Change Management Risks Greatly Increase Without Strong Change Management Leadership

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Business Podcast » Leadership » Change Management Risks Greatly Increase Without Strong Change Management Leadership

Change Management Risks Greatly Increase Without Strong Change Management Leadership Featuring Tim Sparks

Change management risks, change management is fruitless unless you have the change leadership to lead the team through all the emotional up and down associated with change. Even though change is necessary we still have to manage our way through the minefields of change when dealing with employees, vendors, and clients.

About Tim

Tim Sparks is a Senior Certified Human Resources professional with over 20 years in HR. During his time in the HR profession, Tim has had the opportunity to work with some amazing people developing corporate programs like Change Management training and a very robust Mentoring program that kicked off his speaking career.

Tim and his team developed a highly successful High-Potential Mentoring program for a Fortune 500 company that captured the attention of other companies and industries. Time was asked to come share the program highlights at state and local SHRM chapters and conferences throughout Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia.

Although Tim loved his work as an HR Business Partner, he had found his true passion in speaking and consulting—helping others reach their greatest potential. Before his career in HR, Tim was a teacher and principal for 15 years.

When asked how he found his way from education to HR, he always remarks that the goal has always been the same—to help others achieve success in whatever goals they pursue. Tim would love to share that passion with your team. Whether you’re looking for a dynamic speaker to inspire, teach, and equip, or an individualized consulting session, Tim has what you need to succeed.

About the Book

Journey To Becoming A Great Change Leader: Navigating The Road To Extraordinary Leadership

In this book you will learn strategies that will make the difference between change success and change failure for you and your organization. Studies done on the effective[1]ness of organizational change reveals that 70% of all change initiatives fail to accomplish their intended result.

You will also learn what it takes to become a Great Change Leader and be a difference maker for your company. You do not have to be a high-level manager or leader in your organization to be a difference maker. Lead from where you are, and the higher-ups will notice. At the end of each section of this book, you will see a QR code that will take you to a video of Tim discussing the previous section and what you can expect in the next.

Even more, inside this book, there are exercises for you to complete to immediately implement what you earn. Now let’s go change the world one team, one department, and one company at a time!

Book Excerpt

Seventy percent of all organizational change initiatives fail, and this failure rate has been consistent over the past 25 years! This is unacceptable. The Will Rogers quote above is from nearly 100 years ago but it still paints a picture. Many companies refuse to change and adapt for various reasons, but as Will Rogers stated, if we insist on sitting in the middle of the road, we are going to get run over—or worse, we become irrelevant.

It is not enough to be on the right road. We must be moving forward quickly if we wish to remain competitive in our respective markets. Otherwise, the only view we will see on the road is the sight of other companies passing us in the fast lane. I think you will agree that organizations must have the ability to quickly adapt and change to their business environment to stay relevant, yes?

And if you have ever found yourself in a change initiative that failed, it is a very frustrating experience, correct? This frustration is experienced at all levels of the organization, but especially if you were the leader of that initiative, as you are acutely aware of the wasted resources of time, money, and the emotional investment of your employees.

Regardless of your position in the company, failure during times of change does take its toll, and trust me, you are not alone. We have all felt this pain and frustration at one time or another. I have been part of failed change initiatives where I was fully invested, but the leadership failed to provide a clear vision of what the change would accomplish.

My role in the change process was not clearly communicated and no one had any idea what the end state should look like. If you have been, or are now in this situation, I feel your pain. You can feel lost, unsupported, and unsatisfied in your job. The good news is that it does not need to be this way.

In the chapters to follow, you will learn what it takes to be a Great Change Leader and you will develop the skills necessary to lead people successfully through times of change. You will learn some of the reasons why companies fail when it comes to change, so you can avoid making those same mistakes. You will learn about how to build the proper culture in your organization, so you can facilitate change more efficiently.

We will discuss many tools you can use before, during, and after change that will aid in planning your initiative, as well as helping to make it stick once the initiative is complete. And most importantly, you will learn what it takes to be a Great Change Leader. The traits that set leaders apart from mediocre leaders and managers will help you get to the 30% who are successful in leading through change.

I understand that it can be hard to open your mind to new concepts and ways of thinking. After all, we are creatures of habit, and bad habits are hard to break. If you are a smoker and you have tried to quit in the past, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The same struggle exists when it comes to leadership. It is hard to change your perspective when you have been looking at things the same way for years. But the principles and concepts you learn in this book can take you from the 70% failure group to the 30% success group.

