Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change That Sticks

Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change That Sticks

by Barbara A. Trautlein Ph.D.
Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change That Sticks

Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change That Sticks

by Barbara A. Trautlein Ph.D.


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Whether you’re on the front line or in the executive suite, you can build your “Change Intelligence®”—and create results that matter at all levels of the organization.

In today’s business world, everyone knows that we all face constant change, whether it’s the implementation of a new IT system, a reorganization, or a full merger or acquisition. We also know that the ability to handle such change makes the difference between success and failure—and has a direct effect on the bottom line. Because we understand this, twenty-first century executives, supervisors, and project managers have plenty of methodologies for managing change. Yet, somehow, our failure rate when we try to implement major organizational change is still shockingly high.

In this innovative guide, Barbara Trautlein argues that our current approaches are inadequate when they are not used in tandem with a deep understanding of Change Intelligence®, or CQ®—the skill set that allows you to lead your team or company through vital transformations. You’ll explore how to lead change by engaging the Heart, enlightening the Head, and equipping the Hands, which when combined enable you to overcome resistance and achieve results. And once you learn your own Change Leader Style, you’ll go on to discover practical strategies for leveraging your strengths and shoring up your weak spots.

​Trautlein, a leading authority on change leadership, keeps the theory light and delves into insightful case studies drawn from her decades of experience working with hundreds of top organizations as well as from her research derived from the global Change Intelligence/CQ Assessment® database of thousands of change leaders around the world. Her example- and evidence-based approach will help you plainly see how you can start driving real transformation—not by adopting yet another new tool but by bolstering your own capacity for change leadership.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781608324422
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication date: 05/14/2013
Pages: 250
Sales rank: 398,690
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD, is the founder of Change Catalysts, an organizational development and change management consulting company, where she has served as principal for twenty-plus years. A highly respected consultant and international speaker, Barbara has provided consulting and coaching services to leaders at several Fortune 50 client corporations as well as at many small- to mid-sized organizations. She has been invited to make presentations, conduct workshops, and chair conference sessions in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and has served as an expert panel member for the Top Small Workplace Award, a nationwide honor cosponsored by the Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces. She has also served as an expert reviewer for Workforce 2.0, a joint initiative of the McArthur Foundation, HRMAC, World Business Chicago, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Read an Excerpt




Greenleaf Book Group Press

Copyright © 2013Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60832-442-2




Meet three change leaders.

• Glen is the CEO of a manufacturing plant that is the largest employer in a small Midwestern town. The plant's been shut down for two years, but it was just acquired by a new firm and is about to restart operations.

• James is a nursing supervisor in a hospital's intensive care unit, and he's embarking on an initiative that he hopes will improve the patient experience. At the same time, the healthcare system his hospital is a part of is going through considerable cost cutting and consolidation across its regional operations.

• Ann is the project manager in charge of a large-scale IT systems implementation for the sales team of her global consumer products firm. But the company has a strong history of resisting innovation; if it was "not invented here," most people aren't interested in using it.

What do each of these scenarios have in common? Major change is coming. What do each of these leaders have in common? They need to lead change effectively—for the benefit of their organization, their team, and their career.

When you hear the word change, is your first thought positive or negative? Are you filled with excitement and anticipation or with fear and loathing?

We often assume that because we're constantly bombarded with change in our professional and personal lives, we should know how to cope with it. We feel like we've been through so much change that we're used to it by now. We tell ourselves we can handle it, and we assume we can help others through most change processes. But from what I've seen, the reality is often quite the opposite.

Psychologists have conducted many studies showing that, almost all the time, our first reaction to change is to perceive it as a threat—something that causes apprehension, if not outright fear. It can be very difficult for most people to adopt the mindset that change can be positive, and that the new can be better, more enjoyable, and more attractive than the old.

As David Rock, one of the leaders in the emerging field of the neuroscience of leadership, and Jeffrey Schwartz, a leading researcher in neuroplasticity, note in their article "The Neuroscience of Leadership," "change equals pain: Organizational change is unexpectedly difficult because it provokes sensations of physiological discomfort ... Try to change another person's behavior, even with the best possible justification, and he or she will experience discomfort. The brain sends out powerful messages that something is wrong, and the capacity for higher thought is decreased."

