It sometimes appears that as soon as we start to understand just what it is we are doing -it all changes. And sometimes there appears to be no rhyme or reason to it all. In fact I recall a poster that indicated an ancient Greek philosopher had said something similar … which means that some things never change!
What we need is a strategy to ensure that changes are actually necessary and undertaken smoothly.
The Strategy should look like this
1. Identify the problem. Is there a real problem? If so what is the basic cause. This part of the process can take time, but should never be skipped. Jumping to conclusions without understanding the root cause wastes time and resources. Information needs to be obtained and potential causes should be examined. Draw verifiable conclusions.
2. Identify solutions and essential changes. By clearly identifying the problem and its causes, any solution creating change must solve the problem. If the change doesn’t answer the need then it is not the solution. There can be many alternative solutions so at this step the solution best fitted to fix the problem needs to be identified.
3. Gather support for the idea of change. If the problem is generally recognised the need for change is accepted. However the precise nature of the change may be resisted. At this step you will need to inform and discuss the possible solution with those managers or workers who will be affected by the decisions.
4. Plan the change. There are a number of factors which need to be addressed carefully:
· Precisely what has to be changed
· What exact sequence of major steps is needed to bring about the change? Make up a flow chart
· Identify who will be directly involved in each step, who will be responsible and who will need to be consulted.
· What training will be involved to ensure that everyone is comfortable with the change and are equipped to implement it successfully?
· What performance indicators will show that progress is made; and how will you monitor the progress of the change?
· What follow up procedures are necessary to review the end result
5. Implement the Change. This is where the carefully thought out plan is put into practice. It may be best to carry out a trial run of the complete change first. Which ever way you implement your plan you must personally supervise the execution of the change.
6. Monitor Progress. Is the change going according to the plan? What factors have you overlooked? Collect information from the people involved and maintain data.
7. Refine the Plan. With the information you have gathered, go through the check list:
· What can be done to error-proof the process?
· Can the plan be refined?
· Are the processes standardised. Are responsibilities adequate?
· What lessons have been learned, and can these lessons be applies to other problem areas, and finally
· Has the problem been fixed?
If you follow these seven steps your staff should be aware of the need for change, understand the reasoning behind the change and be involved in the planning process. This way instinctive resistance to change will be overcome; and hopefully the problem will be solved.
This is one of our short Leadership sessions. If you or your staff are interested in more information about implement changes contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michele @ Trischel