My goal in life has always been to help others achieve their greatest potential, and it is no different with this book. If I can help just one reader succeed, I will be very gratified. My desire for you is for you to take your team, your company, and your career to the next level. So, are you ready? Are you ready to view leadership differently? To see things from a new perspective? Are you ready to grow as a leader? Are you ready to take the next step in your career? If so, keep reading. I know the lessons in this book will make you a better leader and, more importantly, a Great Change Leader.


Blue Ridge HR Website

Tim’s Email

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Business Podcast » Leadership » Change Management Risks Greatly Increase Without Strong Change Management Leadership

Full Transcript Below

Change Management Risks Greatly Increase Without Strong Change Management Leadership with Tim Sparks

Fri, 7/9 6:05PM • 41:52


people, organization, change, leaders, leader, big, trust, talk, planning, company, employees, develop, Tim, customers, HR, listen, learning, leadership, rolling, book


Tim, Roy Barker


Roy Barker  00:08

Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. I’m your host, Roy. Of course, we are the podcast that brings you a wide variety of guests that talk about a set of diverse topics. Today, today is no different. I’ve been waiting for last couple of weeks to talk to Tim. It’s gonna be a great conversation that we were having a little pre show talk about that, you know, it will be spirited, definitely have a lot of opinions.

But Tim Sparks is a Senior, Certified Human Resource Professional with over 20 years in HR. During his time in the HR profession, Tim has had the opportunity to work with some amazing people. Developing corporate programs like Change Management Training. And a very robust mentor program that kicks off his speaking career that kicked off his speaking career. And that is what has also led him to write the book. “Your Journey To Becoming A Great Change Leader, Navigating The Road To Extraordinary Leadership.” Tim, thanks for taking time out of your day to be with us. certainly appreciate it.

Tim  01:14

Glad to be here, right. Thanks for having me

Roy Barker  01:16

on, I’m going to be taking notes. So please don’t think I’m texting my order in over to the Mexican restaurant for later on. But like I said, this is gonna be a good conversation. Before we jump in, we got a lot to cover. But before we jump in, kind of tell us a little bit about your HR journey. And I’m assuming, you know, something jumped out about being a change leader that you know, really spoke to you. And made you want to write this book. So tell us a little bit about that.

Tim’s Story

Tim  01:44

Yeah, so I’ve been, like I said in HR for about 20 years now. Before that I was a teacher and principal for 15 years. And so the transition from education to HR, you know. People ask me all the time, how I, you know, got into HR from education. And I tell people, you know, my goal in life has really always been the same. It’s always been to help others achieve their greatest potential. So, you know, as a, as a teacher and principal. Of course, my students were primary, you know. And I wanted to help them to really maximize their potential. And as an HR professional, it’s the same goal. So that’s really, why I got into HR after education.

Roy Barker  02:28

Yeah, he probably don’t, he probably didn’t have to carry a gun in HR. Or big stick like in trying to teach him. You know, I have to come in handy a couple of times. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah, I do have a lot of respect for, you know. Our teachers and principals, and I won’t get way off on that. But it’s a tough job. And people I don’t think, you know, the normal people. Don’t understand the time, you know. People think they work from nine to three and take all summer off. But, you know, I had an ex that was a teacher and a principal as well.

And I guarantee you, she worked a lot more hours than I did. And, you know. She absolutely, she came home much more frazzled than I would. So, you know. God bless you for doing that. But also, you know, change management, it’s, I mean, it’s a thing nowadays. Because there’s so much act. There’s so many acquisitions. People getting, you know, taken over. Bought up. It’s just, it seems kind of rampant. So I think it’s really good timing. And then also there’s a lot of changes coming up with this workforce with people. You know, are we going back to the office? Are we going remote? You know, there’s talk about revolt. If you even talk about me coming back to the, it’s right.

But then every profession. I mean, you can’t watch the news now that there’s not a profession as not having some type of a staffing crisis. And then, you know, that all goes downstream to affect others. Which, you know, basically gets to the consumer. So I think, this seems, appears to be a time of great change for many, many different reasons. Absolutely.

