FYI Change Formula & Worksheet

Change can be startling no matter how much we tell ourselves we are prepared. We may be fooled by the facade of a graceful exterior while there is chaos close beneath the surface. Trust us, we are no different. However, we have helped many organizations through their change processes and have learned a few shortcuts along the way. The thing about change is it is inevitable. It will either happen to you or you can steer the change and ride the wave when the tides come in because you are prepared. Follow this formula to get a head start on your change process.

FYI Change Formula:

Who + What + How = There!

Self Awareness + Desired Goals + Assessment = Change

  1. Self Awareness -“I know who I am” – First we need a starting point and that is always within MEBeing able to identify my important values will center me and be my guiding North Star. What is the motivation behind the change? To improve? Or is it happening to me and I’m feeling out of control? How I perceive my situation greatly affects my attitude and confidence in addressing the change.
  2. Desired Goals -“I know what I want” – After we know more about who we are and where we are starting, we need a direction. We want to know the goals to get us through the change to our desired result. What do I want that is both attainable and measurable? These can be long-term and short-term goals. Adding a timeline helps ground it in reality. How do these goals reflect my values?
  3. Assessment -“I know how to go” – Once we have a direction we select the strategy to use that will get us to our desired outcomes. We identify the tools we need and we use them. The trick here is perseverance. If something isn’t working, we need to try something else and reassess until we find what works. Celebrating small successes keeps us positive and confident as we build our change muscles.
  4. Change – “I know when I have arrived there” – That’s it. We made it through the change to the other side. It’s important to reflect on our journey and capture the learning. Celebrate our accomplishments! It’s easy to get swept up in what still needs to be done, but that will add anxiety and stress. We build success one victory at a time.


FYI Change Worksheet: to build new habits, we must practice them and preparation is key. Below are 2 sets of questions designed to help individuals and organizations through a change process.

Preparation for the Individual

  1. What are my top 5 values?
  2. What are 3 short-term and 3 long-term goals?
  3. What is the direction I am headed and how will I stay focused?
  4. How will I reflect on my learning and celebrate my victories along the way?

Prepararation for the Organizational

  1. Who needs to be committed to this change process? 
  2. Who are the champions of the change? 
  3. How will we hear from all levels of the organization?
    1. Town hall meetings
    2. Surveys
    3. Focus groups
    4. Email
    5. Other
  4. What do we need to say?
    1. Message:
    2. How often:
    3. By what means:
  5. What do we already do well as an organization that we want to keep doing?
    1. Strength 1:
    2. Strength 2:
    3. Strength 3:
  6. What are the small and meaningful tasks we can do to build up to the change?
    1. Task 1:
    2. Task 2:
    3. Task 3:
  7. What are the small and incremental milestones to look for to manage impatience?
    1. Milestone 1:
    2. Milestone 2:
    3. Milestone 3:
  8. What do we need to learn and be able to do to sustain the change?
    1. Knowledge or Skill 1:
    2. Knowledge or Skill 2:
    3. Knowledge or Skill 3:

Change… Again?

change 7Faster, faster, faster! Our lives are moving at an ever-increasing pace and we feel this especially in the workplace. We have access to increasing amounts of information, transportation and communication that take us far and wide. This generates new ideas and other ways of doing what we do. We can try to absorb it and most often it gets to be too much. So we shut down and ignore it.

If we do not adjust, if we do not keep up, then we get left behind and become obsolete. At least this is the fear we hold hand in hand with the fear of the unknown.

How can we address the fact that change does and will continue to happen? How do we recognize our choices and how we deal with it?

Change can happen in three ways:

  1. Episodic Change, which is direct, immediate, short term and usually a superficial type of change.
  2. Developmental Change, which takes time to unfold, goes to greater depths and has a longer-term impact.
  3. Radical Change, which is the most dramatic of the three, is a big shift in perspective and direction, and has both short- and long-term impact.

Any one of these three types of change can evoke emotional reactions. Typically, we feel fear because we are threatened about the change and what it means to us. Our knee jerk reaction is to want to maintain a feeling of security. In the workplace this can mean job security. We take action based upon the need to protect what we have from what we do not know. So we can,

  • Deny the change is coming or is necessary (“hunh, what change?”)
  • Be skeptical of the change and criticize it (“it will never work!”)
  • Gather others into a bigger force against the change (oh, how misery loves company!)
  • Or try to be proactive and get ahead of the change (go change!)

Which of these steps will be productive and helpful?

A penguin colony in Antarctica is panicked because their iceberg is melting. Some ignore it, some panic and others take action. In the book, Our Iceberg is Melting, Kotter shows different reactions to change using a fable that mimics real life. He comes up with an 8-step process to address change:

Set the Stage

1. Create a sense of urgency

2. Put together the guiding team

Decide What To Do

3. Develop the change vision and strategy

Make it Happen

4. Communicate for understanding and buy-in

5. Empower others to act

6. Produce short-term wins

7. Don’t let up

Make it Stick

8. Create a new culture

Here are some practical ways in which we at FYI can guide the change process:

  • Gain commitment from the leadership of the organization for the change and participatory process because without it, the efforts will fall flat.
  • Identify the Change Champion(s) who will be the point of contact and shepherd the change from within the organization?
  • Conduct interviews, surveys and focus groups to hear from all levels of the organizational system so that all voices have the opportunity to be heard.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!
  • Build on strengths of the organization and the workforce because when we focus on problems all our energy goes to wallowing in problems and that is an energy drain.
  • Implement small and meaningful wins so members of the organization take it seriously and see their voices reflected in the change.
  • Be patient because this takes time.
  • Build capacity for the new ways of working.

