Dr. Cathy Chargualaf CSC, DCH, Ph.D. 

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Change management requires both an individual and an organizational perspective

Posted on September 6, 2018 at 6:50 PM

Change management requires both an individual and an organizational perspective

Individual change management

Individual change management means understanding how one person successfully makes a change.

Organizations don't change, individuals do. No matter how large of a project you are taking on, the success of that project ultimately lies with each employee doing their work differently, multiplied across all of the employees impacted by the change. Effective change management requires an understanding for and appreciation of how one person makes a change successfully. Without an individual perspective, we are left with activities but no idea of the goal or outcome that we are trying to achieve.

Organizational change management

Organizational change management understands what tools we have to help individuals make changes successfully.

While change happens one person at a time, there are processes and tools that can help facilitate this change across groups and organizations. Without a structured approach, change management tools can be limited to only communication and training. When there is an organizational change management perspective, a process emerges for how to scale change management activities and how to use the complete set of tools available for project leaders and business managers.

Managing Stress with Exercise

Posted on September 6, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Managing Stress with Exercise

Stress can make you feel drained, anxious, even depressed. And while there are several ways to manage runaway stress, none is as enjoyable and effective as a regular exercise routine.

"Numerous studies have shown exercise provides excellent stress-relieving benefits," says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). "And let's face it, we all could do with less stress in our lives."


How it works

Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, opium-like substances that ease pain and produce a sense of comfort and euphoria. It also encourages the nerve cells in the brain to secrete other neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which improve mood.

Deficiencies of these substances, particularly serotonin, have been linked to symptoms of depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, aggression and increased appetite. According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, when depressed people exercise, they increase their levels of these natural antidepressants.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), exercise also improves people's ability to relax and sleep, promotes self-esteem and enhances energy, concentration and memory.

Exercise also provides an outlet for negative emotions, such as frustration, anger and irritability, thereby promoting a more positive mood and outlook.

Moderate exercise done regularly interrupts the cyclic thinking process associated with depression. A person who is worried about a particular problem may dwell at length on the problem, bringing on more worry. Depression deepens the worry, in a descending cycle. Exercise can break the cycle.

Finally, exercise helps you take time for yourself.

"Whether you exercise alone or with a friend, it's important to take time for yourself during stressful periods," says Mr. Bryant. "In this way, exercise functions as a positive distraction from the problems of the day that are causing your stress."


Stress-reduction moves

Almost any exercise can provide stress relief, but the following guidelines can help you find those likely to be more effective for you.

Choose an exercise you enjoy. The kinds of activities you choose depend on your physical ability as well as your preferences.

"It's important to choose activities that are accessible and feasible for you to do regularly," says Mr. Bryant. "You also need to determine if you want to play competitive sports, such as basketball or tennis, or if you'd rather do noncompetitive activities, such as walking, bicycling or taking an aerobics class."

You also should consider whether you want to do your exercise routine on your own or with others.

Exercise every day if you can. The U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health recommends 30 minutes of activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

"You'll benefit from exercising three to five times a week, but you'll see more consistent stress reduction if you can be physically active every day," says Mr. Bryant.

Consider mind/body activities. In yoga and tai chi, your mind relaxes progressively as your body increases its amount of muscular work. "If you're attracted to a spiritual component, these forms of exercise are effective for honing stress-management and relaxation skills," says Mr. Bryant.

Controlling stress ultimately comes down to making time to exercise. Physical activity provides an enjoyable and effective way to cope with life's troubles as it promotes lasting strength and empowerment.

Wellness Library Health Ink and Vitality Communications © 2016


Prosci ADKAR® Model for individual change to drive organizational transformation

Posted on August 19, 2018 at 7:25 AM

Prosci ADKAR® Model for individual change to drive organizational transformation

ADKAR is a research-based, individual change model that represents the five milestones an individual must achieve in order to change successfully. ADKAR creates a powerful internal language for change and gives leaders a framework for helping people embrace and adopt changes.

A = Awareness of the need for change

D = Desire to support the change

K = Knowledge of how to change

A = Ability to demonstrate new skills and behaviors

R = Reinforcement to make the change stick

The 5 R's of Mindfulness

Posted on August 4, 2018 at 2:35 PM

The 5 R's of Mindfulness: Incorporating mindfulness into everyday life

Studies show the practice of mindfulness can improve your health and grow your brain!

Karen Pace, Michigan State University Extension, June 23, 2014


Use the Five R’s of Mindfulness to remember and practice mindfulness in your everyday life.

