Pensacola, Florida
Wednesday February 20th 2019

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Quint Studer: Leading Change

By Rick Outzen

On March 1, Quint Studer kicks off his retirement from the company he founded, Studer Group, with a free community workshop to be held at WSRE’s Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio on the Pensacola State College campus.

Rachael Gillette, Director of Professional Development for the Studer Community Institute, appeared on News Talk 1370 WCOA’s “Pensacola Speaks” to discuss the workshop.

“The topic is about leading and managing change,” she said. “Everything’s changing constantly.”

The topic was chosen after surveying local business owners and participants in the institute’s other seminars.

“We want to really help small business owners improve, become better, be able to employ more people,” Gillette said. “Change was really one of the top topics that they wanted as a community.”

She pointed out that Studer has studied change for years, and the workshop will not only be about the theories of coping with change, but also will provide real-life examples.

“This is for anyone who is dealing with change in their current role, who feels like they want to help their team navigate change better,” she said. “It’s going to be a workshop that’s relevant for everyone, because no matter what stage they’re at, they’re either dealing with this (now), or they’re going to have to deal with it.”

Gillette added, “People deal with change in different ways. Some people accept it and are okay with it, but other people really find it difficult. Quint’s going to talk about the phases of change and how people deal with it in each particular phase. And then how to communicate throughout the organization what’s happening and why it’s happening; those kinds of things.”

Inweekly also talked with Quint Studer about his first day as a full-time, community volunteer. Why start it with a free workshop?

“When Doug Holler (PNJ reporter) asked in 2003 what my long -term goal was, I said I wanted to be part of this community, and be part of making it better, and so we tried to do so,” said Studer. “Some people golf, some people like to fish, and basically I do what I’m passionate about—that’s trying to at least present things in a way that help people have better lives.”

While with Studer Group, he has spoken extensively about implementing and dealing with change in the healthcare environment.

“It’s gotten really good reviews across the country, so I thought why not,” he said. “Instead of talking about healthcare, I’m writing a lot of new material for this on how to introduce change: change personally, change in the community and change in your workplace.”

Studer said people tend to take change too personally.

“Change is not somebody doing something to us. You can’t take it personally. Many times it’s the external factors that cause changes, and I think particularly in the workplace which I’m going to talk most about, is we somehow think our boss is doing it, or the executives are doing it,” he said.

“Trust me, most bosses and executives rather not have the changes, but if something changes, you’ve got to change operations. I think part of it is explaining where the change is coming from.”

Changes in the workplace can come from external factors, such as changes in technology, or can be internal, such as a new owner, boss or job description.

“The first thing is to identify where the change is coming from,” Studer said. “Then determine why we have to do it, and after that, it’s what do we need to change, how do we need to change, who needs to change, when do they need to change and where is the change?”

According to Studer, change is neither good nor bad.  He said, “I think change is change.”

He talked about how the slightest change can create pushback if not explained.

“If you’re a boss and you haven’t, let’s say, done a lot of reward recognition, all of a sudden you go up to your employees and start complimenting the heck out them. Their big worry is going to be, they changed his medication here. What the heck’s going on?”

Transparency is the key.

“You’ve got to tell the employees when there is a change, why you’re doing what you’re doing. Even good change can concern them,” Studer said, “You’ve got to be transparent, and you’ve got to explain the change”

Change causes discomfort, according to Studer.

“Even high performers don’t like change, because when a high performer has to change, they actually perform worse, even though eventually they’re going to perform better,” he said.  “Companies often think their real high performers are going to just adapt to change really well, and actually they don’t, which shakes up the whole organization.”

He said his goal for the community workshop is for people to walk away not only being able to better handle change, but to help those around them handle it better, too.

“At the Studer Community Institute, we’re focusing on kindergarten readiness and on how we can help small businesses grow; we create jobs,” Studer said. “If a small business is more successful and can retain their retain staff, that creates jobs.”

He added, “It might sound crazy, but I think when we create better places to work, we can save lives. People who take their work home, they’re better fathers, better mothers, better everything, so I’m really excited about this.”

Leading & Managing Change
What: Free workshop focused on increasing the understanding of all aspects of organizational change, as well as effective ways to create as sense of urgency, lead through the process and minimize resistance.
WHEN:  8 a.m.-12 p.m., Tuesday, March 1, doors open at 7:30 a.m.
WHERE: WSRE Jean & Paul Amos Performance Studio, 1000 College Blvd, Bldg 23 Pensacola State College campus.
COST: Free, but need to reserve a seat at studeri.org.
DETAILS: This workshop is part of the Studer Community Institute’s ongoing development sessions to help improve the quality of life in Northwest Florida. Visit studeri.org