The “unspoken” expectations of an organization’s hope for change are key to success with change, even though they are not documented in the scope of a change initiative. When an outsider (like me) shows up to lead and facilitate change, these expectations:
a. Extend into lower levels of management and the workforce and are as real as the people who owned them.
b. Are greater if morale is low.
c. Involve hope for the lifting of spirits, speaking freely about problems, trusting people that have been “untrustable” for too long, working with people who believe your problems are just as important as their problems, and experiencing the joy of working with others that strive for their best every single day.
d. Are critical factors in success with process improvement and culture change. If ignored, they cause improvements to be unsustainable or at least compromised.
e. Reflect management team effectiveness.
The barriers that steal hope almost always come from management, which means that management must be involved in taking the barriers down. Without a change in management involvement and intentional management actions to address these expectations, it is never possible to bring the kind of change needed or hoped for