Change Leadership

Tim  04:14

And let me make a distinction before we kind of continue there. You know, you mentioned change management. And my book is about change leadership, and they go hand in hand. But change management is really the process side of change. It’s the thing you know. It’s managing the thing that’s actually changing, or has changed. Leadership is actually leading people through those real you know. Rocky, emotional times of change. Read

Roy Barker  04:42

My apologies, yes, I did misspeak on that. It should be changed leadership. But you know, but we’re definitely going to need some leadership to you know. Help guide us through these times. And keep these companies I guess, right, you know. We always think about change. For the way of, well, we’re doing things different, we’re doing things better, but it may kind of be a little bit on the receiving end. I mean, instead of us directing the changes, like this change is coming at us. That our leaders are going to have to deal with to get us through that.

Tim  05:17

Yeah, sometimes we, we see a need for a change. And we work toward that. And then like you said. Sometimes change is kind of thrust upon us either by, you know. The environment that we were in or, you know, legislation that comes down, you know. From Congress or something like that. So, there’s, there’s lots of different reasons why change becomes necessary. But it’s how we handle that. And how we lead others through that time of change that really can dictate whether we fail or succeed in that change initiative

Roy Barker  05:49

rent. Speaking of which is, you know. What are some reasons, I guess. What are some qualities of a good change leader that you see? Maybe, conversely, the negative ones, but then also, you know, it’s like, Why? Why do companies fail at this. It’s not, we didn’t just wake up yesterday and say, you know, change is the thing. I mean, change, things have always been changing from, again, the invention of things. It’s always been moving. But it seems that we have more difficulty, you know, being successful at it today.


Tim  06:23

And I think a lot of times, organizations fail at change, for multiple reasons. And I listed a few of those in my book. One of the big things. I think, one of the big reasons why I think companies fail is because of fear. You know, companies who have achieved some degree of success, are fearful of change. Because they’re afraid that if they stray from that recipe that got them success in the first place, that they would lose what they gained. A great example of that is Kodak. Kodak was a huge company. They were the king of, you know, print film, back for forever. Until digital photography really kind of took over the industry.

Most people don’t know this, but it was actually Kodak that developed the first digital camera. And so, ironically, you know. They had this technology that they had developed. And they feared that if they now introduce that technology to the public, that it would diminish where they were King. And that was in the print film industry. So they decided to put that digital technology on the shelf and, and try to sit on it. Of course, you can’t hide technology like that forever. And, and so, it actually, you know. And actually, believe it or not. Kodak developed the first digital camera back in 1975. Which was about 20 to 25 years before digital photography really became popular.

Roy Barker  08:06

Yeah, that’s, that’s an incredible story. And I’ve heard that before. But it’s, you know, it just goes to the point of how things can just slip the slip out of our grasp, you know. I’m sure they thought, you know, they were on top of the world, and they really didn’t have anything to worry about. But obviously, you know, I think that, if I’m not wrong, that was really one of the last assets they had was the patent on their, I guess, their process when they finally, you know, ended the business which I, you know, it’s sad for people my age Anyway, you know, I remember the, that was really all we had was film, you know, digital, just come along, and later in my lifetime.

Tim  08:46

You know, and look at a company like Blockbuster Video, you know. They, they really ignore the signs of what their customers really were telling them. You know, the, of course, streaming services, like Netflix started to come out. And Blockbuster Video had the opportunity to work with Netflix. To to get into the streaming business. But they really felt like their customers still wanted to drive to the store and wait in line. And you know, look for that film that maybe was sold out. Maybe not, you know, so it was kind of a roll of the dice.

Roy Barker  09:26

Yeah. And, you know, there’s a commercial on TV that I just saw this morning. I thought it was such a great saying is that success is just on the other side of fear. And so it’s interesting that you bring that up. Yeah, it’s a great question. Because I guess I’d have to ask the next question is were they fearful of change in the market? Were they fearful? I mean, I know they must have been fearful of losing their success. But was it ego as well that they thought that they were such a big powerful company? That the world follows them. And that that’s all. I mean,

Tim  10:05

I think that’s true in a lot of cases, especially with some of these big companies. Even, you know, tech companies like Facebook, and, you know, you know. Some of those big tech organizations, they, they feel like, they’re the only game in town. And they can do pretty much what they want. And, you know, I think sometimes that comes back to bite them later. Yeah.

Conscious Decision To Listen

Roy Barker  10:29

So how can leaders, you know, we have to make a conscious decision to listen, you know. And I was talking to another gentleman the other day, as you know, we were talking about seek first to understand. Which means, basically, he know, we have to listen. So right. You know, I guess part of the message here. Is that, we’ve got to listen to our customers. No matter how crazy we think that they may sound. Eventually, there may be some truth in that, I’m assuming.

