Why I Wrote This Book
You are the face of change to employees. You are a Team Leader, Supervisor, Assistant Manager, Manager, Director, Sr. Director, etc. You have the tough job of aligning the workforce with changes that come from Senior Leadership and other sources, while keeping the operational wheels on the ground. My research found nothing specifically for mid-level to frontline leaders with responsibility for leading various change implementations in their work environment (workflow, technology, strategic, etc.). The literature rates the majority of organizational change deployments as being unsustainable in the long run. I wrote this book to help you mitigate this risk.
When Change Hits the Floor in your workplace, you are the Ground Zero Leader™
The bull’s-eye of this book is about enabling operations leaders to make progress in building a sustainable and change-ready culture. The context of this book resides in the healthcare industry.Yet, the heart of my writing (stories, strategies and tools) works for all business settings. It is the shoelaces for the operations leader with “boots on the ground” frontline employees.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “ground zero” as:
The central point in an area of fast change or intense activity
Your normal perfect storm work world has you juggling difficult scenarios, such as:
“The results I need and the culture I have are not aligned”
Does the following sound familiar?
Julie is a Manager in a physician practice with five MDs and a team of clinical and support staff. She asked her trusted colleague, Lori, to have lunch because she wanted to talk through some changes happening with her team that have been concerning her for several weeks. “Lori, my Clinic has a reputation for providing consistently high quality and professional patient care. This is the same care I would expect as a patient. Increasingly, however, I am learning that our reputation is becoming tarnished. Patient complaints are increasing at an alarming rate, and employees are telling me about negative behavior by some staff towards each other. The most troublesome among these stories are reports of staff ignoring our customers and their job responsibilities because they are on personal phone calls, texting, Facebook, and shopping on the internet. This news is disheartening to me because it says we care more about ourselves than our patients and team members.”
“My toolbox is full, but what I need is nowhere to be found”
Operations leaders have ongoing challenges that are not typically resolved through company training classes, newsletters, and leadership events. Think about how helpful the instructions are when you’re seated in the exit row of an airplane vs. applying those instructions if your plane did, indeed, start bouncing around the clouds. There are Leadership changes where process and people’s instincts are at odds with each other. Do your employees truly follow new workflows or act instinctively based on what works best for them? At times, job roles conflict with a person’s perception of their roles. These are scenarios where behavior and business performance can become out of synch with each other. In order to clearly sort out this stuff, you must ensure that people issues are not disguised as process concerns, and process issues are not dismissed as people performance concerns.
Is this book for me?
This book is for you if you need effective and pragmatic tools and strategies to:
- improve your capabilities as a change leader
- accurately diagnose and remove barriers to high performance
- sustain changes through building accountability & ownership among stakeholders
- reduce workplace negativity and create a positive culture for change
- calibrate and align job roles with integrated performance indicators
- achieve better results with difficult people, up and down the organizational food chain
Experience and data has shown that a high percentage of business changes are not sustained. I wrote this book to enable operations leaders to fix this problem and build a sustainable culture for change.
My approach is much more descriptive than prescriptive. I believe that real knowledge and skills take root when a person is challenged and struggles a bit (i.e. has some skin in the game, because the easy way out always leads back in). Many authors and consulting companies provide a turnkey solution formula for change management which is more like a “people prescription.” IF this were indisputably true, their prescription would work 100% of the time. However, nearly 40 years of research by leadership and change guru Dr. John Kotter has shown more than 70% of all major change efforts fail.