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Change I: The Key to Any Change is the Process

Updated: Mar 12

How do we implement change?


It sounds like such a philosophical topic, but some form of this question has been the number one priority on every organization’s yearly goals and agenda for the last several years. There have been massive societal changes in race, gender, sexual orientation, environment, and technology - all boiling down to how leadership learns to adapt and move their organizations, and the needle, in the direction of progress.


And that progress is rooted in one key concept.


There’s an expression, “How you do one thing is how you do everything” And that ‘doing things’ is defined by a process, or apprach. Whether it’s your procedure and policy, or embedding behavioral changes, the process is the determining factor in its success. 


As mentioned above, there are two elements to significant organizational change: the procedure/policy and behavior. The procedures and policies create the infrastructure and the behavioral aspect is the culture and language commonly used, the ‘unwritten constitution’. These two components shouldn’t be viewed as existing independent of one another. Both working in unison are necessary for a successful change strategy and the process is what feeds and connects them both.


The role of the process is to set a standard and be the model for subsequent changes. In essence, it’s your philosophical perspective in how you approach anything.


For example:


  • Do you approach change all at once?

  • Do you follow a kaizen style of continuous improvement?

  • Are you free-flowing and situational?


Whatever your approach, you should survey yourself, determine, and develop your process because it will be the baseline of culture and is the baseline for improvement and overall success.


"Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up." — James Belasco and Ralph Stayer, authors of Flight of the Buffalo: Soaring to Excellence, Learning to Let Employees Lead.



Change is difficult. Change is messy. Change…kinda sucks.


But it’s necessary to keep up with industry standards and societal evolution and to remain competitive and innovative.

 

As much as those in leadership may have grand visions for the future or a new workflow rollout, change in any measure is rarely an A-to-B transition. A goes to G, then to numbers for some reason, and then hopefully, if everything goes right, then it goes to B.


As frustrating as that may be, that’s the reality, but with a defined and solid process, implementing changes can become smooth, easier, and something you have control over.


 Let’s use the example of talent attraction strategy.


Someone may have a general approach to finding new talent such as posting online, targeting a certain demographic, etc.


But someone else with a defined process may evaluate the vacant position, determine the ideal applicant avatar, figure out the top three online spaces or online ways to engage them and continue from there.


One was very general while the other had a defined style and philosophy to the initial approach of attracting talent.


And just as the approach was drastically different, the results will be different as well and that difference came from one thing - the process.


The process connects the procedure/policy and the behavioral aspects of organizational change. It often goes overlooked, but fortunately for you, developing your process isn’t complex. It just requires a little time and intention.


Written by Jamal Robinson, with input from Patrick Voss





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