"Anyone seriously interested in planning social change would be well advised to recognize two facts of life. First, despite the claims of any, relatively little is known about change. Second, much of what is known will not work."Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, let's look at some keys to bringing about successful change in an organization.
- Be willing to change yourself.
- Admit the need to change.
- Assume responsibility for that change.
- Evaluate - why am I the way I am?
- What can I do about it? Set personal goals. Find a mentor.
- Start today.
- Celebrate when you get there.
- Lead for the benefit of the people.
John Maxwell uses an illustration where coins represent influence. When you are brought in to your new position you are given a certain amount of coins, which represent influence. When you make a good decision, an people recognize it, they give you more coins. When you blow it, you give some back. The wise leader recognizes whether they have enough coin to attempt a specific change. The more coin they have collected, the greater risk they can take. But be careful, when you run out of coin it's time to call U-haul.
- Create an environment where change is normal.
- The leader must develop a trust with people.
- The leader must make personal changes before asking others to change.
- Good leaders understand the history of the organization.
- Place influencers in leadership positions.
- Check the "change in your pocket."
- Good leadsers solicit the support of influencers before the change is made public.
- Develop a meeting agenda that will assist change.
- Encourage the influencers to influence others informally.
- Show the people how the change will benefit them.
- Give the people ownership of the change.
- Be a vision caster.
So share your vision. Why is this a good idea? Remember that the goal is to move the organization forward and to improve the lives of your people. As Max Depree said, "In the end, it is important to remember that we cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are."
- Make incremental changes when necessary.
- Celebrate the victories.
Quotes on change:
- "The leaders in any organization must be the environmental change agents." - John Maxwell
- "Great change dominates the world, and unless we move with change we will become its victims." - Robert F. Kennedy
- "If you want to make enemies, try to change something." - Woodrow Wilson
- "The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions." - James Russell Lowell
- "If your horse is dead, for goodness sake - dismount." - Eddy Ketchursid
- "It's the most unhappy people who most fear change." - Mignon Mclaughlin
The Power of Encouragement
Turning the Corner - How to Regain Momentum
The Power of Words
Key Leadership Qualities - Communication
Are You Teachable?
Repacking the baggage of our lives