Tim  10:56

Yeah. Yeah, they, they definitely need to listen to their customers. But I think it also, you know, Richard Branson, kind of coined the phrase, you know. Forget the customer always being right, treat your treat your people, your your employees, right, and then Dell treat the customer. Right. And, you know. I think that one of the traits of a great change leader is building a really solid foundation of trust with their people. So that when the leader does have that vision of what the future could be. His people or her people are eager and willing to jump on the bandwagon and follow.

Roy Barker  11:35

Yeah. Yeah, and I have seen that scenario play out before, you know. I talked to a guy that was very successful. And he, he didn’t invent a new product, just to kind of a variation of the place. He worked for many years. And he’s he said, you know, what. I tried to talk to him. And I’ve been thrown out of the office so many times that he’s like. I didn’t even go in this time. He just said, sent my resignation and went out. Developed it, you know, started producing it on my own. And, you know, it really hurt the other people.

So I definitely don’t think we do enough of that, you know. I do a lot of talk about employee retention. I think if these kind of go hand in hand in that respect, is that, you know, we have to listen to them, if we don’t trust them they shouldn’t be working for so we, you know, we have to hire people that we trust, but then we have to listen to them. And I think that’s, Mike can correct me if I’m wrong, but maybe, was it Steve Jobs that said, you know, we have something about giving them the task and letting them handle it? And just getting out of the way at that level of trust in our employees? Yep.

Tim  12:45

Yeah, I totally agree with that. You know, you talked about ego before. I think a lot of times, especially when you get up into the C suite, and you have CEOs or CFOs, CEOs that are, you know, they have that ego, and that’s what really kind of got them there in the first place. They feel like, they should have all the answers, they should know all the solutions to every problem. And that’s just absurd, right? I mean, nobody has the answer for everything. And so the ability to to listen and to respond to when people come to us with their, with their ideas and solutions is just critical. Colin Powell actually said, the day that your soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you stop leading them.

Roy Barker  13:33

Right, yeah, and, you know, that’s one of the main things I look for, you know, when in hiring is, if somebody tells me or somehow, you know, communicates to me that they have all the answers. It’s a huge red flag, because we just don’t mean, and I’m more interested in people that can actually go out, you know, and find those answers and right, you know.

Kind of building on that with our employees, most of the time, they, they are the closest to, you know, what’s really happening out there in the field, they see how products are being used, and what the feedback is from customers. So, and unfortunately, in this day of the, you know, growing companies that are so big, the the C suite, are so far removed from that, that it’s like, how, how would they ever get that information if they don’t listen to their people?

New Policies

Tim  14:26

Yeah, and you, you hear stories all the time about, you know, new policies, new dictates coming down, you know, into an organization and the people that are on the front lines, you know, kind of have this feeling like, here’s this dictate coming from the ivory tower from people that have absolutely no clue what it’s like to actually be in the front lines. And so, you know, until we learn to get them involved in some of these decision making processes, or at least, you know, requesting their feedback and getting there You know, maybe rolling ideas out to them before the it’s actually rolled out to the, you know, organization as a whole, and get their feedback to see if, you know, what they have in mind really will work.

Roy Barker  15:12

Yeah. Yeah. And I guess that’s part of building the the, you know, a culture of trust as well. I mean, because trust run both ways. I think management has to trust the employees, but employees have to trust management as well, that they’re gonna listen and do the right thing.

Tim  15:30

Yeah, absolutely. Trust is, is really a foundational principle for, for all of that. And it’s, you know, in, in my book, I talk a lot about culture. And, and building a culture of trust is really the foundation of the pyramid of culture, you know, you can’t build a culture in your organization until you can build that foundational piece of trust,

Building Culture

Roy Barker  15:54

right? There’s another, a lot of this overlaps. It’s funny to, you know, retention and things like that, that we talk about to you is that, so learning is a big component of this as well. And you know, we always, there’s an old joke, the, you know, the CFO comes to the CEO, and says, How can we afford to keep training all these people and have them leave and go to other places? And the CEO, says, How can we not train them and have him stay here, and, you know.

I think that kind of builds on, you know, having this force that’s on the cutting edge, if they are learning, and we’re promoting that learning, and helping them to learn and encouraging them to learn, then they are going to know that, you know, I don’t know how that comes around. But you know, like, maybe, Hey, I heard this thing about this digital digital thing, or whatever that’s going, right. It’s something that we need to look into.

