Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Change Part Three

Having been dealing with what seems like constant change over the past 30 years, I have come to a two part conclusion. The first part is that there is more than one right way to implement and manage change and secondly that there is exponentially more than one wrong way to implement and manage change.

Now you may think that I have grown cynical over the years, but when you think of the detail that is involved in change it really is pretty easy to go off the rails.

There is the timing of the change. Is it the right time? Are the all right conditions (people, resources, desire) in place?

There is the pace of change, or maybe you could call it the rhythm. I once read that during a period of change it is good to pause, to change up the pace to give people an opportunity to breathe.

There is the speed of change. Are you going too fast, or too slow? Are people able to maintain their equilibrium?

Then there is patience. Many change agents get impatient and push too hard, in their desire to get to the other side of the change.

And it is always good to question the appropriateness of the change. Even if the time is ripe for change, is this the change that is appropriate?

I could go on and on, but you get the point. And all of this really points to the key issue of buy-in. If people don't buy-in, they will buy-out, either by leaving, revolting or sulking. None of those are healthy reactions and it won't matter how appropriate the change was, if people aren't on board, the change will fail.

If we fail in the timing, pace, appropriateness, etc. we will fail to get buy-in. If we fail to get buy-in the change will fail or at the very least become extremely messy.

1 comment:

janny skemer donaldson said...

Kevin: what a great writer and terrific read. Change is inevitable but your thoughts are Fab around it. Thanks for sharing. Always seeming to be in the land between too.