Research shows the benefits of social and emotional learning for both youth and adults. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), efforts that promote social and emotional learning improve young people’s academic success and overall health and wellbeing, while also reducing negative behaviors such as alcohol and drug use, violence and bullying. Learning to navigate stress and distressing emotions like anger, anxiety and fear is an important part of developing emotional resiliency.

One way for children, youth and adults to develop self-awareness and the ability to cope with and navigate feelings of stress is through the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a process of active, open, nonjudgmental awareness. It is paying attention in the present moment with openness, curiosity and flexibility. Neuroscience and psychological research suggest that the intentional practice of mindfulness improves the immune system – as well as increases gray matter in the brain involved with memory processes, emotional regulation, empathy and perspective taking.

Mindfulness educator, Chris Frasz of northern Michigan, recently presented a session for health educators at a Michigan State University Extension conference. He shared what he called The Five R’s of Mindfulness as an easy way to remember and practice mindfulness in our everyday lives:

Recognize: Be aware of yourself. Recognize your thoughts and your own internal dialogue and when you’re caught up in negative, fear-based thinking. Practice noticing your mental state.

Relax: Explore ways to slow down, connect with your breath and relax your mind and body.

Review: Gently review your options and ways that you might respond to a difficult situation. Ask yourself, “What can I control? What can I change (and not change)? Do I have a choice?”

Respond: Practice responding from your deepest, wisest self while letting go of fear and worry about the past or future outcomes.

Return: Check in with yourself and bring yourself back to mindfulness and an awareness of the present moment with openness and curiosity.

Frasz also suggested that when our minds naturally go to our “to do” list and other intrusive thoughts that take us away from our mindfulness practice, that we gently tell ourselves, “Not right now” as a way to quiet our thoughts, calm our minds and bring ourselves back to the present moment.

A growing body of research shows the benefits of mindfulness to our physical, mental and emotional lives. Whether it’s the intentional practice of meditation or Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs (MBSR) or the practice of everyday mindfulness, you can explore ways to improve your health and wellbeing and bring more joy into your life through the practice of mindfulness.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit http://expert.msue.msu.edu, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).


Why Change Management Matters

Posted on July 26, 2018 at 3:25 PM

Why Change Management Matters

There are numerous reasons to employ effective change management on both large- and small-scale efforts. Here are three main reasons to employ change management:

  1. Organizational change happens one person at a time
  2. Poorly managing change is costly
  3. Effective change management increases the likelihood of success

Organizational change happens one person at a time

It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking about change exclusively from an organizational perspective. When one thinks about a merger or acquisition, they can focus on financial structuring, data and system integration and physical location changes. However, organizational change of any kind actually occurs one person at a time. Success of an organization effort only occurs when Adam and Betty and Charles and Deborah (for example) do their jobs differently. Organizations don’t change; people within organizations change. It is the cumulative impact of successful individual change that results in an organizational change being successful. If individuals don’t make changes to their day-to-day work, an organizational transformation effort will not deliver results.

The cost of poorly managing change

There are countless consequences of ignoring the people side of a change:

  • Productivity declines on a larger scale for a longer duration than necessary
  • Managers are unwilling to devote the time or resources needed to support the change
  • Key stakeholders do not show up to meetings
  • Suppliers begin to feel the impact and see the disruption caused by the change
  • Customers are negatively impacted by a change that should have been invisible to them
  • Employee morale suffers and divisions between “us” and “them” begin to emerge in the organization
  • Stress, confusion and fatigue all increase
  • Valued employees leave the organization

Projects also suffer as due to missed deadlines, overrun budgets and unexpected and unnecessary rework to get the effort back on track. In some cases, the project itself is completely abandoned after large investments of capital and time. All of these consequences have tangible and real financial impact on the health of the organization and the project. And each of these consequences can be addressed and mitigated if a project includes a structured approach to the people side of change.

Effective change management increases the likelihood of success

There is a growing body of data that shows the impact that effective change management has on the probability that a project meets its objectives. Prosci’s longitudinal benchmarking studies show a strong correlation: Data from the 2013 benchmarking study showed that 96% of participants with excellent change management met or exceeded objectives, while only 16% of those with poor change management met or exceeded objectives.

change management effectiveness on project results

In other words, projects with excellent change management were six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management. Regardless of the change at hand, focusing on the people side of change increases the likelihood of being successful. Additionally, Prosci’s research shows a direct correlation between effective change management and staying on schedule and on budget.