Tim  16:56

Yeah, and I think, you know, you kind of hit on it, you know, when we, when we build that culture, you know, the ultimate goal, especially when you’re talking about change is to build a culture of change. Which means that your organization from top to bottom is agile, you know, they’re adaptable, they’re, they’re willing to change, they’re willing to look at new ways of doing things. And in order to get there, one of the besides trust that foundation of trust, I think you need a culture of learning, built into your organization to because if your people understand that you’re willing to train them and develop them for the future, then they will move mountains for you.

You know, when when changes announced, one of the first things that I always hear from employees is, you know, how’s this gonna affect my job? Am I going to get fired? Is this going to make my job obsolete or irrelevant, right. And if you have a learning culture in your organization, where your people know that you’re going to invest in them as people to to develop them for success down the road, then you dispel a lot of those concerns.

Roy Barker  18:08

Yeah, and you know, that trust in the culture, too, I think it even if it’s not big things, but we always want people to be aware of the little things, you know, in our process, that maybe it’s become a problem, maybe it was always a problem. And we just, it was never magnified by something. But if you have that the employees are, like I said, they’re the ones closest to these things they can know, to be able to make suggestions, like, you know, if we were to just do this a little bit different, will either provide greater value and satisfaction or you know, cut cost or, you know, whatever the result may be, but again, if we’re not listening, we don’t get those signals, and then I quit, and then people just quit sending them after a while.

Tim  18:54

Yeah, and in today’s market, you know, like you said, it’s recruiting is hard enough, you know, trying to find, you know, we made the comment the other day, you know, it used to be really hard to find top talent. Now, it’s just hard to find anybody that has a pulse that you know, wants to work. And so recruiting and retention are so critical to an organization right now, because the difficulty in recruiting means that you have to work your existing people longer hours, you have to, you know, have them work weekends, overtime, all that which puts a drain on them. And then if they start leaving that just, you know, the snowball keeps getting bigger and, and now you’re really in trouble.

Roy Barker  19:38

So we build some we build these foundations, you know, we’ve, we’ve got a good company culture, we’re learning, you know, we’re encouraging education and learning. We’ve got that trust. So what are some things that we can do as leaders to overcome you know, that last hurdle of fear Because I’m sure we can do all this stuff, but it’s always that nagging voice in the back of your head, is this going to be the end? Or, you know, is this going to run this company? And I’m sure there’s small, incremental steps we can take. But what do you suggest on that?

Four Aspects of Change

Tim  20:16

Well, in my book, I talk about the change the change model. And there’s four aspects of the change model. And the first one is change readiness. So you really have to assess whether your organization and you as a leader in particular, are really ready for change. Because if you’re, if you’re not ready for change, than just throwing out change, just for the sake of change is a kind of a recipe for disaster. So you have to gauge your organization’s readiness for change.

And then the second key component of that leader model is communication. You have to have a great communication plan. So that you can set clear expectations, clear goals and objectives for what this change is all about. Because the more people know about why something’s changing, and why it’s important, the more invested they’re going to be. So I think those are the really two critical pieces, then we talk about change leadership, and you know, about that building trust and all of that.

And then the last part is sustainability, change sustainability, making sure that you know, because I think a lot of times what organizations do is they, they kind of half heartedly throw this change initiative out. Just because, you know, maybe the company down the road is doing it, or, you know, they heard somebody else doing it. So they said sound like a good idea. And change can’t be that cookie cutter, right? It’s got to be got to make sense for your organization. So it’s got to be sustainable. And so we talk about sustainability as well.

Roy Barker  22:03

Yeah, cuz that, you know, I’ve seen instances of that where the announcement was made, we’re doing whatever this changes are, then it’s like management loses their focus. And so then it seems what happens is, now the workforce is kind of wandering out there, because I really don’t have any direction, they don’t have that. I mean, depending on how big and what you’re doing, I mean, you’ve got to have that enthusiastic push, you got to have, you know.

I look at the G Suite, as you know, they’re the coaches that are coming around patent people in the back saying, good job, you know, this is really going to be worth it, if we can finish, you know, get this through. But you know, when it, I guess, when it kind of goes dark, and we never hear about this big initiative that we’re in the middle of, and all of a sudden, you don’t hear anything else about it. You know, people lose interest in we go right back to where we were.


Tim  22:57

Yeah. And, you know, it’s communication, I tell leaders, the communication has to come early, it has to come often, and it has to take many forms. Because you can’t, you can’t just send out email after email after email, and expect people to get it. People learn differently, people want to receive information differently. And so you, as a leader have to be kind of that you have to have that emotional intelligence, to be able to understand how your people want to be communicated with and how to get it.

