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Video-Don’€™t just manage change - lead it!

In this week’s video I list four things to create a culture compatible with change inside your small business.

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Don’t just manage change - lead it!

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every purpose under heaven.”

On its face, this well-known King Solomon wisdom, from the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes, delivers hopeful encouragement. But implicit in this passage is a somewhat hidden, and often troublesome paradox: A time for everything also implies nothing can be forever, and therefore, change is inevitable.

In the abstract, we accept the reality of change, but in practice we regard it like the medicine we know we need, but don’t want to take. And knowing change is inevitable doesn’t make the pill any sweeter.

In the marketplace, it was challenging enough to implement a change when we had the expectation of not having to do it again anytime soon. But in the 21st century, the bitter pill of change has acquired an unfortunate new characteristic: a frighteningly short duration.

Organizations that enjoy consistent success will make change an abiding element in their business model, rather than an intrusion to “the way we’ve always done things.” They’ll create a culture and environment where change can occur whenever necessary, without creating a casualty list.

Rick Maurer, author of “Beyond the Wall of Resistance,” conducted a survey of organizations that have implemented change. He identified four things they did to create a culture compatible with change.

  1. Make a strong case.
    Maurer found that “when change was successful, 95% of the stakeholders saw a compelling need to change.” Change must be accompanied by evidence of its importance. If you can’t make the case, perhaps it’s not the right thing to do — yet.
  2. Establish the vision.
    Maurer’s research indicates 71% of successful changes happened “when people understood the vision of the project.” Stakeholders should see the long-term benefits of change.
  3. Sustain the changes.
    The primary reason for failure, Maurer found, was “inability to sustain the change.” Sustaining change isn’t a sprint; it’s a marathon that must endure pressure from many sources and may be the greatest test of leadership.
  4. Anticipate maintenance.
    Successful managers recognize that it’s not in the nature of change to be self-perpetuating.

Change will happen. And if we expect something positive, it probably will be.

Don’t just manage change – lead it.


Click on the link below to listen to Rick Maurer’s latest interview. Click the book image above to purchase Rick’s book Beyond the Wall of Resistance.

When you’re trying to implement change, focus can be difficult - My interview with Rick Maurer

Check out more of Jim’s great content HERE!

Take this week’s poll HERE!

Watch Jim’s videos HERE!

Leading change successfully in your small business

There isn’t much different about change today from any other time in human history. A computer is just a fancy wheel.  But there is one thing about change that is so different that it has been taking our breath away for the past 15 years or so: It’s the velocity of change.

What I mean about velocity of change is that the time between one generation of change and the next one has been compressed.  Where a new strategy, product or plan might have lasted a year or more in past generations, today may be obsolete in 90 days.  Consequently, business leaders can’t just accept change or even manage change; we have to lead change.  Managing change requires acceptance and execution; leading change requires those things plus vision, courage and world-class leadership skills.

How can you lead change in your small business in the second decade of the 21st century? Recently, I talked about this on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, with Rick Maurer, a long time member of my Brain Trust and world-class expert on world-class change leadership. He is the author of several books, including Beyond the Wall of Resistance and Why Don’t You Want What I Want.

Please, take a few minutes to listen to what Rick and I have to say on leading change, and be sure to leave your own thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!

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