Friday, November 16, 2018

Lean Quote: Progress is Impossible Without Change

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.


"The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order." — Alfred North Whitehead

Change management is a business term relating to initiating change within an organization. This could include anything from a change in work culture to increasing employee engagement and morale. The problem, however, with the term change management, is that no one really desires to change. Instead, we desire to plan to progress and we want leaders to lead us.

George Bernard Shaw wrote“ Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” To change means wading into the unknown. That scares some people. But progress demands you let down your need for control and do something new.

Change doesn’t come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.  We are the change that we seek and now would be a pretty good moment to shift gear.

Winston Churchill said ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” and it seems to be the case that nothing is permanent except change so our relationship to it defines us.

Change is inevitable. Adaptation to change is a necessary and critical component to survival. But mostly, change is a constant in business. And business seems to be where the adaptation to change -- or lack thereof -- seems to have some of the most significant impact.

Committed leaders, should not be apologizing for the change, but instead, they should focus on inspiring the progress of their organization. People tend to naturally resist change. 

Reduce resistance by making the change known, easy, beneficial, and popular. If leaders include others in the process, they can shape and sustain the thoughts that in turn lead to desired results.

Companies are most successful when the goals of the company connect personally with the employees. If the goals don’t connect on a personal level with the individual, then the planned progress will be viewed as merely a change and will be resisted or at least not acted on.

Change cannot happen to people. It needs to happen with people. Change must be co-created. Everyone should have some say in how the change is implemented. It is their job and their life. Let them have an element of control. If you keep lines of communication open for suggestions, you will hear lots of good ideas from the people who need to make the change happen. Use those ideas because it will build more engagement in the process. Create the change together.


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