And I think, again, one of the biggest mistakes that leaders make is that after the changes introduced, and and set in motion, then they feel like their job is done, and they stopped communicating at that point. But I think people want to know, you know, was it worth it? You know, what are the what are some of the metrics that we’re, you know, hitting now that we weren’t hitting before, you know, some of the profits and things like that, that that made this worthwhile?

Roy Barker  24:12

Yeah. Yeah. You know, I’m kind of work on the strategy side, too. And so, look, I want to talk about the importance of really planning this out. Everything is differently if it’s a new product or service that you know, there’s all kinds of levels of intensity, but really have to think it out because I tell you, what’s worse than anything is rolling something out and like, you know, day twos, like, Oh, that’s a big hiccup we didn’t really think about So, you know, I think that of course, you know, we’re going to get back to the trust and involving people the communication is that we need every stakeholder involved in.

Well, not everyone but we need representatives involved with input because I may be able to, you know, if you don’t work on line, and I do, I may be able to say, Hey, you know, we can’t fit this eight foot long piece of equipment down this six foot, you know, conveyor belt that we’re using or, you know, whatever these little things are because that that is certainly a way to kill enthusiasm is have Things Fall Apart immediately. Yeah, absolutely

Tim  25:21

if you if, you know, if you don’t plan things well, then, you know, the statistic is already that 70% of all change initiatives fail. That’s been true for the last 25 years, we haven’t really moved the needle a whole heck of a lot when it comes to successful change. So, when you consider that only 30% of your change initiatives are going to succeed, you know, then it’s time we start looking at those and say, you know, why did that succeed where the other 70% failed. And planning is such a key role in the success of any change initiative, really, in any, you know, business initiative, what what, regardless of what it is.

But when you’re talking about change, if you don’t plan well, and like you said, kind of identify some of those obstacles that you’re going to face early on and have a plan to overcome them, then your people kind of lose that faith in you to, to really believe that you know, what you’re talking about. And then something that we call change fatigue sets in, where if if we do change poorly, or if we try to change too much too fast, too often, then our people really get burned out. And so and anytime you could stand up as a leader and say, okay, you know, we’ve got another change initiative, we’re going to start, it’s like, oh, man, here we go. Again, you know, it’s, instead of being that agile organization where everybody’s really eager to change, it has really quite the opposite effect.

Roy Barker  27:00

Yeah, we were kind of snickering about that before, before the show is the fatigue. And I mean, it’s, it’s so real, but I think it gets back to the planning is that we have to choose, you know, what are the must haves, the big things that we have to do, because, you know, what I see instances of it’s just, once you start going down this path, then it’s like, you know, any little thing, hell, we need to do this, we need to do that. We haven’t even finished this first major push.

Right, we’ve already, you know, identified, you know, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t identify them, definitely, we identify them. But if they are not detrimental to this initial push, we got to get at me, you know, my opinion is we have to get so far through this initial before we start taking on all these other things, but it gets back to prioritizing even that we have to say, here’s a list of our 100 wants, you know, what are the must haves and these ones?

Tim  28:00

Yeah, and I think sometimes, as leaders, we get, you know, we develop these Gantt charts, and we come up with these timelines, you know, in phase one is going to start here, and phase two is going to start here and phase, you know, and we come up with these great, you know, timelines of how things should happen. But when we do hit a snag, it’s almost like we have to hit that second, you know, phase.

We got to start that second phase regardless, and instead of just taking, you know, putting your foot on the brake a little bit and saying, okay, we didn’t anticipate this, let’s regroup. Let’s fix this before we move on. You know, it tends to turn into this like multicar pile up on the stake. And, you know, things just really get way out of hand. And we we just feel like we have to keep pushing forward, even though we’re, we’re not ready.


Roy Barker  28:53

Yeah, in the in planning, you know, planning is a roadmap. And I think, you know, we set these deadlines and what we hope but I think we have to be smart enough to be flexible, that instead of like you said, Well, we’ve got a drop dead date of august first, and we’ve identified a problem, that’s going to mess us up on phase two, but instead of, you know, taking a minute, getting things in order, if we just push through, we just make it worse. And then then we get back to the fatigue that the employees are like, Oh, my gosh, you know, here comes another one.

