Dealing with Change – [Talent Profile]

This section of the report is important for people in flexible environments. This could be an organization going through a shuffling of roles and responsibilities, a change in defined work roles, a change in compensation packages or any of a thousand other things that alter over time. Living is a constant process of change and this part of my Talent Profile is meant to give me a review of how I will deal with these changes and some advice on riding out the shifts.

dealingDealing with change

Organizations are constantly in motion, constantly changing. Understanding how a person will deal with these changes is, therefore, important information. This section describes how Richard will deal with change and what you can do as a manager to help Richard deal with those changes.

Richard is easily disturbed by changes that affect one-on-one contacts, especially if they hamper the achievement of goals set by him. His negative reaction to the changes will be in direct proportion to the amount of change that he did not foresee.

Advice: Ask him to expressly map out what changes he experiences as problematic and then let him work out different scenarios on how to deal with those changes.

Richard responds to changes that are objectively measurable. He will be less enthusiastic about changes that are not about creating concrete and practical results.

Advice: Richard will try to work out every possible consequence of every change, do not let this happen. Encourage him to identify the most likely outcomes and work out the consequences of only those changes.

Richard can handle external changes well, changes in regulations or the structure of the market, are no problem for him because he is thinking about the future. He will assess how those external changes affect internal processes and understand if they are relevant for the previously chosen course. Depending on his assessment, he will push for maintaining the previous course or changing directions.

Advice: Challenge Richard to be critical of his own assumptions. He might be right, but he might also be wrong and he needs to be aware of the possibility and plan for that as well.

When Richard is confronted with changes that may affect what he is doing, he will judge those changes on their possible relevance to the goals he has set for himself. If the changes are in conflict with his own goals, it is possible that he can set aside his own goals, but it is also possible that he will remain fully committed to his own goals and try to block the proposed

Advice: Work with Richard to go through several possible scenarios and work out the pros and cons of each scenario with him.

Changes that might have an affect on group processes will usually not be welcomed by Richard. This is especially true if the changes were not anticipated, because those changes might hinder the groups ability to reach its goals.

Advice: Ask him to clearly define how the changes will affect the group. Ask him to clearly state his resistance to the changes. Then work with him to see if those challenges can be re-framed as opportunities.

This section of the report has a LOT to say and I have to admit, I don’t find that it paints a very attractive picture of me. I acknowledge that it’s honest, it’s just hard to read it in black and white and turquoise like that. I can see that the advice for my manager is spot-on, I really do need someone over me or with me controlling my tendency to think through every possible scenario. I think I mentioned that in my last post, my need to build huge what-if decision trees in my head.

On the other hand, there are times when all of these tendencies have fit right in with the project I was working on and my job. As a System Architect, you need to have a clear vision and think through all of the ways that the bad guys might try to break in or your users might accidentally break something and plan for those eventualities.

Being committed to a vision is what makes good leaders great.

Great leaders don’t seem to have these kinds of holes in their personality, at least from the outside. But when I look at entrepreneurs that I admire, there is usually someone beside them, keeping them in check or counterbalancing their more extreme positions. Where would Steve Jobs be if Steve Wozniak hadn’t been there in the beginning? What would Bill Gates have done without Paul Allen?

So, if I want to take over the world, I just need to have someone with me on that vision quest, whispering the advice given above.

Or using bullhorn, when necessary.

The Talent Profile is available on the website.