Change is difficult but essential—Esther Derby offers seven guidelines for change by attraction, an approach that draws people into the process so that instead of resisting change, they embrace it.
Even if you don’t have change management in your job description, your job involves change. Change is a given as modern organizations respond to market and technology advances, make improvements, and evolve practices to meet new challenges. This is not a simple process on any level. Often, there is no indisputable right answer, and responding requires trial and error, learning and unlearning. Whatever you choose to do, it will interact with existing policies and structures in unpredictable ways. And there is, quite simply, a natural human resistance to being told to change.
Rather than creating more rigorous preconceived plans or imposing change by decree, agile software developer turned organizational change expert Esther Derby offers change by attraction, an approach that is adaptive and responsive and engages people in learning, evolving, and owning the new way. She presents a set of seven heuristics—guides to problem-solving—that empower people to achieve outcomes within broad constraints using their personal ingenuity and creativity.
When you work by attraction, you give space and support for people to feel the loss that comes with change and help them see what is valuable about the future you propose. Resistance fades because people feel there is nothing to push against—only something they want to move toward. Derby’s approach clears the fog to provide a new way forward that honors people and creates safety for change.
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About the Author
ESTHER DERBY draws on four decades of leading, observing, and living through organizational change, combining a deep knowledge of complex adaptive systems with an attention to people. She is the founder of esther derby associates, inc., working with a broad array of clients from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. She also teaches workshops around the world, supporting leaders to amplify empowerment, engage their organizations in joint problem solving, and evolve their systems toward better results.