Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Making Change Visible

It isn’t hard to see a physical change. We can watch a new plant as it is constructed. We can see an office building go up floor by floor. We can even see people moving into and out of offices.

When we see physical change happen, we aren’t surprised that organizational changes must be made on response. The new plant must be staffed, and the new offices must be re-assigned and staff support reorganized.

Unfortunately, many changes an organization must make are not so visible or obvious. Realignment of a supply chain can be a back office, contract-changing exercise that is invisible to many on or around the supply-chain team.

The challenge in leading change is frequently that act of making change visible so that people can see it, get “their minds around it,” and take appropriate action.

We have found four tools to be very helpful in making change visible:

  1. The flow chart of “how things work now” vs. “how things will work” after the change
  2. A published checklist of actions that must be taken to move from today’s’ way to tomorrow’s
  3. A schedule of what is to happen when the change is made
  4. A progress chart (much like we use to see how our United Way campaign is going)

So take the time up front and along the way to make change visible. You will find that people are less confused, more responsible, and even more motivated to change.



No comments: