Friday, August 3, 2012

Lean Quote: Change is Not a Flash, It is Built Brick by Brick

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Change is not a bolt of lightning that arrives with a zap. It is a bridge built brick by brick, every day, with sweat and humility and slips. It is hard work, and slow work, but it can be thrilling to watch it take shape." — Sarah Hepola

Being a leader today we must to be more adaptable to change than ever before. Technology alone will challenge us to learn new things and adapt almost on a daily basis! Change is absolutely unavoidable and successful people recognize this fact and learn how to play the “Change Game”.

Change should be ongoing and employees should be a critical part of that process so there is not fear of change but a willingness to embrace it because it’s a part of the everyday process in the organization.

Here are four steps to have a change management process that involves every single employee in an organization:

Step 1: Keep people informed. Communicate as much as you know about what is happening as a result of the change. One of the major reasons people resist change is fear of the unknown. If you communicate and keep them informed, you put this fear to rest.

Step 2: Answer the "What's in it for Me?" question. This suggestion is similar to Suggestion 1. Generally people will accept change when they see a personal benefit. . Assist people in identifying what the change will do for them.

Step 3: Empower people to become part of the change. There are several reasons people resist change, one of which is fear. Help people identify how the change will influence them, benefit them, and improve their present situations.

Step 4: Help people assimilate to the change. Once people begin to experience change, help them assimilate to it by reinforcing the personal benefits they're gaining.

As employees begin to demonstrate a willingness to assimilate change into their daily routine, they develop a commitment to the change, a willingness to stick to the plan of action. The change actually becomes integrated into the work environment, and employees begin to feel a sense of satisfaction in accomplishment. They readily see the payoffs associated with the change. They enjoy, and may even take credit for, their participation in the process. Employees can view their efforts to bring about change with personal respect and pride. The change becomes a part of their routine, and any lingering concerns vanish.

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