Inside LaunchStreet Paul Gibbons

How Questioning Everything Will Set You Up For Success in Change Management

Are you as fed up as I am with all the lip service to change management? We keep talking about it yet most change management efforts fail. That’s why I hunted down a few leaders, like Paul Gibbons, author of The Science Of Successful Organizational Change, to help us better understand why they fail and how to do it right. Paul came by Inside LaunchStreet to talk about why most efforts fail, how availability bias is our biggest sabotager, the power of questioning literally everything, and what to do to drive lasting change.

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Key Takeaways:

[1:48] Paul’s nickname is Disco Paul, dating back to age 15 when he won a disco contest wearing polyester pants!

[3:57] Listen in to find out why management change is such a hot topic right now. Paul introduces us to the term “availability bias.”

[6:05] Availability bias is where we overweight data available to us. We see only how much effort we are putting in.

[7:05] Paul hypothesizes that we should be talking more about change. There are 100 electives at the Harvard Business School and only one class teaches about how to make changes. Schools shouldn’t be teaching that change is the exception; it’s more of the rule.

[10:27] The best piece of advice Paul can offer to LaunchStreeters is to involve people sufficiently and early enough in the change management process. People are more welcoming to change if they feel as if their voice has been heard.

[11:52] One major piece Paul would like you to take away from his book, The Science of Organizational Change: How Leaders Set Strategy, Change Behavior, and Create an Agile Culture, is to question everything. Paul’s book is a debunking about the early change models. Listen in to find out why change in business is often compared to death. Paul talks about the Kubler Ross Model.

[16:39] Learn about the history of burning platforms in comparison to change management.

[20:25] When did Paul realize that the narratives and platforms surrounding change management were not the real deal?

[25:50] Tamara reminds listeners that we as humans are dynamic. Our organizations are also dynamic. We cannot pigeonhole change into a one-size-fits-all.

[29:24] Paul talks about the psychological aspect of taking risks. It’s important to understand how your team responds when they are under the pressure of taking risks.

[32:04] Is risk culture created by the hard wiring that we bring into the decision or is it the risk psychology that we adopt?

[34:20] Paul and Tamara talk about failure and the inauthenticity of failure. Paul references the failures of Amazon.

[37:12] Paul talks about starting his new company and the importance of creating a compelling ‘we’ vision. You must have something that touches people’s hearts and creates passion. This will get your project off the ground. Tamara reminds listeners that you must have people buy into the ‘why’ of the project.

[41:30] Tamara reminds Launchstreeters how important it is to bring others into your vision.

[41:59] Connect with Paul here and listen to Paul’s newly launched podcast, Think Bigger, Think Better.

[44:43] How can innovators help to shift change in their organizations?

[49:54] Tamara reminds listeners about asking inciting questions — the questions we’ve never asked — can stir and prompt new insights. To find out more about inciting questions, visit Innovation On Demand.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Kubler Ross Grief Model

Kotters 8-Step Change Model

The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization, by Paul M. Senge

Reboot Your Life: A 12-day Program for Ending Stress, Realizing Your Goals, and Being More Productive, by Paul Gibbons

The Science of Successful Organizational Change: How Leaders Set Strategy, Change Behavior, and Create an Agile Culture, by Paul Gibbons

Pauls homepage


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