As a leader, you are often called upon to lead change. How can you learn to approach change positively yourself, manage change so that it results in proactive benefits, and lead others to accept and even thrive in change?

Why do We still struggle with leading Change?

In the modern workplace, change is the only constant—an observation that is no less true because of its frequent repetition. Yet, as Rick Maurer points out in the latest edition of his book Beyond the Wall of Resistance, the failure rate of major changes in organizations has held fast at about 70 percent since the mid-nineties. In another study, researchers discovered that 86 percent of respondents "agreed that 'business transformation has become a central way of working.' [However,] the proportion who believe that business transformation is something at which their company excels ... is just 30 percent." Every time one of these change projects fails, leaders and their teams get more discouraged, reducing the chances that the next project will succeed.

We're not talking about trifling changes, either. In a recent poll, human resource professionals were asked, "What is the most significant change your organization will face in the next six months?" Here's the breakdown of their answers:

• Organizational restructure: 51 percent

• New leadership: 20 percent

• Acquisition/merger: 13 percent

• New product launch: 10 percent

• New technology: 6 percent

These are all large-scale changes that affect nearly every corner of an organization. Done right, they can enhance a company's performance dramatically; mishandled, they can turn into costly disasters.

So, while most companies today are highly experienced with change, they are far less experienced with change done right. Why is that? If your company is facing a major change and you've been asked to play a major role in it, you're probably wondering that too.

As it turns out, we know a lot about organizational transformation. For over two decades, authors have written hundreds of books on change management. We've developed multiple models for leading change, spanning from whole-systems approaches to methods like "preferred futuring" and "appreciative inquiry" to name but a few. We've conducted studies and found that positive change requires, among other things, a commitment from senior management, a "guiding coalition," and a "compelling vision." Experts emphasize the "burning platform": our workplace must be on fire before instinct kicks in and tells us to jump into the cold sea of change. We also know we have to answer the WIFM question— "What's in it for me?"—when persuading others to adopt a change. We've developed organizational-readiness assessments, leadership-alignment and stakeholder-engagement tools, and communication plans to help us through change.

With all this knowledge and all these methodologies, why do 70 percent or more of major change initiatives fail? It's not that any of these models or tools are wrong or useless—they're just incomplete.

Successful transformations require more than book knowledge and theory, regardless of how sage and vetted the advice might be. To lead change, change leaders must know themselves. They must ask and be able to answer questions like these: What are my tendencies in leading change? What do I focus on, and what do I miss? What am I good at, and what can I get better at?

This powerful self-knowledge is the first step in developing change intelligence. And as leaders develop their own CQ, they begin to raise the CQ of their teams and the organization as a whole, dramatically increasing the probability of positive, pervasive change that sticks. Only when change leaders are equipped and empowered with this understanding of their personal working style can they guide others through transformation.

CQ: a Prehistory

In the early 1900s, Alfred Binet developed the first tool for understanding our own mental ability: the IQ test. Over the last century, many others developed cognitive tests and tools to help us understand everything from learning disabilities to our personal learning styles. By the 1980s, thanks to psychologist Howard Gardner, we'd begun to appreciate the existence of "multiple intelligences." Gardner helped us understand that people can be smart in different ways, beyond the traditional focus on raw intellectual intelligence. Some people excel in visual-spatial intelligence (artists, architects), others in body-kinesthetic intelligence (athletes, dancers), and still others in musical intelligence (composers, singers), to name but a few from Gardner's original list of intelligences.

Then, in the 1990s, emotional intelligence (EQ) came to the fore. Daniel Goleman popularized the term with his bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence, and created a model that demonstrated the importance of self-awareness and self-management, as well as social-awareness and relationship-management, in optimal functioning in life and work. Much research has been done on EQ, including the famous study at Bell Labs, which showed that EQ, not IQ, separated superior performers from average ones in the workplace.