Finding the Motivation to Exercise

Posted on July 18, 2018 at 4:25 PM

Finding the motivation to exercise is really about how motivated you are about taking care of yourself. Ask yourself, “Do I take good care of myself?”, “Do I desire to feel good?” Yes!!! When we focus on our own self-care we make a commitment to sustaining our wellbeing. Exercise is just one way to take care of yourself.

Exercise does not have to be hard. You can start out slow and steady. When I made the decision to be good to myself, I decided to do low impact Qi Gong.

The Masters of Qi Gong encourage us to use the energy of Qi to connect with effortless flow rather than forcing the muscles or straining the mind. The word Qi Gong (Chi Kung) is made up of two Chinese words. Qi is pronounced chee and is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. The second word, Gong, pronounced gung, means accomplishment, or skill that is cultivated through steady practice. Together, Qi Gong (Chi Kung) means cultivating energy, it is a system practiced for health maintenance, healing and increasing vitality.

Doing Qi Gong in the morning helped me infuse my body with the energy that it needs for the rest of the day. Qi Gong exercise practice in the AM gives me a jolt of vitality energy, a deep inner calm to remain stress free and full of energy throughout the day. This allows me better awareness of my body and the potential to access spiritual inspiration. Qi Gong exercise practice in the PM helps me relax, clear out stress from the day, and helps me sleep easier and faster.

Check out some YouTube videos on modern Qi Gong ritual by Lee Holden:

• Qi Gong 7 Minutes of Magic (10 mins for Health): https://youtu.be/g-jSBBwr8Ko

• Morning Qi Ritual (10 mins): https://youtu.be/bRs0nFgvcOQ

• Evening Qi Ritual (20 mins): https://youtu.be/559Iw6Tvt8U



ADKAR: an Easy-to-Use Model for Individual Change

Posted on July 12, 2018 at 6:35 PM

ADKAR: an Easy-to-Use Model for Individual Change

The first step in managing any type of organizational change is understanding how to manage change with a single individual. Prosci's model of individual change is called the Prosci ADKAR Model, an acronym for awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement®. In essence, an individual needs:

Awareness of the need for change

Desire to participate in and support the change

Knowledge on how to change

Ability to implement required skills and behaviors

Reinforcement to sustain the change

ADKAR describes successful change at the individual level. When an organization undertakes an initiative, that change only happens when the employees who have to do their jobs differently can say with confidence, "I have the awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement to make this change happen."

Because it outlines the goals or outcomes of successful change, ADKAR is an effective tool for:

Planning change management activities

Diagnosing gaps

Developing corrective actions

Supporting managers and supervisors

Making and Keeping Friends: Resolving Problems in Relationships

Posted on July 10, 2018 at 2:05 PM

Making and Keeping Friends: Resolving Problems in Relationships

Because each situation is different, you will have to use your resourcefulness, along with good communication skills and other strategies, to decide what to do and what action to take each time a difficult situation comes up or you become aware of a difference that is keeping your friendship from being a good one. Some things you can do include:

• talk with the other person using "I" statements that describe how you feel in a situation rather than making an assumption about how the other person feels

• work with your friend to develop a plan to resolve the situation, including the steps each of you will take and when you will take them (check in with each other often about your progress)

• do a reality check with yourself, asking yourself what is really happening, and deciding on solutions that will work for you

• be clear with yourself and with your friends about your boundaries, saying "no" when necessary

Activity: List any other ideas you might have to solve problems in relationships

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services © 2016


The ADKAR Model in a Personal Change

Posted on June 11, 2018 at 7:30 PM

The ADKAR Model in a Personal Change

To help build a clearer understanding of the model and how to apply it, think about a change you want to make in your personal life. A good example is adding a regular exercise regimen; a change many people attempt but struggle to sustain over time. Now let’s apply the ADKAR model:

Awareness: are you aware of the need to exercise? Articles or TV reports that describe the health benefits of regular exercise may build awareness.

Desire: do you have the personal motivation to start exercising? Awareness will not be enough to make the change. You will need to make a personal decision to engage in this change based on your own unique motivations.

Knowledge: do you know how to effectively and safely exercise? To gain knowledge, you might hire a personal trainer, attend an exercise class or order a workout video. In order to effectively change, you need to know how.

Ability: can you put your knowledge into practice? Knowing how to do something and being able to it are very different. You may need to rearrange other commitments to make time for new behaviors, and you might consider working one-on-one with a coach or personal trainer to develop your new skills.

Reinforcement: do you have reinforcements in place to prevent you from reverting to your old habits? Perhaps you have a reward system for yourself when you hit certain exercise milestones. Or you might have a workout buddy who holds you accountable for showing up to the gym.

