Thursday, June 12, 2008

Accelerating rate of change

Learning & Innovation

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM


Accelerating rate of change


At the ASTD 2008 International Conference & Exposition in San Diego last week, I had the opportunity to listen to one most engaging speakers, Elaine Biech (pronounced Bik) on designing and implementing change management effort in organizations.


She said that the accelerating rate of information in our information-rich society is directly related to the accelerating rate of change.  This means more decisions and an increased number of choices.  We make so many decisions to purchase a telephone today much more than we needed to do 15 years ago.  Purchasing something new may require weeks of research with changes occurring right before your eyes.


She gave the example of buying a telephone today and that you need to make the following decisions:  Landline or cell?  Caller ID?  Digital answering?  Speaker phone? Voice-activated dialing?  Camera phone?  3G? Internet capable?  Bluetooth capable?  Video and music capable?  GPS?  PDA combination?  Radio?  Television access?  Text messaging?  Picture messaging?  Which carrier? What plan?  How many minutes?  Free minutes?  Carrier-to-carrier plan?  Family plan?  OFW plan?  Replacement phones?  Warranties?  Insurance?  Ringer choices?  Headset?  Battery life?  Charger?  Car charger?  Other accessories?  And most important, what color?


Ms. Biech says that the increased amount and rate of information has placed not only individuals but more so organizations on ever accelerating paths of change.  She shared this change model from her book, "Thriving through Change:  A leader's guide to change mastery" (ASTD Press 2007). 


First, challenge the current state:  collect and analyze data, determine organizational readiness, establish change management roles, build a business case and establish a sense of urgency.


Second, harmonize and align leadership:  consider your change leader's qualities, select a change implementation team, create a compelling change vision, explore alignment and design a change communication plan.


Third, activate commitment:  design the implementation plan, build a critical mass, predict reactions to change, plan to manage resistance and attain buy-in to the vision.


Fourth, nurture and formalize a design:  understand how change affects the system, select appropriate metrics, conduct a risk assessment and select appropriate implementation and planning tools.


Fifth, guide implementation:  encourage involvement, identify ways to promote short-term gains to build momentum and determine ways to increase motivation.


And Sixth, evaluate and institutionalize change:  evaluate the change effort, institutionalize change elements and review organization's culture.


Ms. Biech says you can never communicate too much during a change initiative.  During a change effort, employees have similar questions:  what is happening, why do we need to change now?  How will it affect me?  How can I get more information?  Keep these questions in mind as you design, refine and implement a change communication plan and as you continue to work through the change process steps.


As graphic artist and children's book illustrator Mary Engelbreit puts it:  If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it.  Or this quote by John A. Simone, Sr.:  If you're in a bad situation, don't worry it'll change.  If you're in a good situation, don't worry it'll change.;


No comments: