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Embracing CHANGE
July 2009
In This Issue
Embracing CHANGE
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 Embracing CHANGE
""If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford

There are tons of theories out there about change. There are probably some good points in each. One of my favorites is the Change Model Formula or Change Equation (Gleicher, Beckhard, and Harris).  This formula explains the reaction to change:

Dissatisfaction  X  Vision  X  First Steps 
>  Resistance to Change

In this model, the closer to zero that any of the three components is, the higher the resistance to change will be.  In other words, there are three things that have to happen to overcome the resistance.

First, if your team members are happy with the system the way it currently is, you will have problems.  As I explained last month, if you are unhappy with the current situation, it is easier to accept change.

Share the vision
Second, you have to not only have a clear vision of what the change will look like; you have to communicate that vision to your team.  Many times, the leader knows what the vision is, but neglects to share that future situation with the team. In old-fashioned, top-down organizations, this problem was especially common. Business owners often believed that they were the only ones who needed to know where the company was headed. Bringing your team into the picture can make the achievement of the dream a great deal easier.

Take the first steps
Third, having the vision is important, but if you don't take those first steps, you will encounter resistance. People hear that change is coming, but they have to actually see and experience some of that positive change, especially those who are reluctant to change. Once the team starts to experience the change and realizes that the steps that were taken might actually result in a positive outcome, resistance tends to melt away.

Look at the current political situation. The majority of Americans were dissatisfied with the way things were. The dissatisfaction quotient was high.  The majority shared the vision that Barack Obama had for the country. Now it's up to the Obama Administration to turn these first steps into first positive results. If that happens, the "team" will be considerably less resistant to change.

If your team does not share your vision, it will take a far greater "first steps" quotient to overcome the lack of shared vision. In a business setting, even when your team members agree with the need for change, if they fight the vision, either because they do not understand it or because they disagree with it, those first steps and first results become critical.

Bring the team along
Of course, in business, if your team doesn't share your vision, it may be time to replace some of the team. Just remember that turnover is expensive. If you can bring the existing team members along, your organization will be stronger. Make sure you have done what you can to communicate your vision and take those first steps toward the improved future before you change the team members. Disrupting the team can cause additional resistance at a time when you can least afford it. 

Communicating with your team about your vision and letting team members see the results can make the whole process easier.  Let your team members be a part of the process.
blue puzzle Paul Cuevas from M.D. Anderson was the first of many to know that June 19th was the day that Texas slaves found out they were free, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. If only we had Twitter then! Knowledge definitely is power, isn't it? since Paul is in Houston, he'll receive a $25 Starbuck's card.

For this month's puzzle...July has been the official month for a number of foods. One of these was declared exactly 25 years ago. What food is that? Tie breakers go to the person who can guess my favorite type of this food. (grin)

he first person with the correct answer will win a $25 gift certificate at Nicavid's.
Crystallizations Training
moses 2I'm on summer break

My open-to-the-public sessions are on break right now because I'm hoping to spend most of July
visiting this munchkin.

Watch this space next mo
nth for new fall sessions - on keeping your business successful in difficult economic times. 
Embrace change in 2009!