Using exercise as our example, it is easy to see how change occurs on a personal level. Now let’s consider how this framework applies to employees during a change process.

Living a Life in Balance

Posted on June 6, 2018 at 8:20 PM

Living a Life in Balance

Do you feel like your life is too complicated? Are you often torn between your work and home responsibilities?

"If so, you're not alone, and you don't have to despair," says Odette Pollar, president of Smart Ways to Work, a personal productivity firm in Oakland, Calif., and author of Take Back Your Life. "You can gain peace and relief by making a conscious effort to reduce the complexities in your life and achieve balance."

Given all you have to do, it's easy to lose sight of what's probably your ultimate goal: to enjoy your life as you follow through on your personal and professional responsibilities in satisfying ways.

Here are Ms. Pollar's suggestions for successfully balancing your time and life.


Learn to streamline

Speeding up and trying to force more and more into the same blocks of time isn't the best way to have more time in your life. According to Ms. Pollar, the best way to "get it all done" is to have fewer things to do by consciously streamlining your ongoing responsibilities.

Being selective about your choices and how you spend your time is important. And it's vital to keep your perspective and establish realistic expectations for yourself.

"Regaining balance starts with the awareness that something is out of kilter, that you have too much going on," she says. "From there you can identify what you want less of in your life."


Ask yourself questions

You can achieve balance by setting your priorities and creating a life around them. This is a long-term process and requires thought and insight.

As a way to get started, take some time to list three to five answers to these questions:

• What physical needs are important to you and why?

• What emotional needs are important to you and why?

• What mental needs must be filled to make you content?

• What causes the sense of frustration or depression you may feel?

• What does success -- both personal and professional -- mean to you?

Your answers will provide information you can use to make changes in your life.


Determine what you want

Before making any big changes, consider the results you want to achieve. This will give you a starting point from which to choose a direction and set goals.

For example, you might want to:

• Enjoy work and have enough energy left at the end of the day to enjoy your home life.

• Cultivate a better relationship with your children, partner, friends and extended family.

• Do more things you'd like to do and feel more content.


By reacquainting yourself with your needs, desires and feelings, you can make a plan with a systematic approach for achieving your goals.


Respect the process

Achieving balance is an ongoing process that requires your regular attention. As you move forward, talk with others about how they have achieved balance in their lives and share your successes.

As you continue on your road to a more satisfying life, remember the following.

• Keep your job and your life in perspective. Success at the expense of relaxation and enjoyment is not success.

• Take yourself less seriously. Learn to see and appreciate the lighter side of life.

• Learn to say "no." Be firm without apology or guilt.


"It's easier to balance a simpler life," says Ms. Pollar. "For a life worth living, eliminate the unimportant, whether it be relationships, tasks, responsibilities, possessions or beliefs."

Krames Staywell


The Costs and Risks of Resistance to Change

Posted on May 13, 2018 at 7:50 AM

The Costs and Risks of Resistance to Change


If we take the position that resistance to change is unavoidable and complex and choose not to address it directly, we will pay a price in terms of change outcomes and ultimately benefits realization. Resistance has been identified as a top obstacle to successful change in all of Prosci’s best practices benchmarking studies. Study participants identified the following costs of resistance:

Project delays

Outcomes or objectives not achieved

Project abandoned

Productivity declines


Loss of valued employees

Extra costs and risk


History of failed change


Resistance has costs – it is not free. And, in order to avoid these costs and the potential risks to a project or change initiative, we must develop a planned and intentional approach to manage resistance to change.


The 3-Phase Process: a Structure for Organizational Change

Posted on May 6, 2018 at 6:35 PM

The 3-Phase Process: a Structure for Organizational Change

Phase 1 change management process methodology

This process is built in three phases that a project or change manager can work through for the changes and initiatives they are supporting. The methodology includes research-based assessments and templates to support each phase, as well as guidance for completing each step most effectively.

1. Preparing for change

The first phase in Prosci's methodology helps change and project teams prepare for designing their change management plans. It answers these questions:

"How much change management does this project need?"

“Who is impacted by this initiative and in what ways?”

“Who are the sponsors we need to be involved to make this initiative successful?”

The first phase provides the situational awareness that is critical for creating effective change management plans. The outputs of this phase are:

1. Change characteristics profile

This provides insight into the change at hand, its size, scope and impact.

2. Oganizational attributes profile

This gives a view of the organization and groups that are being impacted and any specific attributes that may contribute to challenges when changing.

