Leading Change? Know Your Entry Point

October 16, 2009
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Know_your_entry_point_when_leading_change

Effective change leaders know that there is no “single way” to move through the process of change. There are various entry points. A golfer, for instance, is going to choose a different strategy if the wind is blowing, if the greens are fast, or if they are 10 shots ahead of their competition. The same holds true for leading change – you need to know your entry point before you decide on your strategy.

No doubt there are more entry points than what are represented in the picture, and these three categories are useful in thinking about where you’re starting from.

1. CHANGE DECIDED AND DESIGNED. Often, the decision has already been made that a change needs to take place and the solution has already been designed. For example, an executive manager decides that the company needs to restructure or do a “reorg” and the decisions about what that’s going to look like has already been determined – no involvement from others, no collaboration, command and control like decisions fit into this category. In this case, your change management strategy is going to be very different than a change in which the solution has not yet been determined.

2. CHANGE DECIDED AND NOT DESIGNED. In many


Know_your_entry_point_when_leading_change

Effective change leaders know that there is no “single way” to move through the process of change. There are various entry points. A golfer, for instance, is going to choose a different strategy if the wind is blowing, if the greens are fast, or if they are 10 shots ahead of their competition. The same holds true for leading change – you need to know your entry point before you decide on your strategy.

No doubt there are more entry points than what are represented in the picture, and these three categories are useful in thinking about where you’re starting from.

1. CHANGE DECIDED AND DESIGNED. Often, the decision has already been made that a change needs to take place and the solution has already been designed. For example, an executive manager decides that the company needs to restructure or do a “reorg” and the decisions about what that’s going to look like has already been determined – no involvement from others, no collaboration, command and control like decisions fit into this category. In this case, your change management strategy is going to be very different than a change in which the solution has not yet been determined.

2. CHANGE DECIDED AND NOT DESIGNED. In many cases, the decision to make a change has been been made and the design of the solution is yet to be determined. For example, a decision to improve quality or customer satisfaction, increase communication, expand into a new market, identify a new tool, and so on. In each of these cases, the objective has been put forth, but the “HOW” to achieve the objective is in process. Strategy to design the solution and lead the change are going to be different than if the solution were already designed.

3. CHANGE NOT DECIDED. Healthcare reform anyone? The decision to make a change to healthcare has not been decided. The strategy to lead change is going to be different to get to that decision than if the decision were already made.

Change only favors the prepared mind – know your entry point.