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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Making a change in an organization

"Change can be hard for thoes who don't see the need"

I have found there are typically at least 7 stages to making a change in an organization. I always try to do all of them since over the years I’ve found skipping any of the stages reduces the chances of eventual success. This isn’t just for the big glory moves either. It works at all levels. All my managers understand and use the list.
  1. Time. The change has to happen soon. Make sure you get across why it’s a good thing. If you have communicated the benefits properly you shouldn’t need your boot tips.
  2. Team. I get a team together, preferably where everybody knows and has worked with each other, to see the thing through, soup to nuts; from the idea all the way through to the eventual consumer, whether internal or external. Pick the team wisely. Make sure there are some dissenters-you don’t want everybody thinking alike. You need the idea to be rigorously challenged internally.

    "If everyone is thinking alike, somebody isn't thinking."
    -General George Patton, Jr.

  3. Vision of the future. Convey your vision to your teams. If you don’t have a vision, work with your trusted resources to develop one. If you still don’t have one, do your shareholders a favor and help find your replacement.
  4. Communication. Make sure everybody in the enterprise/group knows what the vision is.
  5. Empower. Make sure everybody can move their area toward the vision. This way you can converge on it on multiple tracks. There should be a lot of work in parallel. Think digital. Analog is yesterday.
  6. Interim goals. If the vision is too far off people may not be sufficiently motivated. Dial in sub-goals so they can occasionally taste their own momentum toward the ultimate prize. People prefer to reach for what they can actually touch. It’s ok to keep it beyond their grasp, just not too far or too often.
  7. Reinforce. When the change has been achieved keep it high profile until it is assimilated into the organization or group. Get it organic as soon as possible. It has to be part of the walls. Part of the mindset. The culture.

Have a great day you are the only person who can make it so


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