Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Change Management Skills

Another interesting article from Robin Sharma:

Change is Business

Change is business in this new world. A world of dramatic globalization. A world shaped by a communication revolution with zero end in sight. A world where 9-5 has been overshadowed by 24/7-365. A world where technology has given the 17-year-old next door the leverage to create some serious heat in your industry.
This new world relentlessly delivers change. The marketspace is now raw excitement. It's also made business and life itself very unpredictable. Change is the new reality. Understanding the reality doesn't necessarily make going through change any easier. When change is rocking my world, I turn to The Group of 7. The 7 Change Management Skills that will give you navigation, grounding, as well as open some awesome opportunities.

The Group of 7:
1. Be in the Business of Developing Leaders
The only way any organization - and any human being, for that matter - can win in the ring with change, is to start developing leadership capacity in everyone. This is the single most important business discipline required to overcome change. An organization is the sum of its parts - all people in all roles. If a leader hasn't invested in developing the people, or has turned a neglectful eye on the importance of all the parts, the sum of that organization will unfortunately be less than zero.
An organization who develops the leader in everyone will not only adapt beautifully to the changing conditions, it will actually lead within its field.
2. Be So Good They Can't Ignore You
Great words of wisdom from Actor Steve Martin.  Be so good they can't ignore you. No matter what your craft is, or your industry, or your position, become so good at it, you'll make it impossible to go unnoticed. Committing yourself to mastery at what you do, is the only standard to hold yourself to in times of change. Anything less, and you'll be left behind. So shift from victim to virtuoso.
3. Change Provides Free Business Consulting
Intelligent enterprises understand that hard business conditions deliver free consulting advice. During intense times, you have the chance to discover your weaknesses and become aware of your constraints. During times of change or chaos you have the opportunity to line things up and square things off that you might under normal circumstances neglect. The upside of change is it provides positive pressure to make you pivot and become even more efficient, effective, and profitable. "Sometimes knowing your weaknesses can be your greatest strength." Howard Schultz
4. Refuse to Major in the Minors
The best leaders stay staggeringly focused on the biggest To Dos. They have the fiery resolve to have an almost military like concentration on their best opportunities and refuse to be sidetracked by anything else. Find the inner discipline to stick to the majors and say "no" to the minors.
5. Take a Step against Stagnation
Take a step ahead - even if you're not quite sure where you are going. There is no perfect choice in business or in life. All we can do is make the best choice when action is necessary. Forward movement has power. It will advance your life in one way or another. Doing nothing in the face of change, on the other hand, is the worst thing you can do. Doing nothing is the beginning of the end.
6. Change has an Outstanding ROI
While others resist change, refusing to grow with it, embrace it and use it to your advantage.  Leverage it to promote your leadership abilities.  Exploit it to build a stronger business.  Capitalize on it and maximize its return.  According to bestselling authors and management consultants Hammer and Champy "70% of business reengineering projects [aka changes] fail."  In times of change, many businesses fall off course or drop out of the race entirely.  Your best business opportunity is to become part of the 30% who actually win at change and advance simply because others can't stomach the course.
7. Regain your Stride by Managing Processes
Rosabeth Moss Kanter a professor at Harvard Business School, suggests the importance of establishing "certainty of process when there can't be certainty about decisions." Harvard Business Review. Even though you don't know details, decision or future outcomes, you can be certain about setting your priorities, goals, and action items such as scheduling meetings with key players.  Reground yourself by managing the processes surrounding change.

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