch it. Then you have a basis for an opinion to share with everyone here.
Hope one day you do.
It is an amazing story. You like amazing stories don’t ya?
SP back to the present
Andy Stanley said that “Change equals momentum.” That definitely fits here! Healthy shakeups build healthy culture if you have the right leaders. If you don’t have the right leaders, these shakeups will generally bring that to light. Be smart about it. Find a way to let them operate in their strengths, but let them also attack a weakness.
Thanks Colby. Love the Stanley quote.
Great point that shakeups reveal who we are.
Excellent points. The status quo is tough to break especially if you are the new guy on the block. You have folks who have been with the company or in the same role for 20-30 years. Change is usually the last things they want. Your point about purpose and getting their input are key in making this a shake up vs. blow up.
Thanks Chris. I hear you. Being the new guy on the block is challenging. Trouble is, the new guy sees things others don’t see. We should listen to them rather than silence them.
Good morning Dan. I got a nice laugh rite out of the gate once I read, (Organizational Rigor Mortis). This is SO true. Most humans resist change at all cost it takes us out of our commfort zone, we’re faced with the unknown, & who likes surprises. My organization is like many others,the economy, political and public pressure cause constant change. A little ‘Shake-up’ can be a great thing. Sticking to the same old game plan produces the same old results. It’s no longer acceptable stick with the ole ‘status quo’, “we’ve always done it that way”, just don’t cut it with this boy. Alot of the problems and obstacles faced in the workplace are self induced, BECAUSE WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY… Hava great weekend my friend. Looking forward to next Wednesday.
I love this post! My favorite point is “Don’t disrupt and abandon.” Some leaders think this is a path to growth, forcing team members and new leaders to take control. Sometimes, that’s the case. But true and lasting and proper growth happens only when there’s trust and accountability.
Thanks for the clear example, too. This is a great resource for leaders bringing up other leaders.
A shakeup needs a purpose. Too often, a shakeup is created for the sake of creating a shakeup. the shakeup becomes the purpose of the shakeup, leading to a blowup. Life
Are you saying what I think you are?
Stsrt with Why?
Hope so and hope you go to http://www.startwithwhy.com. And check it out.
http://www.trulyhumanleadership.com is a very cool site too.
Bob Chapman is the man like Colonel Kurtz just like not crazy!!!
Hope u look!
SP become a start with why champion!!!! We are the coolest cats around.
This is a masterly layout of how one outcome leads to another. Whenever a process is repeated over, it outcome can be predicted. Hence it outcome can be repeated, it takes away the anxiety and unpredictability that comes with performing a new or unfamiliar process.
Thanks Dan for “Shakeup don’t Blow-up”. I recently had to do this with my staff. It worked just as you described in your article. Moreover, your article did give me some additional ideas for when I do this again, in the future.
No leader should fear the outcome of trying these steps. Depending on your staff, you might find doing the shake-up a bit daunting, but you’ll be rejoicing at the results afterwards.
Have a great week!