The Fundamentals of Change

Virtually every major change has its roots in success. In almost every case, the need for change is born of past success—of doing the right thing and doing it well.

  1. The first stage of change—The environment shifts and the right thing becomes the wrong thing. The frustrating thing is that, although the old right thing is now wrong, we still do it well.
  2. We start the second stage of change by finally recognizing that the right thing is now the wrong thing-we finally see the light.
  3. The third stage is the new right thing is new. We are usually not very good at it at first. Initially, we end up doing the new right thing quite poorly.This challenge forms the third and frustrating change.

The key in leading strategic change is for the people to see the benefits and how to implement it. Failure to see can keep the change process from even getting started.

Here’s another important question. How long should we hold onto doing the new right thing? The answer is that there are no hard and fast rules. This is more of an art. The art of sensing if the change is truly working and that it is getting the desired results. If we hold onto change too long without a compelling sense that it is working then we run the risk of plunging the company or organization into all the problems that led to the current strategic change in the first place.

Another fundamental is to understand the importance of thinking strategically in a company or organization about change. How to get ahead of the change curve, to keep the momentum—how to master anticipatory change (seeing the future need for change) rather than always being subjected to reactionary or crisis change. Learn how to look down the road at change. Anticipatory change is much less expensive than reactionary or crisis change.

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