Today, thanks to the work of Gardner, Goleman, and many others, we have a wide variety of self-assessments to help people evaluate and develop various aspects of their own "intelligences." We've seen an explosion in our understanding of how our minds, bodies, and emotions work together. Now, we're even finding provocative insights into our own behavior— including how our brains react to change—from neuroscience. David Rock and Jeffrey Schwartz write that "managers who understand the recent breakthroughs in cognitive science can lead and influence mindful change: organizational transformation that takes into account the physiological nature of the brain, and the ways in which it predisposes people to resist some forms of leadership and accept others."

the CQ system

Change intelligence, or CQ, is the awareness of one's own change leadership style and the ability to adapt one's style to be optimally effective in leading change across a variety of situations. The idea behind the CQ System presented in this book is that each of us has a distinctive method of leading through organizational change. Just as we can measure our IQ, our EQ, and any number of our other intelligences, we can also assess our change intelligence. In doing so, we learn a great deal about how we can leverage our personal change leadership style to lead change far more effectively than before.

As noted earlier, it's not as if business leaders haven't acknowledged the importance of organizational change. We've developed ways to gauge the progress of a change project (such as change management audits) and methods for understanding the people impacted by change (e.g., Who Moved My Cheese?). But until now, there's been no assessment specifically designed to help change leaders understand themselves, even though this is the crucial starting point of any successful change initiative.

The CQ System I've developed enables change leaders to diagnose their change intelligence, equips them with applied developmental strategies, and shows them how to be powerful agents of transformation. I've spent the last two decades partnering with clients—from steel mills and sales teams, to refineries and retail, to healthcare and high tech—to lead organizational, team, and personal transformations. As a scientist-practitioner, I have conducted global change management research with leaders around the world and incorporated insights from psychology and neuroscience. All of that experience has gone into the creation of the CQ System.

During much of my early career, in the struggling plants of the Rust Belt, I facilitated various types of engagement processes, from self-managed teams and employee involvement to total quality management and lean manufacturing. More often than not, the senior management (and often joint union-management) teams I worked with thought I could come in, do a one-off soft-skills training event, and all of a sudden people would know how to work in a streamlined team environment, or make meaningful cost-saving suggestions, or conduct effective problem-solving sessions. I got in the habit of telling them I'd left my magic teamwork dust at home that day.

Just because we have mouths doesn't mean we know how to communicate. Just because we have brains doesn't mean we can solve problems. And just because we're social animals doesn't mean we know how to behave as productive, respectful members of a team.

Just a few years ago, when I was in India presenting at a conference on IT leadership and managing change, much of the conversation centered on frustrations IT professionals had as they tried to implement technology transformations. Their complaints ranged from business leaders "not getting it" and peer managers in other functional areas "not wanting it" to frontline employees "not using it." The mindset these comments revealed was interesting. These leaders saw change as something they did to others, not with or for them. They saw others as resisting change, when in reality, the "resisters" probably didn't understand the change, feel committed to it, or see its benefits. I wanted these leaders to turn the mirror back on themselves and see that the negative behaviors they saw in their teams were likely a reflection of a lack of effective change leadership on their own part.

Heart, Head, and Hands

The CQ System starts with the fact that each change leader has a basic tendency to lead with his or her Heart, Head, Hands, or some combination of the three. If you lead mainly from the Heart, you connect with people emotionally (I want it!). If you lead from the Head, you connect with people cognitively (I get it!). And if you lead from the Hands, you connect with people behaviorally (I can do it!). Depending on your natural inclination toward one of these, you have your own set of talents and areas to improve:

It is not inherently better or worse to focus on the Heart or the Head or the Hands. However, the effectiveness of a change leadership style shifts in different scenarios depending on the type of change occurring, the business objective, the organizational culture, the people involved, and many other factors.

Of course, no one leads completely from the Heart, or Head, or Hands. Each of us is a blend of all three, and a small percentage of people do lead with all three with equal savvy. But most of us tend to rely primarily on one or two of these aspects as we lead through change.

Many people are unaware of their dominant aspect (or aspects), and of the impact their leadership style has on the change initiatives they lead. But the effect of how you lead during change is significant—overreliance on the Heart, Head, or Hands to the detriment of the other aspects can alienate the people around you and limit your success. Fortunately, we can all build our capacity to use all three aspects and adapt our change leadership style to be more effective in any situation.

