Volume 4, July 2001: Change

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2001 ISSN # 1545-8873

“People don’t resist change, they resist being changed.” — Peter Sholtes, The Team Handbook

“Be the change you wish to see in others.” — Mahatma Gandhi

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” — Wayne Gretsky


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Meetings and Courses Online
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Consensus-building. Pulling the disparate parts of your organization together through constructive conversation and working through differences.
  • Mapping the informal vs. the structural organization. Which do you listen to? The way the organization really works or how it looks on paper, as an org. chart?
  • Understanding that you can never control an organization. It runs itself. At best, you can hope to influence it in a positive direction. Distribute leadership.
  • “Swarmware” – management processes that explore growth through experimentation, autonomy, openness, intuition and working at the edge of knowledge, in contrast to “clockware,” which manages core production processes as if they were part of a machine (Kevin Kelly in Edgeware, cited below).
  • “Both-and” thinking instead of “either-or.” Holding all possibilities as you work out the best pattern for this situation. That, too, is tentative until you learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

“How do we sustain change, once we’ve launched an initiative?”
Keep it in the conversation. Beat the jungle drum of the informal organization. Too often, we conduct a retreat or a planning session and fail to follow it up with constant mention and attention.
“I am not the visionary type. How do I create one?”
We do it with a room full of representatives from every facet of the organization (see Future Search Conferences). But we find that most leaders get worried about a “good-enough vision.” Organizations need a general sense of direction and lighted pathway for the next few steps. Then their creativity is optimized in addressing the “new” that comes up. But Leadership is really about making the vision happen – “vision acts.”
“When leading change, am I better off leading the leaders or dealing with the skeptics?”
Most change practitioners will tell you to learn from the resisters and keep their thinking out in the open: you may get clues about what you’re doing wrong. But more important, stay with the early adopters. In all cases, apull strategy will work better that a push one.

Meetings and Courses Online

Appreciative Inquiry: Accelerating Positive Change is convening September 30-October 1, 2001 in Baltimore, MD. Enroll at PegasusCom.

Customized knowledge maps, plus some interesting clips on engaging employees’ minds in the business, Applied Learning Labs.

The Institute for Applied Behavioral Science/NTL has long been a pioneer in courses dealing with leadership and change: NTL.

Key Associates offers onsite courses in numerous topics, including The New Leadership, which encompasses modules on coaching, motivation and the human spirit, trust and integrity, systems thinking, visionary planning, working with cultures, teaching and learning, new methods of communication, developing teamness, managing conflict, leading change, renewing your own spirit, and celebration..

Here are some of the principles from Key (1999), which are taught in the Leadership course:

  • Understand the resistance but lead those willing to move ahead.
  • Cultivate a climate for change.
  • Use the energy of change.
  • Find the learning opportunity.
  • Focus people on what they can control.
  • Seek wide participation and involve others.
  • Communicate so that people have access to information they need.
  • Free up thinking.
  • Become fierce opponents of waste and non-value-added work.
  • Establish social support mechanisms.
  • Replenish people’s reserves.
  • Remind people of the purpose and values of your organization.
  • Connect with your customers.
  • Enliven the vision: bold aims, daring deadlines.
  • Celebrate the gains.
  • Lead and let everyone lead.
  • Move (that means you).

Useful Websites & Newsletters

Check out the Employees’ Survival Guide, best practices in 254 companies and a library of books and articles on change management, Change Management.

Self-study materials, training and a newsletter, New Zealand style, Change Solutions.

Full-text articles, interviews, other websites, Management First

More articles are at BPubs.


  • Beckhard, Richard & Pritchard, Wendy. Changing the Essence: The Art of Creating and Leading Fundamental Change in Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.
  • Belasco, James. Teaching the Elephant to Dance. New York: Crown, 1990.
  • Bridges, William. Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1980.
  • Depree, Max. Leadership Jazz. New York: Doubleday, 1992, 140-150.
  • Journal of Organizational Change Management – all issues.
  • Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. The Change Masters. New York: Touchstone, 1993.
  • Kelly, Marjorie. “Taming the Demons of Change.” Business Ethics, July-August, 1993, 6-7.
  • Key, M. K. (Ed.) Managing Change in Healthcare: Innovative Solutions for People-based Organizations. Chicago: McGraw-Hill, 1999.
  • Kilmann, Ralph H. Beyond the Quick Fix. San Francisco: Jossey-bass, 1988.
  • Kirkpatrick, Don L. How to Manage Change Effectively. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1990.
  • Kotter, John P. Leading Change. Boston: HBR Press, 1996.
  • Kouzes, James M. & Posner, Barry Z. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco: Jossey-bass, 1990.
  • Martin, Roger. “Changing the Mind of the Corporation.” Harvard Business Review, November-December, 1993, 81-94. (See also articles by Goss et al., Duck, Prokesch, and Hall et al. in the same issue).
  • Oakley, Ed & Krug, Doug. Enlightened Leadership. Denver: Stonetree, 1993.
  • Rees, Fran, How to Lead Work Teams. (Chapter 4). San Diego: Pfeiffer & Company, 1991.
  • Schein, Edgar. “Organizational Culture and Leadership” A Dynamic View. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985.
  • Scott, Cynthia D. & Jaffe, Dennis T. Managing Organizational Change, Menlo Park: Crisp, 1989.
  • Tichy, Noel M. Managing Strategic Change. New York: John Wiley, 1983.
  • Tichy, Noel M. & Devanna, Mary A. The Transformational Leader. New York: John Wiley, 1986.
  • Watzlawick, Paul; Weakland, John H., & Fisch, Richard.  Change: Principles of Problem Formation and Problem Resolution. New York: W. W. Norton, 1974.
  • Woodcock, Mike & Francis, Dave. Training Activities for Creating and Managing Change. Amherst, MA: HRD Press, 1992.
  • Woodward, Harry & Buchholz, Steve. AfterShock: Helping People Through Corporate Change. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1987.
  • Zimmerman, Brenda, Curt Lindberg and Paul Plsek. Edgeware: Insights from Complexity Science. Irving, TX: VHA, Inc., 1998.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Ask yourself how you initially responded to an unexpected change in your life – was it with surprise, fear, grief, anger? Chances are good that the first response was a negative reaction. But it is the second or eventual response that counts – the reframe of the loss as a gain. In others, that initial response may look like resistance to change; remember that after their reactive phase comes the creative phase. This is where you can help them and yourself choose a response that is constructive. (See Woodward & Buckholz above)


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