We have spent the past year highlighting the crucial role you, the leader, have in articulating the change vision, setting strategy, engaging your people, building commitment, developing capacity and finally, taking action! You have invested your time and your energy into the success of the change. Yet, now that it is finally being rolled out you may need to acknowledge that it may have gotten off-track.
Wait, before you revolt, notice I said, “off-track.” Not failed. Making small course corrections to the plan you developed can keep the change on-track. In fact, if you, the leader, recognize that not everything is going perfect and encourage course corrections you will build the culture that reinforces the change.
Making those course corrections are hard after you have poured your heart and soul into the change effort. I worked with a physician leader on a change effort designed to build a new patient-centered care model. Our team spent months gathering information and designing a sophisticated and detailed after-visit summary that would be given to every patient at the end of their appointment. We had to change multiple procedures, train staff on completing the form, post informational signs and update computer systems. After we started using the new process and form we discovered people weren’t finding it valuable! At first we were dismayed but we took a breath, stepped back and asked a few questions. We discovered patients found the form was too complicated. It had too much information on it. We made a small change to the form and patients loved the overall process. Their positive comments and stories reinforced the importance of the change and helped the full deployment of the new process.
Making small course corrections helps build your new culture and reinforce the importance of the change itself.