Change Management - The Unmeasured Science

Change is inevitable. Processes age.  Quality is elusive. Requirements evolve so quickly that we can’t keep up with them. We face concerns like this every day. Your training makes you ready to address this challenge. You have a plethora of tools and techniques. You have hard measures, quantitative measures, good measures, those which dive deeply into the process to characterize its performance. You are selective and your measures are un-biased and representative. You are clear about key indicators and you have a response plan to performance. This is a great approach but there’s more.

Change that is unplanned is never really adopted. It backslides. You’ve seen it happen. But why?  Is it because we didn’t manage the change, we didn’t prepare? Is change management to hard to measure? After all it’s soft.  It’s fuzzy. It’s not technical it’s socio.

Change Management is a transition methodology separate from Lean Six Sigma problem solving. It stimulates individuals, teams and organizations to seek a desired future state. The problem is that no one ever told you how to measure the change so that it comes to life. Therefore, to most people, it dies a sudden death and falls to the side of a theoretical conversation.  That logic excludes your most valuable asset: people.  The people who use the process every day, and your goal is to get their adoption.  Their participation in the evolutionary process of making things better is a key success enabler.

There are three components:

 

1.   By conquering fears and emotions: Fear leads to paralysis.  People recoil from the unknown. Simply, they like the current state.  It’s comfortable. It’s known. It’s safe. They don’t have to stretch to learn something new.

2.   By developing skills and coaching: “I can’t, I just don’t know how”? Do lack of skills hold you back from making a good change. Even more difficult is getting an adult to admit that they need training. It’s embarrassing. What will people think?

3.   By propagating the vital behaviors of role models: Vital behaviors are positive and influential actions that stimulate people to take action. They role model a better way. They surpass the challenge, are optimistic, and always ready to help. They recognize that without change there is stagnation. Positioning these as a stimulus for action initiates the change process.

 

What does this have to do with change management? Everything! 

Your goal is to address fear and enable role model behavior. You must understand what makes something scary and uncomfortable and turn that weakness into a strength. Involving people in the creation of their own future creates an atmosphere of adoption. It creates an atmosphere for self-discovery and the opportunity for experiences that turn fear into vicarious learning.

Developing skills that support not only the change but help individuals to grow personally and professionally begins to remove the barrier. You coach people to develop new skills, those that support the whole. Those that collectively build to the more complex. You embrace setbacks as a learning experience. No one does it right the first time.

Most importantly you build on vital behaviors by identifying those people with the right skills and behaviors as influencers for helping the team and individuals move forward. You ask for their help!

But none of that is measurable, right? Wrong!  The measures are just different. They are shown in a positive attitude, one that comes with the pride of having done something well. They are seen in a sense of urgency, synergy, collaboration, and when peoples work habits improve as a group. They come with tackling tougher problems. They come with doing things faster and stepping up to the challenge, not shying away from them.

Change management should be one of your most trusted tools. It incorporates the best tool in your tool bag. It comes from human ingenuity and the innovation that comes from one’s creativity and passion to excel.

 

Contact Lean2 Business Consulting for help in introducing change management into your workplace.