Looking Forward...

Looking Forward...
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Devise a plan for your organization to get people to see disconfirming data and their implications.

In a world that continues to change rapidly, most people are still living in their comfort zone and complacent with their common routines.  In most of our organization, we develop ways of doing things that work well enough so those routine become institutionalized.  It ends up with the situation that constrains us and inhibit out thinking about trying new things.  But there are times when we get some disconfirming data, and we have to face a choice about what to do.  According to Clawson (2010, p. 340), “disconfirming data are a challenge to our self-concept, because they say that what we just did doesn’t work anymore.”  The data is a signal to us, invite us to do something about it, and that we should try something new.  

In order to get people to see disconfirming data and their implications, I would prefer to look at the suggestion given by Clawson (2010):

·        Encourage people to change their behavior by searching for alternative ways of behaving through trying out things they haven’t done before.
·        Pushing them out of their comfort zone by trying something new that can be threatening, scary, and undertaken with trepidation.
·        Advising people not to be defensive and trying to get outside help in: 1) reviewing the data differently, with more seriousness and a greater sense of validity, 2) identifying alternative course of action, and developing a new view of what’s possible, 3) interpreting the data from the new experiments until we get our own bearings and are able to see things more objectively.
·        Building a change team by recruiting good people and having great strategic planning.
·        Underlying persistent organizational culture through management by objectives, nominal groups, self-managed teams, total quality management, look for best practices, and benchmarking,
·        Design the change attempt by setting the clear goals and objective, substantial training, give guidance and coaching during the experiment.
·        Giving positive reinforcement by rewarding people for their efforts, especially when the behavior moves in the desired direction.

According to Clawson (2010), leadership is about managing energy in ourselves and those around us and the same for managing change, and making real change will triggers a common and emotional response pattern of denial, anger, bargaining, despair, experimentation, hope, and integration.  If leaders able to do change effectively, the implication would be: 1) old assumptions will fade away, 2) integration of new ways in doing things, 3) new hope blossoms, and 4) people feel more comfortable. If leaders want to change the world around them, they should understand this process, develop the skill at managing people, and manage their mutual changes effectively.  In conclusion, leaders have to change themselves first if they want the world around them to change.


Clawson, J. C. (2006). Level three leadership: Getting below the surface (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.