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If you do not adapt, if you do not learn, you will wither, you will die.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Change management and Kant’s four questions – part 3

18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant tried to answer four questions in his philosophy:
1.    What can I know?
2.    What do I have to do?
3.    What can I hope for?
4.    What is the human being?
In my previous two posts I addressed the first two of these questions as I am applying these questions to change management in a practical manner, so as to possibly get you thinking about change management from a different perspective. I believe that’s what management, leadership, and life is all about: being able and willing to see, appreciate, and use different perspectives to your advantage, to broaden your vision, to think outside your box, and to seriously consider what you might perceive to be impossible?
In this post I will address the third of the four questions.

Question 3: What can I hope for?
Hopes and dreams are what we are made of. We all have our hopes for our own future and for our children. As a leader, I’m sure you have your hopes for your company.  If hopes and dreams remain just that, hopes and dreams, than chances are that you will not reach those dreams or the road will be a long one. As Tony Robbins states: “The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment”, and it’s that commitment that needs to turn the imagination, hopes, and dreams into a strategy and into actions. If I relate the above to change management than I urge you to
-          Realize that the change needs to align with your company’s purpose and values as well as with the readiness of the organization.
-          Realize that you and your workforce have to be able to be proud of the goal and of how to get there.
-          Realize that you generally lose some people during the change process, people who are not able, but more often not willing to go where you want to go with the changes at hand. It’s generally better to let them go and assist them in finding a more suitable work environment than to try and push and pull them towards a change that they will never embrace.
-          Realize that for people to be able, willing, and ready  change they need to have trust in themselves and their leaders, they need to be able to focus on resources and possibilities, they need to there is room for taking calculated risks and for experimentation while receiving support and back-up.
-          Make sure you celebrate when things go well and use supportive redirection when things go wrong.

So it’s not so much ‘hoping for’ but working hard and smart to realize.

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