Understanding When and How to Make Change Is Critical to Your Success

Posted by on Apr 25, 2021 in Change | 0 comments

A leader’s job is to know the difference between change and improvement.  They must know when a small change is needed and when breakthrough improvement is the only alternative.  Understanding these subtle differences is not always easy, but making the correct decision is vital to your success.

Understanding the issues related to change is the first step in making the correct decision.  Some of the things you will want to consider are:

  • Is this change a fact of life?  Is this change part of the unyielding sweep of nature, economics, science, technology, or political forces over which no one has control?  Is this change one that, for better or worse, will happen with or without us?  Some examples are:
    • Trying to keep up with changes in communication and computer technology.
    • Adjusting to the demographic impact of various trends that work through the population.
    • The challenge of dealing with a deteriorating environment and diminishing natural resources.
  • Is this change over which we have any control?
    • Are there any options?
    • Is one option to simply opt-out?
  • Is this a mere change, or is it an improvement?
    • It has been estimated that 95% of most organizational changes initiated by managers have nothing to do with improvement!
    • How do we know the difference between a mere change and an improvement?
    • Who is better off because of this change?  Why?  How will we measure “better off”?
  • What is the purpose of the change?
    • If the change is a solution, what is the problem?  What are the causes of the problem?  Is there a connection between our proposed change (solution) and the discernible causes of the problem?
  • What scale and scope of change are necessary, sufficient, desirable, or inevitable?
    • Changing the entire organization: its purpose, outputs, systems, processes, functions, roles, and structure?
    • What parts of the organization will be directly affected, and how will this have an indirect impact on the rest of the system?

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