CQ in Action

To bring these concepts to life, I'm going to turn to the three change leaders I introduced at the beginning of this chapter. As you read, see if you can see yourself or others you know in the examples.

We'll start with Glen. When I worked with him, Glen was a manufacturing CEO who everyone respected for his turnaround abilities. The plant he led had been shut down for two years but had just been acquired by a new company. A few hundred members of the original workforce of several thousand were brought back to restart the facility. The revived facility was a "mini-mill," one of many that sprung up during the post-1980s renaissance of American steel.

Glen was a visionary. He was inspirational in communicating the future goals and big-picture business objectives. However, though he was really smart, he left his people behind. While he saw clearly in his own mind how to get from here to there, from decrepit and aged to high-tech and competitive, his people were confused. And that's what often happens—what seems like resistance is really confusion. His people thirsted for guidance because they did not want to be unemployed again, and the plant was the only game in town.

And that was the other thing Glen was blind to—the emotional needs of his people. There was so much fear. People had lost their jobs, and they desperately didn't want that to happen again. Yet when Glen demanded to know why things weren't happening fast enough, people would shut down, afraid to tell the emperor he had no clothes, that he'd never given them a plan or the training they needed to bring the vision to life.

Glen was stuck in his Head and needed to augment the Head with the Heart and Hands. I coached Glen on working through people's fears and giving them the skills to partner on the journey.

James, however, led with his Heart. A newly appointed nursing supervisor in a community-based hospital's intensive care unit, James was a highly respected and caring nurse, passionately committed to the hospital, his nursing staff, the physicians, and the patients. James spoke eloquently, sharing moving stories about serving patients and their families. He dreamed about overcoming the traditional silos dividing nursing, physicians, and administration.

However, while others were moved by his words and inspired by his passion, he was frustrated that no one seemed to be working with him to get from here to there. The administration seemed more focused on cost cutting, the physicians on building their own practices, and the nurses on resisting new cost-cutting programs and complaining about physician arrogance. Where was the team? Who was focusing on being of service to patients?

What James needed was to supplement his strong ability to focus on the Heart (to personally connect with people emotionally) with a focus on the Head (providing the business case that made financial sense) as well as the Hands (laying out a plan and delineating what it meant in specific, day-today behaviors). From our work together, James began to translate his motivating message into a plan and process that he could present to his manager and cascade through the ranks. While it's still a work in progress, at least there's a plan and a team of people beyond James working on it.


Excerpted from CHANGE INTELLIGENCE by BARBARA A. TRAUTLEIN. Copyright © 2013 by Barbara A. Trautlein, PhD. Excerpted by permission of Greenleaf Book Group Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


AUTHOR'S NOTE....................     xi     

INTRODUCTION....................     1     

PART I: Change Intelligence: What It Is and Why It Matters.........          

CHAPTER 1: CQ: An Idea Whose Time Has Come!....................     7     

CHAPTER 2: Three Levels of Change Challenges....................     21     

CHAPTER 3: What's Your CQ?....................     47     

PART II: The Change Leader Styles....................          

CHAPTER 4: The Coach....................     55     

CHAPTER 5: The Visionary....................     71     

CHAPTER 6: The Executer....................     89     

CHAPTER 7: The Champion....................     111     

CHAPTER 8: The Driver....................     129     

CHAPTER 9: The Facilitator....................     147     

CHAPTER 10: The Adapter....................     165     

CHAPTER 11: Now You Know Your CQ: What's Next?....................     183     

PART III: Applying CQ....................          

CHAPTER 12: CQ for Teams....................     189     

CHAPTER 13: CQ for Organizations....................     203     

CHAPTER 14: CQ and the Stages of the Change Lifecycle..............     221     

CHAPTER 15: CQ and the Phases of Human Reactions to Change.........     235     

CHAPTER 16: Bringing It All Together....................     249     

WEBSITE RESOURCES....................     251     

REFERENCES....................     255     

ABOUT THE AUTHOR....................     259     

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