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One of the many interesting workshops provided during the CSAC meeting in Alameda County was specifically tailored to the realm of change management. Living in a county that ranks the lowest in California for both economic and health factors, we need to embrace change.

Conditions for Successful Change Management: The Blueprint for Progress Change management is a dynamic process, and success hinges on embodying specific conditions. To embrace (and/or lead) change, we need to:

  1. Be Present: In the whirlwind of change, being present is the linchpin. It’s about tuning in, listening, and engaging with what’s happening in the here and now.
  2. Be in Integrity: Integrity is the bedrock of any change initiative. It’s about aligning actions with values, ensuring that every step taken reflects a commitment to honesty and authenticity.
  3. Be the Steward of All Voices Heard: Change affects everyone differently. As a change leader, being the steward of all voices means creating an inclusive space where each perspective is not just heard but valued.
  4. Be Willing to Be Uncomfortable: Growth and transformation often come with discomfort. Embrace this as a sign that you’re on the brink of meaningful change.
  5. Be Open to Making the Impossible, Possible: True innovation stems from daring to dream the impossible. Keep an open mind to the boundless possibilities that lie ahead.

Switching Gears with Change Management Insights: “Switch” by the Heath Brothers For those deeply entrenched in change management, the book “Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard” by the Heath Brothers was highly recommended. It distills change into three powerful elements:

  1. Direct the Rider: Guide the logical side of change with clear direction and purpose.
  2. Motivate the Elephant: Rally the emotional side by tapping into what truly motivates and inspires.
  3. Shape the Path: Set the stage for success by creating a practical environment that supports the desired change.

Presenting the Case for Change:  Each table of participants was challenged to come up with a real example of the need for change… and then to use the three-step approach outlined above to present their case for change. One of the people at our table was a County Health & Human Services leader facing a very real (and personal) challenge. Due to the nature of our subject, we chose to start with the “motivate the elephant” step described above. Here is a rough summary of how we presented our case for change.

Imagine feeling that almost everyone around you is challenging your most deeply held beliefs and that the only way to be accepted is to live in complete contradiction to your most deeply held beliefs. Imagine learning that unless you are willing to live in contradiction to these beliefs, there is a 70% chance that you will end up homeless, without a job, and at high risk for suicide.

The reality is, 70% of California’s transgender youth live on the streets. Due to an overwhelming lack of acceptance and societal rejection, this group faces alarming risks, from suicide to long-term health and economic challenges.

Desired Change: Building better acceptance of these individuals at the street level is the goal. From individuals to businesses and agencies, understanding the science (and the realities) behind transgender identities is key.

Proposed Steps Towards Change Management: These were the steps suggested for leading change in this arena.

      • Launch an Awareness Campaign with real stories.
      • Educate the community about the challenges faced by trans youth.
      • Share testimonials, amplifying the voices of those who’ve changed perceptions.
      • Foster a Community of Inclusion that goes beyond tolerance.
      • Improve access to community and public services.
      • Encourage a better acceptance of the human experience in all its diversity.

Creating the case for change, developing change management plans, and then implementing them… all deserve a lot more than 20 minutes – which is all we had for the example shared above. While rough and limited, I hope that sharing this example and the notes from our workshop is helpful.

Let’s champion change together.


Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


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