Change Management Articles

Our Love Affair With Quick
Step 1: Understand What’s Driving Change

Businesses know about our love affair with quick. They realize we’ll like their products and services better if they somehow build in speed. So because of us, they keep trying to squeeze more time out of everything they do.

It should be perfectly clear to all of us that speed is a key source of competitive advantage. The dollar value of time keeps climbing. That means organizations need to save as much of it as they can.

Delay gets deadly in a world of high-velocity change. The...

Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

We’re all creatures of habit. Sure, we like the idea of making big improvements, but none of us really likes change. So we plow on, mindlessly doing the same old things in the same old way. It comes natural. Trouble is, our routines close our minds and lives to the breakthroughs that we say we want.

Of course, some of our habits are valuable. Familiar routines can be efficient and economical, freeing us from having to think. So if we get into the habit, for example, of daily exercise...

Step 1: Understand What’s Driving Change

It is you and I–along with everyone else–who keep pushing the world to change.

As consumers, we get more demanding all the time. We want better quality stuff. We want it faster. And cheaper. Plus, we want more choices to pick from. Whoever comes along that can satisfy all these wants the best gets our business.

That is, until somebody else shows up offering us a still better deal.

Whomever we’re doing business with must be improving constantly, or pretty soon they simply...

Fast History
Step 1: Understand What’s Driving Change

Change keeps picking up speed. Before the organization can finish getting adjusted to one change, it gets hit with several others. We’re living in a constant period of transition, and the shelf life of our solutions keeps getting shorter. “What works” becomes history in a hurry.

Where is all this change coming from? Well, to begin with, people create change. So let’s look at what’s happening to the head count on Mother Earth.

Human beings have been around for some 6 to 7...

Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

THE HIGH-POWERED BENEFITS OF HOPE

Hope is an emotional force that points the imagination toward positive things. It energizes and mobilizes us, serving as a catalyst for action. Because it links directly to our confidence level, hope inspires us to aim higher, put forth more effort, and have more staying power.

Under the influence of hope we think in terms of possibilities, answers, and solutions, instead of limits, losses, and fears. This positive mental slant brings a...

Step 2: Adopt the Right Mindset

Customers as well as investors have many choices these days. They can choose to do business here. Or they can easily get their interests satisfied somewhere else, maybe by some company based halfway around the world.  This puts more and more pressure on our organization to perform. Either we outdo the competition or our days are numbered.

As a starting point, all of us need to understand clearly how we personally can contribute to value creation. So maybe you need to ask some...

Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

We have four options we can choose from in handling change.

First, we can resist change and struggle to cope with the situation. Second, we could decide that we’ll merely comply with what’s happening, passively accepting change but failing to offer meaningful support. A third option is to capitalize on change when it comes our way, trying to capture potential benefits it brings. Finally, we might create change on purpose, using it as our tool of choice to favorably shape our future....

Step 5: Manage Resistance

THIS IS A CLUTCH OF FOSSILIZED DINOSAUR EGGS
DISPLAYED IN AN OFFICE BUILDING IN DALLAS.

Some companies’ eggs hatched ages ago. And the powerful beasts are devouring productivity plus any chance for innovation.

Dinosaurs despise change. Sometimes they lurk inside a bloated bureaucracy, subtle as bacteria yet deadly enough to kill an organization’s ability to adapt. Other times they roam the company openly, seemingly benevolent, but still crippling its competitiveness....

Change Culture

People commonly respond to the stress of change by putting out more effort. The greater the change (that is, the bigger the adjustment they need to make) the harder they try. But they stick with the same old habits. They bet the future on “more of the same.” Their heart is in the right place, their intentions are good, but they fail to realize that many solutions of the past don’t fit the problems of the future. In fact, a lot of today’s problems are actually caused by yesterday’s solutions...

Step 6: Build Commitment

Don't ask for blind loyalty from your work force. We’ve all learned that the world puts hard limits on how loyal the organization can be in return.

But apart from that, right now you need a lot more than allegiance from employees. Loyalty can get lazy. Or be misdirected. Some of the so-called “loyalists” actually cause big problems, because they resist change and try to perpetuate an outdated culture that could kill the organization.

So what about high morale? Should that be...

Step 4: Focus

You can’t do everything fast. So you have to figure out where speed will count the most. Decide where your growth can make the biggest difference, then drive hard in that direction.

Fast growth is a sacrificial act. To pull it off, you have to steal from other areas of your life. Something has to give over here in order for you to grow over there. We’re talking about significant tradeoffs. Serious compromises. A hard-fisted rationing of resources, such as your time, energy ...

Communicate Effectively

The eleventh most famous movie quote of all time comes from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. In that scene, the prison warden clobbers prisoner Luke (Paul Newman) with a billy club and sends him tumbling into a ditch. The warden then looks across at the rest of the chain gang, pauses, and in a strained voice says,

"WHAT WE HAVE HERE IS FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE."

Corporate America has a similar problem—it’s losing the battle for people’s attention ...