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In This Issue
Embracing Change: Navigating Through the Emotions of Change
Managing Organizational Change: Adopting an Integrated Change Strategy
Changing Passwords: Turning a Nuisance into a Positive
SCS e-xpress

Sept/Oct 2014

A Message from Sarah & Chris:             Street signs decide on same old way or change choose new path and direction


The theme of this issue is "dealing with change."

In today's world, change is the only constant. It is with us 24/7, whether we like it or not. Success and happiness in our careers and personal lives often depend on how well we are able to adapt to changeRead on to learn more about dealing with change. 


We hope you enjoy our free SCS e-newsletter.  Please send us your ideas and suggestions for future issues.  Have a great day!  

Where We'll Be

National Harbor, MD
10/26/14 - 10/29/14

Savannah, GA
4/27/15 - 4/29/15


Savannah, GA
4/27/15 - 4/29/15

Book Recommendations

(authors: Ann Salerno & Lillie Brock)

Managing Workplace Negativity
(author: Gary S. Topchik)

Leading in a Culture of Change
(author: Michael Fullan)

 Today's Quotes

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most responsive to change."

  - Charles Darwin



"Because things are the way the are, things will not stay the way they are.

  - Bertolt Brecht, playwright



"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow.   Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like." 

     - Lao Tzu, philosopher 



"Life has three rules:          Paradox, Humor, and Change.

- Paradox: Life is a mystery; don't waste your time trying to figure it out.
- Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure.
- Change: Know that nothing ever stays the same." 

  - Dan Milliman, author



Today's Laughs


The only person who really likes change is a baby with a wet diaper!



There are only two things I don't like: Change and the way things are.



How many social workers does it take to change a light bulb?

One - but the light bulb has to want to change!


Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. 



I was addicted to the hokey pokey, but I turned myself around.  




Blackboard concept for leaving your comfort zone behind and moving to where the fun starts



Yosemite valley reflected on the river at sunset. California USA .

      Embracing Change 
   Navigating Through the      Emotions of Change 
As the story goes, in any contest between a river and a rock, the river always wins. Why? Because the river is willing to change and adapt and follow the natural flow of gravity. If it encounters a rock, it will flow over, under, around, or even through the rock to reach its goal. The rock, however, will stand still and eventually be worn down to a pebble. When faced with change, we can choose to embrace it like the river, "going with the flow" and enjoying the journey.  Or we can choose to resist it, refusing to budge like the rock, clinging to our past and our fear of the unknown - and eventually we will be worn down.  

Once we understand the natural emotions we experience when faced with change, it is much easier to deal with change and take a positive approach. We have to accept and deal with the fact that something is ending before we can embrace the change. Much has been written on the stages we go through when faced with change, but one of our personal favorites is the book, The Change Cycle, written by Ann Salerno and Lillie Brock.  Their "change cycle" has six stages - Loss, Doubt, Discomfort, Discovery, Understanding, and Integration.  The authors very eloquently teach us how to navigate through each stage by challenging us, asking key questions, and showing us exit strategies that push us to leave one stage and move on to the next.  As we move through the six stages, our feelings progress from fear, resentment, and anxiety to anticipation, confidence, and satisfaction.  We discover that the "danger zone" lies between stage 3 (Discomfort) and stage 4 (Discovery). It is here that we either decide to embrace change and move on, or we get stuck and return to stage 1. If we can make it past the danger zone, we not only deal with the change ourselves, but we also learn to help others through the process.  Click on this  Change Cycle graphic to see a visual summary of the six stages, as well as the feelings, thoughts, and behaviors associated with each stage.  To learn more about the book and how it might help you, check out this brief video about the Change Cycle book.  

And remember - as you start each day, you have the power to make a conscious choice. Are you going to be a river or a rock?

                                                              The words Continuous Improvement on circular ribbons in an everlasting pattern to illustrate everlasting change and innovation to better yourself, company or organization         

       Managing         Organizational Change

  Adopting an Integrated Change Strategy


Successful retirement services firms buy into the concept of continuous improvement. In order to embrace continuous improvement, a firm must be able to effectively implement organizational change.  Since organizations have many moving parts that are interconnected, leaders must adopt an integrated change strategy. When changing one part, the impact on the other parts must be considered.


