Two things we know about change:
Resistance is our natural reaction to any change that disrupts our current way of working.
Things only change when the pain of change is less than the pain of remaining in current state.
Ability to foresee, plan and implement change for better alignment to the market and generate better outcomes is a huge competitive advantage.
Over at Harvard Business Review Blogs, I read the post (and the comments) “Overcoming The Disruption of Process Change” by Brad Power with great interest. Any one who is trying to improve the processes by implementing meaningful changes must read the post. Here’s what I learned.
Involving people in process innovation is critical to ensure that improvements are driven by practitioners and it generates better buy-in as well. However, leaders have to allow people to experiment, fail and learn. In his post, Brad says:
To overcome objections to the expense and riskiness of process innovation, it should be advanced through fast, inexpensive, and flexible experiments. The focus shouldn’t be on permission for resources but rather permission to behave differently. Failure and iterative learning should be built into the improvement process.
I wrote earlier about treating resistance and criticism as an opportunity to learn. Every change is an opportunity to learn as well. Consider the following:
Toyota selects its people for their openness to learning, and then develops their work habits through practice after they are hired. All managers are expected to be involved in process improvement and adaptation. Problems are welcomed as ways to help understand why things go wrong.
Finally, every change must have a significant positive impact on the organization – be it higher customer satisfaction or improved productivity. The post reinforces:
Leaders need to demonstrate that they value high customer satisfaction. The gap between current performance and what is needed to win must be always visible to everyone.
– – – – –
Join in the conversation: What other ideas have worked for you when implementing significant changes?
– – – – –
Related Posts at QAspire Blog: