Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Three Rules for Change Management

It doesn’t matter whether you’re driving an innovation through a multinational company, or just trying to lose ten pounds. I learned them well, after many missteps. Rules are rules. Here they are:
  1. It doesn’t have to all be done at once. There is a writing standard I followed a long time ago (when almost all I did was write books) of doing five new pages a day. What I learned was that doesn’t add up to 35 pages a week or even 25 so you may as well be realistic and double your overly optimistic time schedule. (This particularly applies to losing weight.) There are good reasons for not rushing things.
  2. It will go better if you don’t try to control it. A book, like many other projects, needs to develop a personality of its own. It has your voice, but it’s an individual. Actually, this need it will have to ‘breathe’ is going to be responsible for some of that extra time you’ll need (from the first rule). If the change involves other people, especially employees, your kids, your spouse or friends, this goes double. And what makes you think it would be better if you did control everything?
  3. The more people involved, as long as they are truly invested in the outcome, the better the results. My current book is, of course, a team effort. My earlier books were too, but the team was formed to get the book out, not before. Investment takes time – and trust, respect and faith. If you have that, whatever the change you are trying to make, it will be more likely to succeed.