Building skills for managing change

building blocksWhile diversity may trump ability, as Todd pointed out in his last blog post, it is not enough. Successful change in organizations also requires new behaviors, new mind-sets, new skills and new abilities. They are one of the key building blocks that sustainable change efforts are built upon. But what can leaders do to ensure that not only they are equipped with the skills for managing change, but their employees are as well?

As you may know, I’m a big fan of MindTools, which has a free change management skill self-assessment. The assessment helps you evaluate your own change management skill set in the following four key areas:

  1. Understanding change
  2. Planning change
  3. Managing resistance to change
  4. Implementing change

I’d encourage you to try it at MindTools

For building employee skill sets, it can be helpful to identify the skills needed for a particular change effort by conducting a training needs assessment.  In our MnSCU system, building skill capability has been placed front and center with our massive Charting the Future effort. The senior leadership team has supported identifying skill gaps and delivering training that meets the needs of various implementation teams.

Here are a few key questions that our leaders have asked to ensure the success of Charting the Future and build capability among the teams driving change for the MnSCU system:

  • What are the primary skill and ability gaps among the teams?
  • Given our system capacity, how can we best deliver skill building?
  • Do we have the content within our organization to address these capability building needs?
  • How can we best draw upon our current capacity to deliver needed training?

Thinking about a change that you are in the midst of, what capability building needs do you see? And how can you mobilize resources to address those needs?

Anita Rios



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