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Quick Steps to Create Change

Easy Process Management  

   Ever outgrow a program or a way of doing things?  Maybe you have always done your customer tracking in Excel and see the need for a CRM?  Or maybe your filing system started without any real rules and now you need a mass reorganization?  From the smallest change to a major overhaul, these proven techniques can help guide you through the process. 

1. Identify

Understand what results you are after.  What reasons are behind the need for change? How will it make lives better or jobs easier?  What road bumps can you expect along the way?  What tools and processes can help you? 

2. Engage Champions

Get the right people on board.  Who is an influencer of other people and could convince others that the change is good and worthwhile?  There is usually someone that others look up to and trust.  Sometimes it is a manager.  If this person (or people) supports the change then it is a lot easier to engage others

Crawl before you walk and let your benefits outweigh the risks. 

3. Keep the Reasons Top of Mind

During the process continually come back to the reason you want the change.  Remind people along the way what the result will be.  Often, change is feared because it means adding a few extra steps or learning something new; neither of which is as easy as doing things the way they have always been done.  There will be a little bit of a learning curve but if people understand how it will make their lives better then they will be more likely to adopt the new practice.

4. Set Timelines

Be clear about what the steps are in the change process and when each will be implemented.  When will research of potential options be gathered?  When will training plans roll out?  Who is responsible for what and how will each person be impacted?  When does evaluation of new methods take place?  If a trial period needs to be utilized how long will that take, who will be a part of the trial, and what needs to be determined within it?  Communicate clearly and at the right time.

5. Abandon the Old

Stop using the old way when the new way is implemented.  Having one toe in the water may not give you enough data on whether it will work or not.  You can easily waste time on the entire process by “deciding” on something new but continuing to use the old.

6. Adopt the New

Fully embrace the new process.  Test and measure and make a commitment.  This is especially important for influencers and managers.  Most people will not feel obligated to use the new process if their managers – and the person asking them to change – does not do it themselves. 

7. Ensure Adoption with Training

Have influencers and managers train other staff or create a training plan so that they know it even better.  During training the champions will see first-hand what the resistance might entail and be able to address challenges before they turn the whole group.  Ensure a successful adoption with training and clear communication.

8. Give It Time

The worst thing that can happen is for the work to go into making change and then to abandon the process before you commit fully and give it time to work. 

You aren’t alone.  

Depending on the level of change, you may spend more time on some steps than others.  If the process is far outside of the scope of anyone’s job description or could be done in less time you may find yourself benefiting from the support of outside help. Sometimes hiring a project manager may give you the drive needed to make real change and save you money.

It is easy to let perfection be the enemy of progress.  Crawl before you walk and let your benefits outweigh the risks.

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When determining what will bring the most value to your time investment, I have found companies and non-profits of all sizes have a need for clarity of financials.  

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