Many people fear the word “change” for many reasons; the most common reason is that people get too comfortable. But what happens if a certain way of doing things doesn’t work any more? I’ve always learned that there are three types of people: people that watch things happen, people that make things happen and people that wonder what’s going on. People that watch things happen usually know they need to change but they are afraid or too comfortable so they watch other people go in the “mine field” first. When change management comes to mind, the first thing I thought about was a simple yet insightful business book I read “Who moved my cheese?” To give you a better insight on what I’m trying to say, here’s a video I found of the story described in the book:
When I think of change, I think of the word reinvent. Although change may be difficult for many people and organizations, it is an opportunity to be able to reinvent specific strategies and allow growth for the company. Change will help improve the company to be more efficient and productive. Can you imagine what it would be like if grocery or retail stores didn’t have any barcodes to scan or even a computer to do their inventory? It fascinates me to think of how it was done back in the day without technology! Here’s an article from the Financial Post that talks about allowing change in their strategies within the different channels in order to work better and optimize capabilities.
It is important for organizations to embrace change and allow for change to happen for the better. Change or Reinventing doesn’t only need to happen with company strategies, but with employees as well! Leaders in an organization will constantly need to elevate their skills and try their best to constantly become a better person and asset to the company. The New York Times had an article of how change benefits the company and even managers themselves when they allow for change and evaluate their flaws. Here is a link to that article.
Now we know all the why in the importance of change in an organization. Let’s talk about the how. John Kotter has a great example of the how to implement change in 8 steps. I’ve taken some explanations from the article to assist in illustrating each step:
- Create urgency – “Kotter suggests that for change to be successful, 75 percent of a company’s management needs to “buy into” the change” (Mind Tools)
- Form powerful coalition – “Convince people that change is necessary. This often takes strong leadership and visible support from key people within your organization. Managing change isn’t enough – you have to lead it” (Mind Tools)
- Create a vision for change – “Link concepts to an overall vision that people can grasp easily and remember” (Mind Tools)
- Communicate the vision – “What you do with your vision after you create it will determine your success” (Mind Tools)
- Remove obstacles – “Put in place the structure for change and continually check for barriers to it. Removing obstacles can empower the people you need to execute your vision, and it can help the change move forward” (Mind Tools)
- Create short-term wins – “Nothing motivates more than success. Give your company a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short time frame (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change), you’ll want to have results that your staff can see” (Mind Tools)
- Build on the change – “Real change runs deep. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change” (Mind Tools)
- Anchor the changes in the corporate structure – “To make any change stick, it should become part of the core of your organization. Your corporate culture often determines what gets done, so the values behind your vision must show in day-to-day work” (Mind Tools)
Here’s an explanation of all 8 for all the readers wanting more insight about each step, what to do and how to go about it. Organizations will need a team of leaders with influence in the company to work together as a team in implementing change. Change or reinventing should not be something to be fearful of and should be accepted to become better. After all,
Change is the only thing constant. – Heraclitus, Greek philosopher (Mind Tools)
Are you afraid of change or being uncomfortable or do you love change and the surprises and new experiences brings? Let me know in the comments below and feel free to share your own experiences, I would love to read/hear about them!
Dinaaqua. (n.d). Who moved my cheese. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEH6fvU8i7o&feature=related
Mind Tools. (n.d.). Kotter’s 8-step change model – implementing change powerfully and successfully. Retrieved July 24, 2012 from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_82.htm
Osak, Mitchell. (2012). Optimizing The Channel Experience. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://business.financialpost.com/2012/04/26/optimizing-the-channel-experience/
Singer, Natasha. (2012). Helping Managers Find, and Fix, Their Flaws. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/18/business/minds-at-work-helps-managers-find-and-fix-their-flaws.html?_r=1