Change is a process that happens over a period of time and is not a one time event. In order for the change to “stick” people need time to adjust and create new habits. There should be ongoing monitoring and evaluation. To ensure the organization and all stakeholders involved are on the path they intended and can make adjustments as needed. The best parts are to celebrate the successes, no matter how small!

change 4



Kotter, J. & Rathgeber, H. (2005). Our iceberg is melting: Changing and succeeding under any conditions. New York: St. Martin’s Press.


Business is Personal: How Our Personal Awareness Affects Our Work Dynamics

Business is personal FYI Blog Image

In the workplace, we are often navigating through challenging situations that require effort. It takes hard work to work well with others. Cultivating an understanding of our own personal awareness in relation to our communication with others is the essential ingredient to productive business relationships. How can we then cultivate personal awareness in the workplace in order to move through difficult situations with confidence and ease?

There are opportunities to explore relational dynamics in broader and deeper ways than most of us are currently doing. When we are attuned to others, we are open and receptive to the flow of their energy and information with ours. Dr. Daniel Siegel (2012) coined the term mindsight to reflect on internal awareness of information flow between our brain, mind and relationships. There are richer and more meaningful levels of awareness we can achieve. Even current research in neuroscience gives us added insights into how our interconnected physical, mental and emotional worlds operate.

The more attuned we are to our internal states the more in tune we can be to the internal states of others. The limbic regions of our brains are critical in being able to process the exchange of information between from our bodies to make meaning of our social interactions. This in turn stimulates our emotional reactions. We co-create the relationships we have with others by the force we emit to them, how they receive and make meaning of it and vice versa, how we receive and make meaning of what we receive from others.

In the workplace, when a co-worker does not complete assigned tasks that feed into our part of the project, we have a variety of ways in which we can respond:

1. We can blame the person for not being a team player and the person remains resentful and less productive.

2. We can report them to the boss. Once we do that, however, the co-worker is probably not going to want to collaborate with us or support us going forward. So what can we do?

3. If we slow down our reaction process by taking a few minutes to focus on our internal state and why we are having an emotional reaction, we allow for a more constructive interaction. Reaching out to them with an observation and inquiry may create a mood of collaboration, rather than accusation. For example, “I noticed that I did not receive the report yesterday from you and I am wondering if you will be able to get that to me today? Is there something I can–or what can I–do to expedite the process?”

Our response to this action is a critical moment and one in which our next action is fateful. It determines the tone of the immediate, and in some cases, future relationship. What is the quality of the relationship we are trying to create?

None of this is easy. It may be difficult to have a collaborative tone or use supportive words when we are feeling upset. However, accusing people will breed further difficulty. It is up to us to decide where we want to exert our efforts: in taking a minute to relax, think through and create a subsequently more congenial working relationship; or create more of a tangled mess by blaming our co-worker?

DaisyOne way of developing the ability to approach the situation collaboratively is by getting to identify and understand what is really important to us. There is a daisy model used in coordinated management of meaning (CMM) , in which the petals of the daisy show all the different influences that shape what is in the center. Daisies can have as many petals as you want to draw, and you can demonstrate the fullness of the many influences that shape who we are and how we see the world. How important is this action? How important is this co-worker? How important is this workplace?

People do not leave companies; they leave people. We are willing to put up with hardships for quality relationships that are stimulating and motivating. The vice versa, stimulating work and good compensation, yet working with people who aggravate us, add stress and make us sick — we tend to leave those jobs. By using self-awareness instead of reactive energy, we create more dynamic and evolved work relationships.


Greetings FYI Community!


I am so excited to present two big developments at Fisher Yoshida International: The launch of our brand new consulting website ( and the expansion of our New York consultant company!

But first, I wanted to tell you a bit about myself, since I’ll be handling most of the communications going forward. My name is Ria Yoshida, and yes, the last name is a giveaway. If you haven’t already guessed, Beth Fisher Yoshida, the CEO and founder, is my mother. And now, she’s also my boss.

Some time ago, Beth asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told her that I wanted to join the family business. Mind you, this isn’t a traditional mom-and-pop shop. Beth started Fisher Yoshida International in 1995. She consults with Fortune 500 global companies, government agencies, small businesses, military and security organizations, non-profits, school districts, and academic institutions.

When I told her I wanted to work with her, it changed our relationship — for the better! I have a newfound appreciation and understanding of how meaningful our work is. It has been extraordinary for me to learn about the nuances of working at a boutique consultant firm. Each successful partnership with our clients has been a unique opportunity to learn how significant human relationships are in business. Who better to learn that from then my mentor, Beth?

Clearly, the task to integrate into Beth’s complex and dynamic business world and her world of Negotiation and Conflict Resolution at Columbia University would be a large one.

I asked myself, “How can I engage with the vast community she has built over the course of 25+ years?”

Voila, the official FYI blog was born!

I want to use this platform to update you on our current events, psychological musings, writing, research and more. I strongly believe in the work we are doing, and hope to foster better social worlds, one conversation at a time.

So many of you have been active with FYI for years, and for that we are extremely grateful. We would love to hear even more from you!

Just click the “Follow” button and you will receive an email whenever there is an updated FYI blog post. We also have a Twitter account (@fyicommunicate) and a facebook page (!

Yours truly,

Ria Yoshida & the FYI Team