Life, Leadership and Business

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

9 Key Questions to guide Change - Part 1

Navigating change can be a tricky process with the “pull of the past” tugging at your heels to get you back to your comfort zones. Seeing the process through until change has been firmly set in the normal routine requires discipline and direction.

Change happens automatically, but not all change brings positive development with it. Expecting a positive result at the end of the process requires conscious effort to correctly guide the change.
In the Change Management Master Class I present nine principles of change that form a “map” to navigate the process. Each principle has a guiding question:

1.     Positive Direction: What do you want?

The outcome or result that you want must be stated in the positive. (See article: Dispelling the Myth of Positive Thinking). Positive means that your desired change statement must be “directed to something you want” rather than something you want to avoid

It is amazing how often people will tell you exactly what they want to avoid when asked the question – What do you want?  Negative outcomes are notoriously difficult to achieve. For example, losing weight or kicking the smoking habit are negative outcomes. Any negative outcome: reducing waste, lowering fixed costs and minimizing key staff loss are difficult to achieve.

So, be sure that you layout the change you desire as something you are moving towards.

2.     Evidence: How will you know you are succeeding / have succeeded?

Getting the right feedback as you progress will help you track your progress. The feedback should be of an accurate quality and of sufficient amount to tell you that you are on the right path to success.

It is important to design the criteria for feedback before you set off on your change journey. What will you measure to let you know you are on track and what will you measure to let you know you have achieved the desired change outcome?

3.     Specifics: Where, when and with whom?

Okay, technically that is three separate questions, but all three need to be asked.

Where do you specifically want the outcome? There may be situations or places you don’t want the outcome. You may want to increase sales, but only in specific outlets. You may want to change certain attitudes, but only in a specific department.

When do you want it? Is there a deadline? Do you need the result by a certain date, in order to take advantage of other situations?

With whom? Who will be involved? Who will be affected?

Being specific helps define a clear picture / result of what you would like to achieve.

4.     Resources: What resources do you have?

Start with the basics and take inventory of the objects that you have available. This would be office furniture, vehicles, buildings or technology. It may be as simple as a book or a video that sparks the desire to change.

Consider the people involved and consider people that could assist your change process: friends, family or business associates.

Consider what role models are available for the process you will take. Has someone else achieved what you setting out to do? How did they do it? What did they use? How long did it take them? Can you talk to them? Has someone written about their experience?

Personal Characteristics are an important resource consideration. What of your skills, knowledge or attitude will help you succeed?

Can you raise the money? Do you have the money? Can you implement the change more cost effectively?

Countinue reading part 2 here...
Guiding Questions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, here

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