I’m always amazed at how poorly most owners not to mention their employees handle change. Especially if that change is something that everyone thinks should be easy.
Change starts with having behavioral flexibility.
I think this is the first rule of change. If you’re not being flexible, you have no chance of making something new become reality.
It doesn’t matter whether the change comes from others or it’s internally generated. Your first solution is probably not going to work. There’s even a good chance your second, third or fourth try won’t work either.
The only thing you can do is to put yourself in a position to keep trying new things. This requires behavioral flexibility and it requires asking great questions.
If this doesn’t sound like you, why not?
It always takes longer than you think.
Anything I start always takes longer than I think it will. If I’m lucky the new thing only takes twice as long as I think it should. Reality tells me that it’s likely going to take even longer than that.
I always wonder why new things take such a long time to put in place. Here are some things I’ve learned about this:
- We make changes faster in our mind than we do in the real world.
- Getting others on board involves learning new behaviors.
- Mistakes take time to correct and lessons from them go slowly.
- We usually take too much time planning too little time experimenting.
- For some reasons humans just don’t like change.
- We think what has happened in the past will happen in the future.
Small moves will help you go faster.
Planning is one of the things we think we all need for change. Yes, planning is important and if you’re planning is for a great big project, it’ll take you too long and you’ll be too slow in whatever change you want to do.
Instead, why don’t you try this…….Chunk your big projects down to small parts. It’ll be easier for you to move forward because you’re not trying to do too many new things at once. The smaller the change, the easier it is to do and the less risk you’ll have.
Have a daily meeting and three week reviews.
When I recommend a daily meeting I usually hear that it’s way too many meetings. If your changes are small, then a daily meeting is easy and short. Think about standing up during your meetings. You don’t need to settle in for an hour, you only need ten or fifteen minutes. This can easily be done while you’re standing.
Have a full review of your small project every three weeks. Make sure you have a real deliverable that can be used by your customer and that the product you’re working on actually ships.
It doesn’t matter whether the product is for internal use or external use. Get something out there that can be tested. You’ll find it easier and faster to get your big project done.
Mistakes are the key to success.
The secret sauce in any change program is learning to value mistakes. Mistakes are just a form of feedback. It tells you that what you’re doing isn’t the right thing.
When you’re doing small chunks of a big project, making mistakes is easy and easy to correct. You’re only doing one or two new things. If they don’t work, it’ll be easy for you to figure out where the mistake happens. If instead, you have a big project, figuring out where the mistake is almost impossible.
You not only have to tolerate change, you have to learn to love it. If you don’t, your business and happiness might be at risk.
What do you do to help change work in your company? Why don’t you let me know in the comments below? Or, just click here and send me an email.