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Professor reveals secrets of change to 200-strong audience

Professor reveals secrets of & lsquo;change’ to 200-strong audience

MORE than 250 business owners, managers and directors fine tuned their skills in change management at an event in Manchester hosted by Professor Damian Hughes yesterday, February 13.

Hughes, who recently became a Professor of Organisational Psychology, staged a 30 minute masterclass on the challenges of dealing with changes - at work and home - to celebrate the launch of this new book.

Introducing him to the audience on behalf of Manchester City Libraries, Libby Tempest, said: “It is great to see Professor Hughes talking in his home city today. We have copies of all his books available to loan from City Library on Deansgate. Sir Richard Branson and Alex Ferguson are just some of the famous people that have written the forewords to his books.

“Change Inspiration is his latest venture and the book is about a subject which is affecting many people at the moment in their work and personal lives – hence the fantastic turnout today.”

Speaking to his audiences at the City Library and later at the Renaissance Hotel, Professor Hughes said: “Apart from death and taxes, facing change is inevitable for us all.

“All too often our desire to successfully deal with change is undermined by our own caution and fear. But once we understand how our human psyche works, there are practical steps we can take to overcome our inbuilt resistance to change. And the results can be extraordinary.”

Damian shared his anecdotes on change culture and the role of learning, development and leadership in inspiring people. He also pointed out that the three main excuses and barriers to change are & lsquo;I’m too busy,’ & lsquo;out of my comfort zone’ and & lsquo;it’s not the right time’.

Jan Williams, owner of Williams Estate Agency, attended the seminar. She said: “Damian’s talk was grounded in both theory and practical examples which everyone could relate to.

“In my case, the property and housing market is facing immense change at the moment – and we are lucky to have built a business that has been strong enough to survive. We have adapted our services, branched into lettings, merged offices and taken on new staff – all huge changes that have had to be managed carefully.

“A valuable lesson that I took away with me today is that impatience can often undermine the change process. If you expect too many results too soon, your plans for change are more likely to fail. It’s important to be open and honest with staff and colleagues, ensuring that everyone has time to & lsquo;buy into’ change before it’s implemented.”

Professor Hughes added: “I have been staggered by the turnout of over 250 people today but I suppose it is testament to the fact that 2012 is set to be a year of change for everyone in life and business. Whether they are looking for a different career, to delve into new business ventures or make a life-changing decision there is a thirst for making things happen in Manchester.

“It’s a tough climate out there for everybody but it’s not necessary to & lsquo;batten down the hatches’ – it’s more about being bold, facing challenges head on, and dealing with change in a planned and positive manner.

“It has been rewarding to share the lessons from my book with people in my home city of Manchester.”

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