Friday, June 21, 2013

Change Happens When? 10 Conditions

It is tempting to fall into that thought trap that says, "making change happen is difficult if not impossible."

This is not true at all. Change is possible, it can happen. It is only a question of knowing how.

Speaking as someone who tries to learn from success and failure (which stinks and is embarrassing by the way), some thoughts:

1. Approach as a friend not a challenger or G-d forbid a foe. Mentally this must be true and not an act.

2. Focus on severe pain points (and have a very clear vision of what no-pain looks and feels like). Severe pain is a process that hurts like a toothache, that is dreaded, that people truly suffer through.

3. Make the change yourself first. No preaching, no flashy launches, no cheesy or cutesy announcements. Just do it, seriously.

4. Situate yourself within a community of sympathetic people. They may or may not work with you but they should similarly appreciate the issues.

5. Help the people on the fence, whom you want to recruit. Usually they get the logic of the change but are not sure how to implement.

6. Follow the leader. People look to the top for direction. An executive with credibility must, must advocate or at least provide ground cover.

7. Do not be the first. First movers are very exposed. Do your homework and find others who have already beta tested the change and worked through kinks.

8. Use available tools first. Don't rush to import something new and strange. You may already have a workable solution under your nose.

9. Make change interactions pleasant. Most people dread having to learn something new. Present a happy face to it, nice and calm.

10. Package it simply, with the most basic functionality. Most change agents love to tinker and futz endlessly. Regular people shut down when you do this. Think chocolate, vanilla or strawberry.