Posts in topic: change management

Breaking through change barriers in three steps

Charles Pace

Change

By Charles Pace, Executive Director, Gwinnett County Public Library, and
Michael Casey, Director of Customer Experience, Gwinnett County Public Library

What role does the library play in the community? That was one of many questions that led the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) toward organizational change in 2016. We were (and still are!) fully committed to being a continuous change organization with a clear outside-in focus and a customer-centric approach. It’s been a journey, and our biggest lesson is probably that we always have more to learn. Change is complex. What’s helped is keeping our ultimate purpose in clear view. And for us, every initiative is always geared towards improved service to the community.

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Are you managing the emotional side of change?

emotions

When you’re leading any kind of change, maneuvering to get an ideal outcome can be tricky. I’m often asked by leaders in the throes of change management efforts, “What’s the one thing that can’t be missed?” The one element that could deter all the work to build awareness, acceptance, and action. My response is pretty much always the same: Never underestimate the emotional side of change.

Did I just get all warm and fuzzy on you? Yes, I did. And it’s important, especially because this aspect of change is often overlooked. The reality is that all change begins and ends with human beings—and humans are driven by emotions.

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Three “people factor” steps for successful change management

change management

Transformation of any kind starts and ends with people. If you’re implementing a broad change and everyone in your organization isn’t engaged in some way, it will never work to its fullest potential. Period.

I’ve helped hundreds of libraries transform their organizations through technology implementations for ten years, and the people factor is consistently the key to success. But it’s also the hardest, and the most overlooked. What inspires one person may not motivate someone else. But neglecting to apply this lens across how you plan, communicate, and execute leaves so many positive aspects of change on the table.

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