Tim  29:30

Right. Yeah. You know, Roy, you’d mentioned about, you know, getting people at every level of the organization involved in that planning too. And, and I think that’s such a critical piece, you know, to get all those levels involved in in brainstorming through the through the planning session. One of the things I tell leaders too, is that when you’re, when you’re looking for those change, ambassadors or change champions, whatever you want to call them, to work on your planning committee, your steering committee to roll out this change.

A lot of times I tell them find the find the people in your organization that are the most hesitant. They’re the maybe even aggressively against the change, and get them on on those committees so that they can see that bigger picture. They can see, you know how things work together. And if you can win those people over, then you’ve got an outstanding champion for your cause.

Roy Barker  30:35

Yeah, and I always use an example of back in the day when I worked in, you know, outside, we had these, it was a special set of gloves, there were three different gloves. And we had a special way that we had to fold them and for the life of me for years, couldn’t figure it out, I would take them to, you know, one of the older guys on the crew and be like here, because it was a safety violation. If they weren’t done right. I’d be like, that guy. I don’t know how.

And the what what it ended up being is that nobody ever really sat me down and told me why it mattered. Yeah, I got the why it mattered. I knew from then on out, there was never a question, I could put those gloves back in there. And I think we lose sight of it. It’s not just because I told you, this is what we’re going to do and what we’re going to happen, you know, people in sometimes people are just curmudgeons and they don’t want to budge on something new.

But I have found that there are a segment of people that they really care about the company, and they’re really worried. Is this really a good thing? Yeah, not me. But for this company. Because I need to be employed here for the next five or 10 years, they want to make sure that it’s not detrimental. So it’s not always just because somebody is wanting to be a hard case, I guess is the best way to put it.

The Why

Tim  31:54

Yeah, and I think you really hit the nail on the head. Because I dedicated my book a section about explaining the why, why it’s so important. And you know, even mentioned Simon Sinek in his book, start with why. Because I believe I believe people really want to do a good job, I think people want to, to feel like what they do adds value to the organization. And so if we as leaders just take a few extra moments to explain why something is important. Because if I went if if you worked for me, Roy and I said, Hey, Roy, I need this out by five o’clock, you know, we got a deadline.

I need you to do XYZ, and then I just walked out the door, you had no clue why it was important, or why it had to get out the door by five o’clock, you’re not really invested in that. But if I take that few extra moments to say, I need this out by five o’clock, and here’s why, you know, we’ve got a customer and crisis, we need to get this out the door to them because they’re needing it for you know, a special project they’re working on or whatever, then you become invested, you’re engaged in that and and i believe employees again, want to do a good job and they’ll move mountains for you if you do that.

Roy Barker  33:05

Definitely. So what are some things that we you know, if I want to I want to get some change in my company. And I’m going to bring somebody in what what are some things that we want to look for, not only in you know, if we bring it outside town, but maybe we want to develop that change leader from within our company, you know, what are some things that we should look for some qualities?


Tim  33:32

Well, I, you know, some of the qualities that I talked about, for for change leaders is number one, you know, they have to be able to motivate, they have to be able to and I believe explaining the Why has a big part of that they have to be able to inspire you know, they have to be that kind of leader that people are naturally drawn to and want to follow and, and I want I want to kind of back back up on that just a little bit because I don’t believe you have to be a type A personality to be a great change leader. I don’t believe you have to be that you know, used car salesman, kind of, you know, charisma dripping out of your pores, you know, really likable person.

But in order to inspire I think you have to just be passionate. You have to have you’d have to show passion to your people that you really believe in the organization and you believe in, in this change that it’s going to be positive. And then you know, caring for your people, you know, caring for them as individuals and not just you know, cogs in the wheel of production, you know, as a means to an end, getting to know them on a personal level know, knowing, you know, how many kids they have, they have a dog, the cat bird, whatever, you know, all those things that you know, sometimes leaders tend to shy away from From, because they don’t necessarily they’re not comfortable getting involved in on that personal level?

Roy Barker  35:06

Yeah. Yeah, I think the, in a lot of ways I think that type A personality that’s going to come in, you know, like the bull in the China closet can actually do harm. And, you know, I was just reading jot some notes down, I was thinking, you know, along the lines, good communicator, somebody that has empathy for other people that we may disagree, but I can see that you’ve, you know, need to try to find out where this where your opinion, stem is rooted just in the fear that we’ve talked about? Or is it rooted in something that you know, information you have, I don’t have a really need before we do things. So, you know, communication, it’s, I don’t think we talk about it enough.

