CHANGE…. by choice!?!?!
....or....“If It Ain’t Broke Break It”(Kriegel)
The above is not only a great quote, but also the title of a wonderful
book by Robert Kriegel. In the last article, we encountered change. In
this one, we are making the change.
The thrust of Kriegel’s message is this. Change is inevitable. You
will encounter change and be forced to make changes. But don’t let
that fool you into thinking the things you have not been forced to change
are still “ok”. Complacency, according to Kriegel is a sure
formula for going out of business. The methods we’ve “always
used”, the way “we’ve always done it”, the approach
“we’ve always taken”, all need to be reviewed and revisited.
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is a formula
for mediocrity. Occasionally, our sacred cows have to be literally broken
apart and rebuilt. If for no other reason, then just to see if we would
build them the same way or find some improvement.
Kreigel’s words are echoed in the brief but powerful statement
of Soichiro Honda, (name ring a bell?), “Success is 99% failure”.
If you are not constantly looking for ways to improve – change –
then you are slowly going out of business.
There is no “failure” as long as you take what you learn into
the next attempt…and never give up!
So, you want to implement this strategy. How do you do it and how do
you turn your colleagues natural resistance, inertia, into supportive,
productive energy?!? Here are some suggestions when you choose change:
1. Initiate change. Look for opportunities to make changes
to the way you do business. Experiment; send up trial balloons; listen
to your co-workers “off the wall” ideas.
2. Understand the purpose of your change. Know the results
you seek. Reduce the results to quantifiable terms. Make it tangible.
3. Visualize the new environment the change will create.
See it, touch it, smell it, taste it, hear it – create a real vision
so it will be unmistakable when you get there.
4. Share that vision with everyone whose help you need.
Make it a tangible experience. Seek their feedback. Articulate the benefits
they will derive from the results of the change. Find some “pain”
the change will eliminate. All movement is a combination of “pain”
5. Formulate a plan to achieve the vision. Make it a
group effort; include all in the vision. Seek feedback, explore resistance,
and maintain some flexibility.
6. Use results oriented delegation. Assign tasks, set
time frame, hold people accountable, and praise early and often. Lead
by pulling not pushing. Recount, retell, refresh, and remind them of the
vision – often!
7. Celebrate the victory. The more credit you give away,
the more credit you will get in the long run. Know there is no arriving
there is only moving forward. Start planning the next change.
Based on what Kriegel presents, you are always facing a “fork in
the road”, even when things seem status quo. So heed the immortal
words of the master of verbiage, Yogi Bera: “When you come to a
fork in the road, take it!”
John J. Doran
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