The old truism is right on track -- there are only three things that are for certain: death, taxes and change.
Change is the continuing challenge of the New Millennium. Some people do not adjust well to change. In fact, not everyone welcomes it. Some resist change, and will pay the penalty for adopting this stance. But we do have to be smart about change.
Here are "Six Truths" about change we should all understand. Utilize them and you and your team will be better equipped for the future:
- Change is inevitable and resistance is natural.
This often seems like a radical thought to the person who has just come up with a new way to do something (a positive change). The reaction is often a mild form of reality therapy.
- Maximized involvement means minimized resistance.
In other words, the more we get people involved in the change process, the less they are apt to resist. It therefore follows, those left on the sidelines are most likely to resist. They have a vested interest in slowing down the game.
- Whenever you are making changes, try not to create losers.
You will unwittingly create a class who may wish to get even with you at some point.
- Make sure whatever changes you initiate or accept will support your mission, your purpose and your vision.
Intellectually that is easy to understand, but too often in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the day, the logic is not followed.
- Communicate the change and the benefits of the change to everyone.
Do not assume that the advantages of change will be obvious. Since many people naturally resist change, it is likely they might not see that change has a positive impact that could improve their lot in the future.
- And lastly, always remember that change requires more and more intense communication and follow-up.
Use old classic tools as well as electronic tools but don't solely depend on the latter.
Before you get working on your routine tasks, here are six questions to help keep them relevant. It is a great model for team problem solving, too. These are also applicable when finding reasons for continuing any project.
Zero Base Problem Analysis
How will this task assist you in reaching your business targets? How will it help you realize your short-term and long-term goals? Do not settle for, "That's the way we have always done it."
Would you lose money? Would somebody get angry? Would it impact the organization in a negative way or in a positive way? Would customers notice this was being done differently?
Is this something that we do every single day, when in fact, we only really have to do it less often for the same results? Or is the reverse true, that this is one of the activities we do once a month, but really should start doing more frequently?
Sometime when we make changes we inadvertently cause a rippling effect, which should also be evaluated. While we may be sure the change is good for us, we need to be aware of what it is going to do to other people. We need to increase our awareness and where appropriate get others involved in this, too.
In other words, could we justify it on the bottom line? Would management go for it if we had to go in with a proposal to say, "I would like to start doing this from scratch, could we add this to our budget?"
Regardless of your decision either to make the change or to continue the same routine, put it down in your calendar that in 30 days from starting you want to come back to the project with the question: "Can it be done more effectively?"
- Why do you do it?
- What would happen if you stopped doing it?
- When is it necessary to perform this activity?
- Who does it affect?
- If we were not already doing it, would we start?
- Could it be done more effectively?
Action Item: Read magazines, newspapers, and newsletters. Listen to the radio (w3w3.com) and topical audios and mp3 files as you commute. Stay informed and up-to-date. The media is very important. Whether you agree with them or not is irrelevant as it relates to this action item. Other people are influenced by what everyone is saying, and that is a major component of trends.