Change Management Model – Three Principles
Principle number one: Focus on the first five percent. To guarantee a successful outcome you must gather champions, set expectations, how extensively you engage stakeholders, and how well you paint a picture for people of the decision-making process. Let me stress here the importance of engaging with those who will be affected early on, and enlisting the help of those with the right expertise. When ideological stances are strongly opposed it is best to engage early instead of shutting people out of the process.
Principle number two: Focus on defining the root problem. A solution is only useful if you have defined the problem correctly in the first place. We employ a systems approach. People too often say things like: “We need more sales,” or “staff isn’t working hard enough,” or “we need better products,” without looking into the reasons why. Very often, the answer lies in looking in the mirror – at what you’re doing or not doing. One systems approach is to identify the organizational core values – or that which is essential for its success. Tough decisions are easy to make when you ground them in well-understood core values.
Principle number three: Find a good guide. An experienced guide can set the tone, identify key issues, keep minds open, articulate the points of agreement, and keep things moving along. Make sure your guide is able to offer examples and models from other organizations. A healthy sense of humor and the courage to face tough problems and uncertainty are key qualities to look for. It is not easy to find a good, experienced guide. But they are absolutely essential to our change management model.