Business is a very uncertain world. The only constant is change; it is always happening. It is never easy. Most of us dislike it.
How long will it take? Will the changes last? How much of it do you really need? Will they work? What order should I make them in? How many can we do at once?
The Ten Steps To Effective Change
There are ten steps to effective change. The secret to success is to learn what they are, how they happen, and how long they take.
- Acknowledge the current way you do something is NOT working
- Admit to the problem before trying to find the solutions
Evaluation and Discovery
- The current pain is not the cause, it is a symptom.
- Find the causes.
- Research how others have managed through similar causes.
- Evaluate resources available and options to eliminate the causes.
- What does the change really need to accomplish?
- What will the change actually look like in the end?
- Visualizations and “Pictures” of the destination abide in the subconscious and shape the little things we say and do…
- “Without a vision, the people perish…”
- Where are you at now?
- What are the smaller steps to reach the destination?
- Who will “own” each of the steps?
- Write out what was found in each of the first four steps.
- Make sure the writing is clear and succinct.
- Everyone must get the same story.
- Have a meeting with everyone involved with the change.
- Distribute the documentation to everyone involved in the change.
- Distribute the documentation to every affected by the change.
- Start with a smaller sample; fewer people than will finally be affected by the change.
- As much as possible, avoid interrupting the normal flow of business.
- Implementation must take place in systematic steps, usually should run in parallel with the old way.
- Otherwise test it on “bogus” information or resources.
- Validate that the changes you have defined will actually work. Go back to Step 4 if the changes are not working…
- Train everyone that is part of the change.
- Inform everyone that is affected by the change; train if needed.
- Make clear to those whose methods and means must shift to realize the benefits.
- The training frequency going down as time rolls on.
- Change is now formally starting!
- Our new creations are never perfect at their birth.
- Correct and improve the processes and procedures as the vision starts to become reality.
- Tweaking is an ongoing process looping bact to Step 6.
- Tweaking never stops.
- Epiphany is the understanding of why you made the change and what it brought about.
- It is realized by everyone affected by the change.
- The change is permanent, and the underlying causes of the problem not only are gone, they will never come back!
- Epiphany usually occurs within three weeks from the time that desired objectives start to be realized.
In reality, change is inevitable, whether in work or in real life. It is truly the only constant in both business and the world.