3. Change management team structure

This structure defines how many change management resources are needed for the effort and where they are positioned in relationship to the project team and project sponsor

4. Sponsor assessment, structure and roles

This provides an understanding of the leaders across the organization who will need to act as sponsors of the change. Here we also identify possible challenges with certain leaders and start to formulate plans to get those leaders on board and actively sponsoring the change.

5. Impact assessment

This assessment identifies the groups of individuals being impacted by the change, in what ways they are being impacted, and unique challenges you may face with this group in the project.

6. Change management strategy

Based on the assessments in this phase, a strategy that scales the change management effort to align with the type and size of the change is articulated.

2. Managing change

Phase 2 in the 3-phase change process

The second phase focuses on creating plans that will integrate with the project plan. These change management plans articulate the steps that you can take to support the individual people being impacted by the project. This is what people typically think of when they talk about change management. Based on Prosci's research, there are five plans that support help individuals moving through the ADKAR Model:

1. Communication plan

Communications are a critical part of the change process. This plan articulates key messages that need to go to various impacted audience. It also accounts for who will send the messages and when, ensuring employees are hearing messages about the change from the people who have credibility with them and at the right time.

2. Sponsor roadmap

The sponsor roadmap outlines the actions needed from the project’s primary sponsor and the coalition of sponsors across the business. In order to help executives be active and visible sponsors of the change, we provide details on when and where we need leaders to be present, what communications they should send, and which peers across the coalition they need to align with to support the change.

3. Training plan

Training is a required part of most changes, and is critical to help people build the knowledge and ability they need to work in a new way. The training plan identifies who will need what training and when. It is important that the training plan be sequenced in a way that allows for awareness and desire building before they are sent to training.

4. Coaching plan

The coaching plan outlines how you will engage with and equip managers and people leaders to lead the change with their own teams. Managers can play a significant role in aiding the change management efforts, but they need to be engaged as employees themselves first and allowed to work through their own change process. Then you can give them the information and tools to lead the same change process with their own teams.

5. Resistance management plan

The resistance management plan provides a strategy for both proactively and reactively addressing resistance. At the outset of a project, anticipated areas of resistance can be identified and proactively planned for: specific activities targeted at potentially resistant groups. This can head off resistance before it becomes a problem. The resistance management plan should also include the process and plan for identifying, understanding, and addressing resistance that comes up throughout the life of the project.

3. Reinforcing change

phase 3 in the 3-phase change processEqually critical but most often overlooked, the third phase helps you create specific action plans for ensuring that the change is sustained. In this phase, project and change teams develop measures and mechanisms to measure how well the change is taking hold, to the see if employees are actually doing their jobs the new way, to identify and correct gaps and to celebrate success. This includes:

1. Measuring changes in behavior

As the change is being implemented and the solution of the project is going live, it is important to establish measures to see if people are actually doing their jobs in a new way. These measures will be unique to each project and based on what new behaviors are required of employees in the changed state.

2. Corrective action plans

If gaps are identified and people are not fully adopting and using the new way of working, the change and project team must take action to correct those gaps. It is important to remember ADKAR in this phase and identify accurately why people may not be embracing the change and address the root cause of the gap.

3. Reinforcement mechanisms

Because people are physiologically wired for habit, it is common that even though people may change successfully, they will revert to their old habits unless there are specific measures in place to prevent them from doing so. Reinforcement mechanisms can include continued compliance measuring, ongoing training and coaching.

4. Individual and group recognition approaches

It is vitally important to recognize the hard work people have put in to embracing change. Every person and organization is different, so it is important to look for means of recognition that will resonate with the individuals.

5. Success celebrations

In addition to recognizing the achievements of individuals and groups who have changed successfully, it is important to publically highlight the success of the initiative and provide opportunity to celebrate the hard work that went into getting to a new future state.

6. After-action review

As is common in project management, an after-action review of the change management efforts helps to identify strengths of the change effort to be replicated in future projects, as well as areas where different action should be taken next time to drive a more successful outcome.

How to Encourage Family Exercise

Posted on May 6, 2018 at 1:50 PM

How to Encourage Family Exercise


It sounds almost like a comedian's gag: How do you get a couch potato off the couch?


But there's nothing funny about the punch line, especially when that snack-munching bag of laundry propped up in front of the television is just a teenager or younger.


Or when the National Center for Health Statistics says that nearly 15 million youngsters in this country between the ages of 6 and 18 are overweight. Or that the number of overweight children has nearly tripled since 1980.


Health officials agree: The overweight children of today are the most likely to become tomorrow's fat adults and place themselves at risk for a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart attacks and diabetes.