We can take a simplistic view of the integrated strategy approach by breaking a firm down into four components: tasks, people, structure, and technology.  For example, before preparing to introduce new technology, we would need to consider how it impacts tasks, people, and structure. Will it automate tasks that are currently being done manually by people? Will people need training on the new technology?  Will we need to create a new position to oversee the new technology?  Will the organizational structure be affected since people's roles may change because the way they do their work may be changing?  We analyze the change from all angles to develop an integrated change strategy that addresses all of the components. 


A more complex model for understanding the cause-and-effect relationships of organizational change is the Burke-Litwin Change Model, published by George H. Litwin and W. Warner Burke in 1992. This model supports an integrated approach by considering how changes in 12 key areas of  an organization's design can impact one another and overall performance.         The 12 key areas this model references are: 

  1. External environment
  2. Mission and strategy
  3. Leadership
  4. Organizational culture
  5. Structure
  6. Management practices
  7. Systems
  8. Work unit climate
  9. Task and individual skills
  10. Individual needs and values
  11. Motivation
  12. Individual and organizational performance                                              

Click here to learn more about the theory behind the Burke-Litwin Change Model.


If you are leading the change management at your firm, take the time to determine how the change is perceived by the teams that will be responsible for implementation and by others who will be impacted by the change.  By understanding the emotions and objections involved, you can help support people through the change process and avoid workplace negativity.  Gary Topchik, author of Managing Workplace Negativity, identifies five requirements for getting a team to feel positive about an upcoming change. Communication is key in any change initiative, and people must be informed so that they:
  1. Know why the change is taking place.
  2. Understand the benefits of the change.
  3. Know what skills they'll need to develop to use the new way of working.
  4. Understand what action they'll need to take when the change occurs.
  5. Know what resources will be provided to them to help them change.
Once you understand the dynamics of organizational change, you can use these lessons to manage any change that comes your way.  


Closeup of Password Box in Internet Browser
  Changing Passwords

   Turning a Nuisance     into a Positive 


"Your password has expired!"  We all tend to get a little aggravated when we are forced to change passwords because some system tells us we have to before we can continue working.  It's just one more type of change we resist; however, eventually we must comply.  So how can we make this arduous task more fun - and maybe even productive?


I recently read a blog, written by Mauricio Estrella, in Huffpost Healthy Living. The title, "How a Password Changed My Life," caught my attention. As it turns out, Mauricio was recently divorced and depressed. He arrived at work one day and got the dreaded "Your password has expired" message. His firm required passwords to be changed every 30 days, and the server forced each password to use at least one UPPERCASE character, at least one lowercase alphabetic character, at least one symbol and at least one number. In addition, the entire password can't be less than eight characters, and you can't use any of the same passwords used in the last three months. (You know the drill, right?) Anyway, after his initial frustration, he remembered a tip he had heard from his boss.  "I'm gonna use my password to change my life." So Mauricio decided to give it a try and changed his password to "Forgive@h3r." Several times each day for a month, as he typed it in, he was thinking "forgive her."  And eventually, over the course of the month, he forgave his ex-wife. Since the experiment worked, he tried it again the next month when it was time to change passwords. This time he chose "Quit@smoking4ever."  Guess what? He did!


This clever idea opens up a world of opportunities to turn a nuisance into a positive.  I have started my own list of future passwords - I hope you will too!


Losethe#w8          th1nkThin!           save$4Europe


go2bedBy11           XRcise@7am       steps#10K


Smile@w0rk           Payit4word$         ch^ngeis0K

By reading Mauricio's entire blog, you can learn other passwords that "worked for him" and perhaps get more ideas for yourself.  (Warning: There are a few "s***" bombs scattered throughout the blog, but it is still worthwhile for those who won't be offended.) Still interested? Click here. 


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