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Your Path To Awareness

Image of a magnifying glass over the word change
5 Critical Elements To Effective Change

Posted: 09-Dec-2013    Category: Business

Change is one of the most widely discussed topics covered in the business world today. Aside from all the obvious reasons we have come across in answering the question ‘Why should I change?’ Eric Hoffman states it best:

"In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the knower's will find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists."

There was a time when typewriters were getting replaced by computers. At that point in time the most effective typist who did not see the value and fought the change soon were out of work. The same principle rippled to companies that did not see the value in adopting new technology, they too in time became obsolete.

In the course of my work I often spend hours upon hours doing research on various topics for discussion. My focus is usually on analyzing those organizations and persons that have made an impact in the world. I figure it’s a good place to start when trying to find the secrets to success and leadership. In one such research endeavor, I came quite unexpectedly upon a Japanese term and definition which struck a chord in me. The term is “kaizen”. Literally Kaizen means: change (kai) to become good (zen), but it is largely recognized as a life philosophy for continual improvement.

In order to see further into your business you will need to stand taller. In order to stand taller you need to grow, you can only grow if you are willing to change.

Change for most is often considered an obstacle; change for the successful is considered a milestone towards where they want to end up.

The connection for me was easy, as one of my challenges in leadership training is to address the issue of change as an obstacle personally and professionally. Change is one of the things that we as social creatures seem conditioned to repel at every instance. It is often met with skepticism, anger and often a lack of enthusiasm. Even with these responses, change refuses to go away; however it is something that every business and leader must go through to remain competitive.

The problem is not change itself, but the perception that a change in a normal routine will cause you untold and unnecessary harm, fear of the unknown – the greatest fear of the mind. As a leader, you must be able to see beyond this perception to the benefits of the intended action, and more importantly be able to spread that message upon people.

The reality of our situation is that change is a necessary element of business. An element that we continually master and should not be afraid of. In order for us to effectively implement change into our organization and lives we need to employ a proven system of success.

Next time you encounter change in your life, whether personally or professionally, consider the following ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ that will not only increase the chance of success but make change a smoother process along the way for all parties involved.

Step 1: Awareness
  1. The leader must help with the process in making all employees become aware and more so accept the need for change. 
  2. Breakdown the fears that surround the change needed. 
  3. Who will be involved in helping with the implementation? 

Step 2: Desired Outcome
  1. What is the desired outcome from this change? 
  2. What would all parties involved consider the completion of this change a success? 

Step 3: Implication 
  1. How will this update affect: 
    • Me as a leader? 
    • My employees? 
    • My clients? 
  2. What will be the long-term implications if we do not accept the necessary change? 

Step 4: Action Plan
  1. Specifically what are people expected to do during this change? 
  2. This should be charted out in detail from start to finish. 

Step 5: Repetition = Refinement 
  1. Incorporate the change into your daily routine. 
  2. Keep in mind that any new implementation will take time to refine. 
  3. The ability to repeat a calculated action plan will refine what you do, creating a more efficient process along the way. 

The ripple effect of not changing is greater then the temporary pain and inconvenience of the change it self. 

The conclusion…. “get over it!”. Change is something that you have mastered all of your life. Don’t let it be an obstacle for you to realize your goals.

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