As noted in previous posts, the start of a new year is often a time for making resolutions or strategic improvement plans, which is another way of saying “a time for change.”
As we all know, change is a critical component of growth and ongoing success; and, to be effective, change initiatives must involve not only a change in attitude, but also behavioral change.
But, as we also know, change is not always perceived as being good. In organizations of all types, people tend to look with skepticism at innovations and new methods, processes, policies and procedures; and people at all levels sometimes cringe at the suggestion that there might be a different or better way to do their jobs!
Yet without change comes stagnation and potential loss. Examples include: Converse in sneakers or Kodak in photography, each experiencing significant declines in market share and profits as competitors introduced new and improved, lower-cost alternatives.
Readiness… the Right Attitude
The first step in any change effort is to help people develop the right mental attitude and understand that change is a constant part of long-term success. We have found that this “readiness for change” is best brought about through assessment, communication, education, empowerment, measurement, and recognition.
Components of helping people prepare for and embrace change include:
- Making continuous improvement a permanent part of your corporate culture so that people at all levels change the way they think, talk, work, and act
- Establishing new perspectives on work, work processes and value-added work
- Clearly identifying the necessary or desired changes to actions and behaviors
- Effectively using statistical tools to identify, analyze, understand and communicate variation and to measure improvement
- Enlisting the help of people operating the work processes
- Quantifying how continuous improvement benefits all stakeholders
- Improving leadership and coaching skills that lead to increased employee engagement