Learn to Manage Change with the Right Attitude [Book Review]

Even good changes bring a certain amount of apprehension and stress.

When it comes to change management, one of the best resources you could have at your disposal is our book “Go With It – Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change,” by ImprovEdge Founder and CEO, Karen Hough.

We were thrilled to hear Jim Pawlak – author, syndicated columnist, researcher and editor – sing our praises in a column for Biz Books on December 24, 2017.


“Go with It – Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change” by Karen Hough (ATD Press, $17.95).  How many times have you heard or said “yes, but” relative to a new idea?  Those two words mean “No” because they’re always followed by “why it can’t be done” comments.  On the flip side, saying “yes, and” encourages further conversation because those words are followed by an open-ended why-and-how question.  “Yes, and” shows you are open to discussion and want more information.  

         “Yes-and’ing” becomes the catalyst for innovation because it encourages creative thinking.  When employees know you’ll listen, they look for ways to do different things and do things differently.  Continuous improvement will become part of their jobs. They’ll also learn to think things through before making the business case for their ideas.

         When it comes to eliciting ideas from groups, Hough advocates good brainstorming.  Good recognizes that creation and analysis are different processes.  As such, ban the devil’s advocate. (Note: Devil’s advocates often “speak” through body language.)  When an idea is criticized, others with ideas will not offer them for fear of criticism.

         To trigger the creative mindset, start with a “crazy” exercise involving the development and rollout of a ridiculous product – like a zipline between skyscrapers.  The only rule: “The participants have to use “yes, and” to build from what others contribute.

When the attention shifts to the real focus of the brainstorming session, Hough’s experience shows that it will start with some off-the-wall ideas, and then there will be a lull as participants begin to think about not-so-crazy ideas.  The lull will pass as participants begin offering “what about” ideas.

When the focus shifts from brainstorming to the analysis phase, employees begin to see how different perspectives have to be taken into account. Working through differences promotes collaboration.

Stock your toolbox

Resources with a good dose of actionable tips are valuable.

Get your copy of “Go With It – Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change” today and start looking at the way you manage change with fresh eyes.

This article is 100% written by a human named Karen Hough. She is the Founder & CEO of ImprovEdge, in the top 4% of women-owned businesses in the US, a 3-time Amazon bestselling author, Yale grad, wife and mom of three.