It still brings us back to the main question: How do you get a young couch potato off the couch? The answer has a lot to do with the old adage that you will have more success moving a piece of string if you pull it rather than push it.


Experts at the American Heart Association say it takes commitment: Parents need to make time in their busy schedules for long walks, bicycle riding and physical activity that the whole family can enjoy. One of the best things parents can do is teach children life-long exercise habits.


It might surprise you, but the kids themselves seem to agree. A recent survey conducted by the Gallup organization found three out of five kids who exercise regularly said they did so because their parents and family encouraged them to do so.


If you tell your kids to exercise, they won't do it, experts say. Depending on the child's age, you need to say "Let's go play" instead.


How to begin? Try an after-dinner walk, a morning jog, raking leaves or playing soccer or touch football as a family. You can even join a gym and work out together.

Wellness Library Health Ink and Vitality Communications © 2016


The ADKAR Model in an Organization

Posted on April 27, 2018 at 7:30 PM

The ADKAR Model in an Organization

The ADKAR model helps us understand an individual’s needs during a change at work and directs what kind of support we can provide to help them successfully transition. Let’s apply ADKAR to the implementation of a new software tool:

1. Awareness

Is your employee aware of the need for change? If the change is implemented and the employee is not aware that any changes are needed, their reaction might be: “This is a waste of time, it was fine before.” Awareness of the business or organizational need for the change is critical. Awareness may include explaining to the employee that the old software will no longer be supported by the vendor, and that new software is necessary to meet customer needs and improve efficiency. Organizational awareness messages are most effective when delivered from the most senior leaders in the organization. Based on this awareness, the reaction will likely be very different: “How soon will this happen and how will this impact me?”

2. Desire

Does your employee have the desire to participate in the change? If an employee has no desire to change, you may hear: “I’m not interested in changing. What’s in it for me?” In this case, the resistant employee’s direct manager or supervisor is in the best position to help. They are closest to employees and understand their day-to-day work best. Through one-on-one conversations, managers can uncover their employee’s personal reasons for resisting and can remove any barriers to the employee buying in to the change. The manager can also help to create desire by translating the change into meaningful terms and helping to answer “What’s in it for me?” While the manager plays a key role here, ultimately the employee must make a personal decision to participate in this change based on their own unique motivations.

3. Knowledge

Does your employee have the knowledge to make the change? In order to effectively change, you need to know how. Knowledge-building should only be provided after the milestones of awareness and desire have been achieved. If training is provided before this, employees will not connect the training to the change and will not engage in knowledge-building. To make the most of a training investment, also ensure that training is specific to the employee’s role in the change.

4. Ability

Can your employee put their knowledge into practice? Knowing how to perform in the future changed state and having the ability to actually perform in the future changed state are very different. If an employee has knowledge but not ability, you might hear: "I’m not getting these new steps right" or "I get there, but it takes me twice as long." To bridge the knowledge to ability gap, employees benefit from hands-on coaching and practice in an environment where they can make mistakes and ask questions. To realize a change, employees also need time. When ability is achieved, the change takes place, and you will see the new demonstrated behaviors.

5. Reinforcement

Do you have reinforcements in place to prevent your employee from reverting to old habits? When reinforcement is not in place, employees may use work-arounds or rely on their old spreadsheets instead of the new system. You may hear things like: "The new way takes too long; I’m going to keep doing it my way" or "I keep forgetting to include the new department." The human brain is wired for habit, and physiologically we are programed to revert to old habits. We must have reinforcements in place to sustain the change. Monitor whether the change is being sustained or not, and where the change has taken hold, celebrate and recognize it. Positive recognition is a great way to reward employees for making the change and to demonstrate that participation is important. If some employees are reverting to old processes or habits, check to see if they need more training or coaching and reinforce that they are expected to continue working in the new way.

Basic Meditation: Meditation on the Breath

Posted on April 26, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Meditation on the Breath

Sit in a chair with the spine straight and supported and the feet flat on the floor. Or, you may lie down flat on your back.


Do a simple check-in of your emotional state, your thoughts, and what you are feeling in your body.

Just notice what is happening, without judgment or expectation.



Let your body begin to relax, consciously releasing tension.


Begin to follow the breath.


The stance for meditation and relaxation is always compassionate and curious, never judgmental or rigid.


Notice the sensations as you take a breath in through your nose, inhale it through your throat, and into the lungs.


Notice the sensations as the lungs expand to full capacity.


Hold the breath for a moment, and notice how that feels.


Then exhale slowly and completely, though the lips, and notice the release of tension in the lungs and rib cage.


Pause briefly again before taking the next breath.


Now, just allow your breathing be natural.


