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Archive for the tag “Change management”

The Change Planning Toolbox: 10 Initial Steps

This is intended as a checklist to start any personal or corporate change project. Just take a blank sheet/ screen and start answering the following:

Initial planning questions:
1. What are you trying to change?

2. Who is involved in the change?
2.1. Do they want to change?
2.2. What do they need to change?

3. What does the changed future look like?

4. What are the top 3 blockers to change that require specific strategies to overcome them?

Detailed Planning Steps:
5. Clearly articulate objective: what does the changed vision/ goal/ future look like?:
5.1. Write down in technicolour detail.
5.2. Use this as an initial engagement step with those involved in the change (i.e. facilitated brainstorm/ meeting away day)
5.3. Create a clear list of benefits that will be enjoyed when change is achieved

6. Go public with the change vision: be clear on how those affected by the change will be kept engaged and informed

7. Create a clear and detailed timebound plan with detailed sub-projects, tasks and next actions needed to achieve the vision in 5. above, whilst ensuring the blockers in 4. above are addressed:
7.1. The actions all need to be concrete and measurable.
7.2. They must include clear accountabilities and ‘sprint’ milestones that effectively breakdown the overall change project into manageable chunks capable of completion and celebration (see 8.)
7.3. You must also create specific sub-projects for overcoming blockers and resistance to change as well as communication and engagement steps included in this list

8. Communicate and celebrate successful achievement of change chunks.
8.1. Ensure these are timed to maximise the positive internal (and any relevant external) PR impact: you’re aiming to create change momentum here.
8.2. Ensure that real small rewards are earned/ enjoyed – even if it’s just a round of drinks with the people involved in achieving the sub-goal or giving yourself a small treat

9. Keep on reminding all involved (those identified in 2, 5.2 and 7.2 above) about the clear list of benefits that will be enjoyed when change is achieved (you created this list in 5.3. above). You need to treat this step as a communication sub-project in its own right

10. Take a planned action
10.1. Repeat 10.

Relaxing into Change

I’m working through a lot of change at the moment. Interestingly it’s more about corporate change than personal change (i.e. myself), but as I’m planning for and leading the change at Madgex it’s actually nearly all about people change.

It’s a fairly straightforward observation that the change will happen through people. That without their buy-in, change remains locked in managers words and in documents and project plans.

I have considered change in a number of posts, and over the last few weeks have been digging around for as much management theory as I can. A few things have struck me:

  1. I could be looking in the wrong place, but the theory content seems to be quite thin when I had expected depth. Particularly when you consider my earlier point about the centrality of change happening through people. I obviously haven’t been looking in the right places for the psychological and motivational theory linkages which should be at the heart of all the planning
  2. A very good, positive focus on talking: both in terms of gathering feedback and aligning expectations. Indeed, the balance between the leadership role of inspiring and aligning people behind a motivating vision of the future and the management of the operational and functional ‘realities’ is fascinating
  3. A balance is starting to appear. A balance between trying to plan for change, and relaxing into change.
To explain my third point: it is starting to feel like change actually happens when an internal tipping point is achieved. You can try and impact as many of the elements that can contribute to change as you can consciously identify. However, it feels like there is a lot that has to fall into place. That has to shift internally to a good place that is aligned with the future desired changed state. A lot of the work that takes place consciously feels like it prepares the ground for the internal alignment/ realignment. But it can’t actually cause the change. A period of percolation and feeling for fit seems to be required
And it is during this stage that, unless the conversations are continuing throughout, degrees of misalignment can get fused in which will distort the future changed state

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