Making Change the Norm

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

I just responded to the Lean IT blog.  The author made four succinct points. I responded to the one that read:  3. Organizations should establish a culture of change where changes are both scheduled, expected, and managed. In other words, when change should be the norm, it is expected and there is less resistance. Acceptance of change should be rewarded, which increases motivation and productivity.

I doubt that anyone would argue with your four points. I’d like to add something to point three. Creating a culture where change is the norm is rare and I find that my clients need help in addressing that challenging issue. Here are some that seem to work:
1. Open the books so that people see the financial situation, trends, opportunities and threats. Any of the books on Open Book Management  should help you get started. I liked Jack Stack and John Case’s writing.
2. Evaluate changes that worked in your organization, compare them to those that failed. Then create a template so that everyone in the organization has a common language for for change. This template should be just that — a 10,000′ guide, and not manuals filled with worksheets, etc.
3. Build evaluate into the process. Expect that every major change gets evaluated so people can learn what worked, what didn’t, and what we would change next time. Without this requirement, people often allow changes to just die and no one learns. And there is no chance to learn from mistakes or repeat successes.

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