Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.


Addressing personal triggers. A virtuous cycle of confessions and resolutions. Part 4

“As far as inner transformation is concerned, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot transform yourself, and you cannot transform your partner or anybody else. All you can do is create a space for transformation to happen, for grace and love to enter.” ~Eckhart Tolle

Water pouring into a pitcher, isolated on the white background, clipping path included.

We left off the last post with a project scenario, a discussion of some of the dynamics in the project team and a resolution to work on creating space to process personal emotional triggers properly and build the “muscle” to operate in real time.

The weird thing

On a good day I begin with a calm and objective assessment of the situation.  I remain centered and effective.

I can review whether our plans and execution were appropriate and effective, and can develop mitigation strategies if necessary. continue reading here



#1 change challenge. A virtuous cycle of confessions and resolutions. Part 3

“The people who trigger us to feel negative emotion are messengers.  They are messengers for the unhealed parts of our being.” Teal Swan

Collaborate Speaking Authenticity

I was speaking with a senior, experienced change practitioner, whom I have deep respect for, a couple of weeks ago and we got around to talking about what was, for me, a guilty secret:

I am often triggered by the change I am working on.  It is likely my #1 challenge.

“What does that mean?” you might say. Well, it means that I sometimes get frustrated enough that I temporarily lose my mind … I mean … I lose objectivity.

Truth is: something occurs that I start to take personally – and it’s … distracting. continue reading here



Us vs them. A virtuous cycle of confessions and resolutions series. Part 2

 “A healthy self-love that leads to true happiness is what Rousseau called “amour de soi”.  It builds up one’s intrinsic well-being as opposed to feeding shallow cravings to be admired. Cultivating amour de soi requires being fully alive at this moment as opposed to being virtually alive while wondering what others think.”Narcissism is increasing. So you’re so not special”, New York Times,  Arthur C. Brooks, Feb 13 2016

dreamstime_s_59832435 cat mirror lionIn the previous post we looked at why we do this work – because passion is important for the journey. Now we will look at how we practice.

continue reading here



A virtuous cycle of confessions and resolutions. Part 1

“A confession has to be part of your new life.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

fireworks bing freewareThe beginning of a new year always holds a strange promise – and pressure – to manage one’s own personal change in the larger continuum of one’s life.

The convention that one should look back on the last year and forward to the next one with the objective of re-setting, re-calibrating and re-imagining our lives is a powerful one.

continue reading here



Change Management Conferences 2016 – Eating our own dog food

Dog tastes delicious foodIf it seems like change is endless … well it is endless.  Maybe we should think of it as evolution instead.

For the last 5 or so years the general theme has been “we live in a VUCA world, how can we change faster?”

Hopefully in the coming years we will adapt our own view towards “Embrace ‘new normal’ – let’s adapt our organizations accordingly”.

Will we eat our own dog food?  What are the trends and hot topics this year?  Check out the conference agendas listed below.  

continue reading here



Exclusive Preview: “Exploring the relationship between OD and CM” Wiley publishes Oct 19th

“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.”—Audre Lorde

Practicing Organization Development 4th Edition cover

Beneath the surface of professional dialogue there are a few hot “political” topics.

A while ago I stumbled onto an online discussion between Organization Development (OD) practitioners.

This suddenly explained the guardedness that I experienced in conversations with “them” around Change Management (CM). continue reading here



What can Pixar teach us about innovation and change?

“Since change is inevitable, the question is: Do you act to stop it and try to protect yourself from it, or do you become the master of change by accepting it and being open to it? My view, of course, is that working with change is what creativity is all about”. Ed Catmull, “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the unseen forces that stand in the way of true inspiration”, Random House Canada, 2014.

Creativity inc book image AmazonI start a lot of books these days but I don’t finish that many. I just finished this one and I have to say, it was worth it.

“Creativity Inc” is a story about drive, determination and creativity and how leaders build and sustain a culture of world class innovation.  It is about the application of important change management principles, even if not called out as such. Most of the middle of the book addresses pragmatic approaches that Catmull used at Pixar that every company can modify and apply.

We can learn a great deal from their journey. Start-up innovation might be the most difficult class of “change”.  It involves constantly transforming so as to invent a future that is completely uncharted territory.  Here are a few highlights that resonated with me.  Continue reading