Management Articles


Change Management Is an Attitude

By: Thomas W. McKee

Thomas W. McKee is president of Advantage Point Systems, Inc., a staff development and change management firm. Thomas is an author, motivational speaker, trainer and leader. He has spoken to over 1/2 million people and taught the Advantage Point System method of change management to over 100,000 managers in companies like Hewlett Packard, Ernst and Young, Procter and Gamble, the California Department of General Services, and the IRS. ; For information about the Advantage Point System of managing change see

I was once asked to speak to over 500 government workers who were being told that their positions were being phased out and that they would either move across the country or move back to front-line positions. They would not lose their pay structure, but they would lose their management roles. The tension in the room that day was quite high.

When agencies and companies are experiencing dramatic downsizing and shifting of jobs, planning for change becomes more essential than ever.

Attitudes are caught, not taught. But how do you prepare work teams for unremitting change that affects their lives?

Leadership must address the overriding issue of creating a positive attitude about change. Change management is an attitude, and attitudes are caught, not taught. Du Pont recently took a big step in structuring for this attitude of change. Training and Development, published by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), reported that Du Pont just moved 300 employees out of private offices into open work stations in its Flouror Productions division. Workers are now working in 8x8 foot, Corian-covered cubicles. Not only do these cubicles promote teamwork, but they result in greater productivity. But the workers weren't happy about the change. So Du Pont flew all of the workers to Grand Rapids Michigan to visit Steelcase, the firm that would be outfitting the new offices. While at Steelcase, Du Pont employees learned a new language:
  • Migration moving from a private office to an individual screened work station
  • Collaboration zones meeting rooms
  • Docking stations workbenches
  • Free addresses spaces not assigned to a particular worker
Du Pont provided an experience. Experience is one step in the process of developing an attitude of change. Other successful attitude building experiences are teambuilding retreats, strategic planning sessions, focus groups, and interactive workshops with senior management in attendance.
What are you doing to develop that attitude of change with your staff?

What are you doing to help your staff deal with the many changes in their professional and personal lives?

© 1998 Advantage Point Systems Inc.

Other Articles by Thomas W. McKee

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. ManagerWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. ManagerWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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