What Needs to Change Now
Starting the process of change can be exciting and daunting at the same time.
When we become conscious of something not working, our initial reaction may be to ignore it or to try to incorporate the change right away. Lasting change takes time to organize and communicate to everyone.
Change occurs at the individual level. Yes, you may drive the change, but the effectiveness of the change occurs at the employee level. Your job as a manager is to present the change in a way that is understandable and manageable for the people involved.
That sounds simple…just explain the changes and everyone will understand. It just doesn’t happen that way. Before you start to embark on any change, be aware that there will be continuous effort before the change is fully accepted and part of the daily activity of the department.
There are specialists that focus on organizational change and their knowledge and guidance is critical for major changes in the organization. I’m addressing the many changes, you as a manager, need to make to increase the productivity in your area and to build lasting relationships with the members of your team.
So let’s start with two main components of change….what is working and what is not working. Both of these approaches offer tremendous information as you embark on any change with your team.
Here are some basic steps:
- Start with brainstorming – what is not working and why. Gather a range of employees from different areas to participate so you get a broader view of potential issues.
- To stay competitive with other businesses in your industry, what changes do you need to make? This could potentially become a company-wide change. Though still important to review, if appropriate for the change you are seeking to make.
- Now what is working in the situation? You may be able to salvage parts of a process. By evaluating what is working, you may be able to effectively create the necessary change.
- Preliminary Design of the project – include all the parts of the change. The details are important here as small steps are easy for individuals to accept.
- Select the individual who will drive the change…the champion. This person promotes the change. This is your Project Leader.
- Make sure you have the resources to make the change. Nothing blocks a change more than adding more work to the already overworked staff. Will your budget expand to incorporate the change? It’s a waste of time and resources if you are not able to fully support a change…no matter how small.
A Great Tool
The first step is to evaluate what needs to change. This is where mindmapping works…it’s a great technique to use to fire up your creativity in uncovering all the different components of a potential change. What is mindmapping…a technique that allows you to quickly access your creative resources and enhance your problem-solving skills.
I use the software “Mind Manager Lite” for business and personal problem solving. The company has a more robust version…and you can find that at www.MindJet.com. It’s really simple to learn and you can be up and running with your creative juices in no time. It’s a powerful tool to capture the scope of a project.
Using a mindmapping technique will help you increase your problem solving abilities. If the software doesn’t interest you, then check out this book to learn more about the technique of mindmapping – Mindmapping: Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem-Solving by Joyce Wycoff. Take your choice….software or book. Whichever way you choose to learn about mindmapping…just use it as this is a very simple, yet powerful tool to problem solving.
Become Aware of Potential Reactions to Change
During Change…Continuous Communication
Do You Know How To Communicate Change to Your Employees?
Plan The Changes
Reactions to Change
The Basics of Change