Monday, November 18, 2013

Flipping the Switch: Starting a Successful Change Journey

We all talk about doing things tomorrow or next week or next year but unfortunately those days never come for most of us.  If they did then everyone would have quit smoking or created washboard abs on their perfect body shape and sizes. If you have been to the mall or the beach lately that as of today that has not happened. So what do we need to do to flip the switch. How do we start the journey of change and discovery? How do we get from the current state to the target state.
Im going to offer three tools to help you make it happen. They address the individual change, group change, and leadership style change that is required to flip the switch.
The first is ADKAR and acronym created by the folks at Procsi. It is the model I use for personal or individual change. In order for a person to change you need to address each of the letters of the acronym below.
  • Awareness of the need for change
  • Desire to participate and support the change
  • Knowledge on how to change
  • Ability to implement required skills and behaviors
  • Reinforcement to sustain the change
Once we began to address the individuals that will work for the change we can in parallel start to think about the organization. The model that I like for organizational change comes from Dr John Kotter and his book Leading Change. The 8 steps are as follows:
Step 1: Establishing a Sense of Urgency
Help others see the need for change and they will be convinced of the importance of acting immediately.
Step 2: Creating the Guiding Coalition
Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort, and encourage the group to work as a team.
Step 3: Developing a Change Vision
Create a vision to help direct the change effort, and develop strategies for achieving that vision.
Step 4: Communicating the Vision for Buy-in
Make sure as many as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy.
Step 5: Empowering Broad-based Action
Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision, and encourage risk-taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions.
Plan for achievements that can easily be made visible, follow-through with those achievements and recognize and reward employees who were involved.
Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don't fit the vision, also hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision, and finally reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.
Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.
Lastly as the individuals and the team begin to travel down the road to change the leaders need to meet their needs as they move from phase to phase. For that situational leadership I recommend Ken Blanchard's Situational leadership II model.  In the model the individual progresses through the 4 D phases below as they complete the journey from neophyte to guru. I have some additional images and a single point lesson here that can help with the explanation.
The affected will have:
  • D1 - Low competence and low commitment
  • D2 - Low competence and high commitment
  • D3 - High competence and low/variable commitment
  • D4 - High competence and high commitment
The leader must provide the matching style of leadership depending on where the student is. The D number should match the S number below. If a leader does this then the change process can be substantially faster and the return on investment should benefit substantially.
The leader will provide:
  • S1: Telling - is characterized by one-way communication in which the leader defines the roles of the individual or group and provides the what, how, why, when and where to do the task;
  • S2: Selling - while the leader is still providing the direction, he or she is now using two-way communication and providing the socio-emotional support that will allow the individual or group being influenced to buy into the process;
  • S3: Participating - this is how shared decision-making about aspects of how the task is accomplished and the leader is providing less task behaviours while maintaining high relationship behavior;
  • S4: Delegating - the leader is still involved in decisions; however, the process and responsibility has been passed to the individual or group. The leader stays involved to monitor progress.
Of these, no one style is considered optimal for all leaders to use all the time. Effective leaders need to be flexible, and must adapt themselves according to the situation and where the individual is in the journey to the change.

With these three models that I have provided and the links out to additional material you can be ready to flip the switch and go on a successful change journey with your organization. 

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