I use to procrastinate – managed to change

I use to procrastinate, but now I am not so sure.  Whenever a new urgent task comes up are you like so many others we talk to find it difficult to say no?  Keeping your focus can be difficult and it gets even harder if you are reaching levels of achievement and you want that to continue your story as your priority.  However, as all project managers will know the problem is change, it is the only constant. If you are an achiever the problem is you risk being called ‘one who procrastinates’ if you seek advice and it seem predicable patterns of behaviour are preferred from us. It is suggested the human brain is hardwired to be predicable, and where groups of people gather there will be change and that can be difficult to manage.

Being a carbon manager requires many skills to be effective and one such skill is change management and to be accredited you must complete units of competency that deal with change.  According to the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM) www.aipm.com.au ‘the only constant is change’ and pages 13 to 15 of the Project Manager periodical for October/November 2012, runs the story as such.

The AIPM quotes Prosci (2009) and refers to the Best Practices in Change management where it is said you are six times more likely to achieve your original objectives successfully where you implement change efficiently and effectively, and change management is the structural underpinning of every strategy in every business.

Carbon Management is also about changing cultures and dealing with resistance. To be successful, it needs you to have the team working together. Any other way as an individual will not bring about the necessary change. You also need to be an innovator. Why? Because change must be accepted as an inevitable and as an essential for health and survival and that point needs to be better communicated.

The AIPM also quotes Kotter and Schlesinger (1979) and Trice and Beyer (1993) on ways to change cultures and deal with resistance. The former names – talk of education and communication, participation and involvement, facilitation and support, negotiation and agreement, manipulation and co-optation, explicit and implicit coercion. They even discuss forced change as a last resort and at times essential where speed of action is required. The later authors – name 8 essential considerations for implementing change to an organisational culture.  They refer to the need to find and cultivate innovative leadership.

Contained in the Carbon Management Certificate IV course material run by Carbon Training International (CTI), www.co2ti.com  is an entire unit devoted to organisational based change. They refer to organisational change as defined by Meyer and Bother (2000) as “the movement of people from a current state to a defined state”, and they talk of why change as a concept is relevant. As did the AIPM article refer to Kotter’s resistance to change so do they, only in more detail including the approaches to deal with the resistance to change.  Basic change management strategies quoted by CTI are referenced from Bennis, Benne and Chin (1969) and Nickols (2006) where there are four strategies, namely: Empirical-Rational; Normative-Reductive; Power-Coercive; and, Environmental-Adaptive.

CO2Land org also notes that the key success factors of change management can be determined through 12 critical factors from within. These include: Leadership, Management support, the need for change, participation, defining roles, planning, goal setting, monitoring and control, training, communication, motivation, embedding change. In conclusion the art of project management is as important to the carbon manager as any other strategic discipline, and it takes a strong will and a professional attitude to bring home the importance of the concept of change management.

On reflection, I did procrastinate, but it was more to do with the fear of potential negative consequences, the lack of clear deadlines, and a feeling making a difference was a task that was overwhelming. What changed? There are consequences for delay, the climate and economic situation is escalating and the frequency of change is more evident. Writing this post is an example of the need to change and in part delegating appropriately to someone else, as it is more worrying to do nothing then to act on ensuring the future.

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