Sheila Lee & Associates

Change Management

“Change is inevitable, growth is optional.” (John C. Maxwell)

I have been living by this quote for the last 25 years, as I am sure others have too.  However, I am pretty sure they question as do I, why is change so objectionable, so unsettling, and so down right disruptive? Is there something about the process by which we elicit change that makes it hard? Or is it the ultimate goal of the change initiative that we dislike so?  “I think I know the answer,” says Sheila Stenhouse Lee, President and CEO of Sheila Lee & Associates, LLC – Learning Everywhere®. “It’s likely a combination of both. Good Change Management initiatives require certain steps, a thoughtful process that must be followed.  If you fail to follow a process then you run the risk of turning things upside down for no good reason and potentially making things worse, rather than better,” she says. A lot of people will mumble and grumble about what needs to change.  Nevertheless, they often fail to understand that organizations don’t change, people do.  So they have to be willing to be that catalyst for change, that change agent, for what they want to happen.

Sheila suggest you approach change by answering these 5 questions first.

 (1) What Is Driving the Change? Can we “go” based on personal assumptions and guesswork or is a thorough root cause or SWOT analysis required; i.e., are profits down, absenteeism up, or the margins to high?  Do not let analysis paralysis set in.  If you wait too long to initiate the change, other factors will have arisen, and there may be a whole new set of issues that have to be addressed before you even get started.

(2) What Is the Goal?  The use of SMART; S = specific, M = measurable, A = achievable, R = realistic and T = time-bound, model is strongly recommended. A word of caution here.  Goals should have multiple measurables that include both qualitative and quantitative data.  Be careful not to set the target too low or too high for obvious reasons.  Ensure measurables are not so target driven that if the outcome does not result in hitting the bull’s eye, it’s deemed a failure!  Consider a range of measurable rather than absolutes.  This will help those involved to adopt the right mindset as it will be clear to everyone what we want and how we intend to get it. 

(3) What Is Happening? Communicate, communicate, communicate.  Communicate in writing, communicate through spoken word, communicate at lunch and learns, communicate in town hall meetings.  Communicate not just as a means to be heard or to tell people how things will be different, but communicate to build buy-in and commitment.  Hopefully, those who have been involved in Steps 1 and 2 will be your champions to generate positive energy and build momentum.  Now that you got people excited, time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

(4) What Are We Doing? Build an inclusive action plan to achieve the goals.  Everybody should hold everyone accountable for everything.  Make sure based on the analysis (Step 1) you are clear who is going to do what and by when it should be completed?  Be sure to include interim assessments of how things are going and allow for flexibility in the event internal or external factors cause the plan to shift.

(5) What Do We Do Now? Celebrate!  Plan a formal celebration if you feel the outcome is worth it or do something small, but symbolic.  Either way harness the positive energy that has been generated, note the lessons learned and use all of it as a benchmark for the next time.

Due to the multiple and competing priorities in the workplace today, employees must understand how to organize objectives in order to address the tasks at hand and to get the overall job done whether they are working independently or as a team. Our Return on Investment (ROI) for this training session includes an opportunity to give participants an understanding of “how to” determine organizational objectives and future courses of action for the accomplishment of important tasks. These skills are important and should be applied by anyone involved in the critical aspects of planning or implementing a project. 

Upon the completion of this course, participants will be able to return to their respective units, branches and or divisions with the skills and the know how to discuss why and how to plan.  They will explore the benefits and differences between strategic, vision, tactical, functional, operational, and of course contingency plans. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Use tools and techniques that segment a problem into manageable components.
  • Develop specific skills that planners use to reach goals.
  • Create an analysis strategy to determine if planning is “on target.”
  • Solicit and leverage input from internal and external stakeholders

Learning Everywhere® is a seasoned international training company that expertly leads competency based formal training sessions for large and small groups comprised of participants ranging from front-line employees to senior level executives in the public and private sectors. Our training facilitators have extensive experience and impressive credentials and understand the value of taping into the learners as a resource. By engaging participants in active discussions, our team will build relevance and meaning, thereby enhancing retention and maximizing the likelihood that skills learned in the classroom are applied back in the workplace.  Participants will enter into conversations, debate and disagree, raise new questions, and discuss consequences. Different personalities, voices, values, and approaches will spark interest, and these contrasting viewpoints will encourage more active class participation and independent thinking from all learners. 

If you would like to learn more about our Change Management training programs, please contact Learning Everywhere® at [email protected] or +1 (410) 233-6922. Thank you!

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