Managing Change at UC Riverside

Organizational Excellence event offers best practice workshop for staff and faculty on how to adapt to change.

The Organizational Excellence “Managing Change” workshop on November 30, 2017. sandra baltazar martinez

For Ron Coley, UC Riverside’s vice chancellor of business and administrative services, “organizational excellence” means more than streamlining work processes.

Organizational excellence is about empowering people to create positive changes within their respective departments, according to Coley. As part of that effort, he and the Organizational Excellence planning committee offered a campus-wide workshop attended by more than 200 staff and faculty on Nov. 30. The event was also livestreamed for those unable to attend in person, with nearly 100 individuals viewing the event remotely.

Organizational Excellence is a university initiative that involves four key components: streamlining business processes, instilling a culture of collaboration and innovation, standardizing business processes, and maximizing professional and leadership development.

“At UCR, we focus on culture. At other places, organizational excellence is about operations, about efficiencies, which is great, but not sustainable,” Coley said. “Things don’t do things, people do things, and therefore at UCR we focus on people.”

UCR has undergone physical and structural changes in the past couple of years as its grown into a top-notch university, said Chancellor Kim. A Wilcox.

“What has changed is how each of us behaves,” Wilcox told the audience during the workshop.

“The nature of our work, the nature about how we engage with each other, the nature about how we think about today and tomorrow.”

Guest Speaker Shola Richards, director of training and organizational development at UCLA Health, introduced the audience to the eight keys to master during a period of change:

1. Accountability: Self-accountability comes first, especially before managing change.

2. Attitude: Focus on the things you have the power to change.

3. Communication: Communicate the change; talk to people, not about people. Focus on how you communicate.

4. Conflict: When done well, conflict can lend itself to innovation, to change and improve units.

5. Recognition: Say “thank you,” especially during change. Let employees know you recognize their work. Say “thank you” and mean it.

6. Role fluidity: During change, role fluidity and being a team player is important.

7. Support: When you’re stuck, what support is there? Support and empathy is important at all times.

8. Trust: Being the person you said you were going to be when interviewing for your job. Trust is the highest honor you can bestow upon a human being, even above love, especially during change.

Richards also introduced the West African concept of “Ubuntu,” which means, “I am because we are,” highlighting the value of unity in achieving success.

Following Richards’ keynote, attendees participated in table exercises to discuss actionable ways of supporting meaningful change on campus. Attendees also received a change management book focusing on how to thrive during organizational change.

One of UCR’s unique attributes is its ability to do great research while focusing on student success, said Provost Cindy Larive. UCR is a campus with “heart and soul,” she added, thanking the workshop participants for being part of the change at UCR.

“It is only by working together that we can achieve the true potential of our university,” Larive said.

If you missed the workshop:

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Tel: (951) 827-2653

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