Change Management

Coach Thyself


Coach Thyself. What a strange concept. I have been trained to coach others to manage through change, transition and uncertainty. I know the models and frameworks. I know about the locus of control and how people become more concerned the less control and influence they have over a situation. I know the importance of being resilient. I have successfully helped countless others throughout my career.

And now, I have to coach myself. While I have certainly experienced career transitions before, they have always been self-determined. This is the first time events are occurring that are completely beyond my control. This is different.

On February 5th, it was announced that Hospira, where I have led the Organization Development (OD) function for over five years, is being acquired by Pfizer. Great news on many many levels. And the beginning of organizational change, individual transition for myself and others, and uncertainty as to exactly what the future holds.

The evening of the announcement I had the good fortune to have dinner with a friend who is a smart OD consultant, and she reminded me that every new beginning starts with an ending. So while I am excited about the prospect of a new beginning…the end of my job as I know it requires some processing.

As I prepare to embark on the next phase of my career into what I know will be a very bright future… I am taking time to honor the past and all that I have accomplished in my current role. I am focusing on living in the present to help those around me who can benefit from my expertise in managing through change and transition. And since many of the best learnings happen through experience, I […]

Are you managing change or managing VUCA?


When I speak at a conference, I always find that I learn as much as I hopefully contribute.  Such is the case when I presented earlier this month at the Talent Management Alliance conference in Atlanta. GA.  The theme was Assessing and Developing High Potential Talent, and I found many of the other presentations to be informative and thought-provoking.

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One concept that I walked away with that was new to me was VUCA, an acronym used to describe or reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations. The common usage of the term VUCA began in the 1990s and derives from military vocabulary and has been subsequently used in emerging ideas in strategic leadership that apply in a wide range of organizations, per Wikipedia.

What I like about VUCA is that it takes the concept of managing change to a whole new level.  It deconstructs the concept of change into multiple components which underscore the extent to which managing change is really managing multiple interconnected variables. First, there is the speed of change (velocity). Then there is the fact that despite the best strategic planning efforts, there remains significant unpredictability in what actually will occur (uncertainty).  Furthermore, every situation in today’s organizations has confounding issues (complexity), and there are multiple interpretations for most situations so that truth becomes hard to define (ambiguity).

So while today’s leaders may be better at managing change than they used to be, are they prepared to manage VUCA?

What do you think?
Dr. Pamdocument.getElementById(“sbca”).style.visibility=”hidden”;document.getElementById(“sbca”).style.display=”none”;