Focus your attention on the subtle sensations of breathing.



If you like, you may imagine that you are sending warm, healing energy to every cell in your body with every in-breath, and washing away tension, pain and left over emotions with each out-breath. Just allow yourself to relax into each breath.


Your mind will probably wander after a few breaths. As thoughts intrude on your breath mindfulness, just notice them, label them as thoughts, and allow them to pass by unexplored, as if you were idly watching clouds float through a summer sky.


Each time your attention wanders, just notice that and return your focus gently to your breath.


Three Levels of Change Management

Posted on April 17, 2018 at 3:05 PM

Three Levels of Change Management

Individual Change Management

While it is the natural psychological and physiological reaction of humans to resist change, we are actually quite resilient creatures. When supported through times of change, we can be wonderfully adaptive and successful.

Individual change management requires understanding how people experience change and what they need to change successfully. It also requires knowing what will help people make a successful transition: what messages do people need to hear when and from whom, when the optimal time to teach someone a new skill is, how to coach people to demonstrate new behaviors, and what makes changes “stick” in someone’s work. Individual change management draws on disciplines like psychology and neuroscience to apply actionable frameworks to individual change.

After years of studying how individuals experience and are influenced in times of change, Prosci developed the ADKAR® Model for individual change. Today, it is one of the most widely used change models in the world.

Organizational/Initiative Change Management

While change happens at the individual level, it is often impossible for a project team to manage change on a person-by-person basis. Organizational or initiative change management provides us with the steps and actions to take at the project level to support the hundreds or thousands of individuals who are impacted by a project.

Organizational change management involves first identifying the groups and people who will need to change as the result of the project, and in what ways they will need to change. Organizational change management then involves creating a customized plan for ensuring impacted employees receive the awareness, leadership, coaching, and training they need in order to change successfully. Driving successful individual transitions should be the central focus of the activities in organizational change management.

Organizational change management is complementary to your project management. Project management ensures your project’s solution is designed, developed and delivered, while change management ensures your project’s solution is effectively embraced, adopted and used.

Learn more about the Prosci 3-Phase Process, which provides a research-based approach and full set of tools for applying change management at the initiative level.

Enterprise Change Management Capability

Enterprise change management is an organizational core competency that provides competitive differentiation and the ability to effectively adapt to the ever-changing world. An enterprise change management capability means effective change management is embedded into your organization’s roles, structures, processes, projects and leadership competencies. Change management processes are consistently and effectively applied to initiatives, leaders have the skills to guide their teams through change, and employees know what to ask for in order to be successful.

The end result of an enterprise change management capability is that individuals embrace change more quickly and effectively, and organizations are able to respond quickly to market changes, embrace strategic initiatives, and adopt new technology more quickly and with less productivity impact. This capability does not happen by chance, however, and requires a strategic approach to embed change management across an organization.

Why Resistance Occurs

Posted on April 11, 2018 at 10:45 AM

Why Resistance Occurs

Resistance to change is normal and expected, but what if we could eliminate at least half of the resistance encountered on a change initiative?

The question is not if we will encounter resistance to change, but rather how we support our employees through the change process and manage resistance to minimize the impact on employees and the organization.

Change creates anxiety and fear. The current state has tremendous holding power, and the uncertainty of success and fear of the unknown can block change and create resistance. These physical and emotional reactions are powerful enough by themselves to create resistance to change. But there is more to resistance than our emotional response. From a change management perspective, we must examine the other drivers that influence an employee’s resistance to change. Other influencers include:

The impact on their work

The trustworthiness of people communicating the change

Personal factors, including finances, age, health, mobility and family status

The change’s alignment with their value system

The organization’s history of handling change

Even when employees can align the change with their self-interest and belief system, the uncertainty of success and fear of the unknown remain significant barriers to change.

What Does Resistance to Change Look Like?

The definition of resistance is “the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument.” Prosci uses the word resistance to describe the physiological and psychological responses to change that manifest in specific behaviors. In a recent webinar on managing resistance, over 350 responses were provided to the question “What does resistance to change look like in your organization?” The responses were analyzed to produce the following categories of resistance:

1.Emotion – fear, loss, sadness, anger, anxiety, frustration, depression, focus on self

2.Disengagement – silence, avoidance, ignoring communications, indifference, apathy, low morale

3.Work impact – reduced productivity/efficiency, non-compliance, absenteeism, mistakes

4.Acting out – conflict, arguments, sabotage; overbearing, aggressive or passive/aggressive behavior

5.Negativity – rumors/gossip, miscommunication, complaining, focus on problems, celebrating failure

6.Avoidance – ignoring the change, reverting to old behaviors, workarounds, abdicating responsibilities

7.Building barriers – excuses, counter-approaches, recruiting dissenters, secrecy, breakdown in trust

8.Controlling – asking lots of questions, influencing outcomes, defending current state, using status

Just as change is individual – person-by-person – so is resistance to change. The root cause for one person’s resistance may not be the same as another person’s, considering factors such as personal history, current events in their life, and other current changes at work.

