Change Management and Managing Expectations

As the first 100 days of the Obama Administration draws to an end, it is a good time to talk about managing expectations for change.

Anyone who has ever managed change knows that there is a predictable ebb and flow of change/resistance/progress. There are high points when everyone is ecstatic that change is happening (like election night this past November). There are low points when so much change has happened that everyone just wants to stop the merry-go-round, get off and take a break (like the Tea Parties held on tax day). And there are the points along the way when those managing change are stuck in the “down trough” of the change cycle because everyone around them wants change to happen to everyone — except themselves.

The environment of change is full of opposing forces. Managing sustained momentum in any change process requires leadership that can anticipate and manage the cycle of change. Today, we might be approaching a down trough, but with strong leadership this too shall pass.

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