But I think in all aspects of our life, it’s, you know, in the, the old saying, to me holds is that, you know, what, God gave us two ears and one mouth because he expected us to listen twice as much as we talk. And instead of me, convincing you, as your boss, or as your leader, however, that works is that, you know, instead of me trying to convince you how smart I am, I probably need to listen and see how smart you are, you know, what, you know, when we can we all need to survive, they’re really done, you know, we all have different roles, but we end up have to all pull the wagon in the same direction.


Tim  36:27

Yeah, absolutely. You know, I really think that great change leaders have to be visionaries, you know, to, and I always, I always say that visionaries are, are people that don’t necessarily just see how the organization is today, but what it could be, you know, down the road, but they also have to be great communicators, to be able to communicate that vision to others. And, you know, we talk about being a great coach and mentor.

And, you know, if you think about a great coach, whether, you know, it’s a professional sport or whatever, you know, great coaches are always great simplify errs, they can always take complex, you know, concepts and ideas, and break them down into simpler, bite sized pieces, so to speak, so that they can communicate that vision across their organization to get people understanding what the goal is, and then on board.

Roy Barker  37:29

Alright, well, Tim, thanks so much for taking time out of your day. I know we’ve run a little bit over, but is there anything else that you want to any other points you want to convey about change leadership, before we wrap this up?

Tim  37:41

Well, I did want to have a special offer for your listeners. So if the first five people have your broadcast, if they email me, they’ll either I’ll either email them a free book, or give them a free 15 minute consultation, over the phone or through zoom, their choice. My email address is Tim @ Blue Ridge HR Com. So the first five people that email me and request that I’ll give them what they want.

Roy Barker  38:13

Okay, great. I appreciate that. So before we get away a couple things, first off, what is a tool or a habit? What is something that you use in your daily life, it could be professional, personal, but just something that you feel adds a lot of value?


Tim  38:33

Well, I guess Personally, I’m a person of faith. And so, you know, spending time, you know, in God’s word, and, and in prayer helps me a lot. From a professional standpoint, you’re going to kind of laugh at me. But there’s a game I play on my phone that really, I think really helps keep my mind sharp, it’s a game that is designed to kind of help you always think 234, you know, steps ahead. And so, you know, just things like that, that, you know, I do to kind of keep my mind sharp. Yeah, no,

Roy Barker  39:11

I think that’s awesome. And I think we, we don’t think about exercise in our mind. And I begun to think a lot about our minds is just like our bodies that we got to exercise on, but we also have to give them that rest and, you know, so we need to be thinking about that. Especially, you know, as we go into older age, you know.

We want to stay sharp, I never want to you know, I don’t want my body to outlive my mind or my mind. Absolutely. Absolutely. All right, Tim, well, thanks so much. Again, tell us you know, who do you like to work with, again, how you help can help them you’ve given when given the website again, and then tell us the name of the book so they can either reach out to you or, you know, go over to Amazon and get that.

Tim  39:58

Okay, but the name of the book again is your Journey To Becoming A Great Change Leader. The Kindle version is available on Amazon. The paperback version is available on my website. So my website is Blue Ridge HR.COM And again, my email address is Tim@BlueRidgeHR.Com. And I guess I do a lot of training sessions with leadership teams as a whole. So I’ll come in, you know, spend a couple of days with leadership teams talk about ways to develop leadership skills, whether it’s in change leadership or, or just leadership in general. I also do one on one coaching. And of course I do public speaking as well. So if you’re looking for somebody to speak at a conference, I’m happy to do that as well.

Wrap Up

Roy Barker  40:55

Okay. Yep. Hopefully, those are going to get cranked back up pretty soon. Yeah, I hope so. And up for a long time. So there, hopefully, there’ll be a lot of pent-up demand to get out and let’s get these conferences rolling again. Amen to that, like, you know, you always learn so much. And there’s a lot of great speakers like yourself that just really haven’t been able to get out in effect the audience’s normal. So hopefully we’re almost there.

So, alright, Tim, well, thanks so much. Again, appreciate it. that’s gonna do it for another episode of The Business of Business Podcast. Of course, you can find us at or on all the major social media platforms probably hang out on Instagram more than any place and we’re also on all the major podcast platforms. So you can find us at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Spotify, if we’re not on one that you use, please reach out I’d be glad to get to that and so you can listen to a CD. So Till next time, take care of yourself and take care of your business.

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Business Podcast » Leadership » Change Management Risks Greatly Increase Without Strong Change Management Leadership