How to Achieve Your Exercise Goals

Posted on March 20, 2018 at 1:30 PM

How to Achieve Your Exercise Goals


This may be the first year you've resolved to exercise regularly. Or perhaps you've failed at this resolution before and are trying again. Either way, you're more likely to succeed if you understand why many people fail to meet their exercise goals.


"People have expectations of achieving immediate physical changes from exercising, and when they don't see these changes occurring right away, they become frustrated," says Jeff Zwiefel, an exercise physiologist and president of Life Time Fitness. "Those changes will come, but patience and persistence are required. People need to consider how long it has taken to get in the kind of condition they are in and adjust their expectations accordingly."


Mr. Zwiefel also says many people fail to maintain exercise resolutions because they tackle too many lifestyle changes at once. He recommends attempting one change at a time. For example, first establish an exercise program, then try to give up smoking or improve your diet. It's a good idea to start with exercise because research has shown that getting fit generally prompts us to adopt other healthful habits.



The overall picture


The first few weeks of an exercise program are the most difficult, because you'll likely feel more tired as your body adjusts its metabolic rate. Within three weeks, however, you should start noticing improvements. Your resting heart rate should decrease and metabolic rate should increase, resulting in reduced blood pressure and more efficient use of fat calories. You should have more energy at day's end and sleep better at night. Your anxiety and stress levels should drop as well.



Tips for staying motivated


The longer you stick with an exercise program, the more likely it will become a permanent part of your lifestyle. Unfortunately, 50 percent of all people who start a program drop out within six months. Here are some ways you can stay motivated:

• Set goals. Make them realistic and attainable. Create a plan to achieve them. For example, promise yourself that you will walk at least twenty minutes three to five times a week and when you can do this comfortably and consistently for three weeks, you will increase the time to thirty minutes.

• Exercise for yourself, not someone else. For you to be successful, your motivation must come from within.

• Don't do too much, too soon. Start with a simple, low-intensity, balanced program that you perform three days a week. Combine stretching and flexibility exercises with aerobic activity. As you build endurance and stamina, start increasing your program's duration and frequency. Experts recommend getting 30 minutes of moderate exercise at least three to four times a week.

• Make exercise convenient. Studies have shown that people who must drive eight miles or more to an exercise facility are less likely to stick with a program. So, exercise close to work or home.

• Work out with family or friends. Working out with someone you like will make you less prone to skip your workouts.

• Choose enjoyable, varied activities that you can alternate throughout the week.

• Incorporate exercise into your daily routine. Find ways to increase your activity level during the day; e.g., walk up stairs instead of using an elevator.

• Challenge yourself. Compete with yourself to attain your own personal best.

• Think long-term. Periodically assess your program's benefits. Once you reach your goals, create additional ones.

• Reward yourself. Give yourself a non-food treat -- such as a day of pampering or tickets to a professional ball game for achieving a goal.


Most of all, remember to be patient and stick with your regimen long enough to see and feel the results. You will be rewarded.

Wellness Library Health Ink and Vitality Communications © 2016


Connecting Individual and Organizational Change Management

Posted on March 4, 2018 at 5:10 PM

Connecting Individual and Organizational Change Management

The link between individual change management and organizational change management is key and is what sets Prosci's approach apart from other change management methodologies. There are numerous models available that address individual change. There are also numerous models available that give guidance and structure to the project-level activities for the people side of change. The Prosci methodology uniquely integrates individual change management and organizational change management to ensure the achievement of business results.

The image below shows how the change management plans developed in the organizational change management process contribute to the progression of individual change described by the ADKAR model. This is the essence of effective change management and the Prosci methodology: leverage change management activities to drive individual transitions.

What Is Change Management?

Posted on February 25, 2018 at 1:55 PM

What Is Change Management?

Change management is the discipline that guides how we prepare, equip and support individuals to successfully adopt change in order to drive organizational success and outcomes.

While all changes are unique and all individuals are unique, decades of research shows there are actions we can take to influence people in their individual transitions. Change management provides a structured approach for supporting the individuals in your organization to move from their own current states to their own future states.