“We think too linear…” A senior leader I respect made this comment during a session on leading change that I was facilitating a few weeks ago. It led to a lively discussion on cultural thinking styles, western vs. eastern models, project management, philosophy, and ultimately an acknowledgement that change never ends. The wheels of change keep going round and round! We don’t get to stop and stand still but need to assess where we are, what our results look like and what we need to do to continue moving forward – or get run over!
Keller and Price highlight the on-going and never-ending nature of change in their book, Beyond Performance. Their 5th frame of successful change is Advance. It focuses on how to keep moving forward by building an infrastructure of continuous improvement that sustains the change and supports the actions required to successfully meet the new challenges around the next corner.
By developing and putting in place the following four elements you can “hard-wire” your ability to successfully deal with changes that never stop:
- Systems for sharing knowledge and best practices – make it easy to share improvements and encourage collaboration between distinct units.
- Processes to identify and capture opportunities for improvement – enable anyone at anytime to take action to solve a problem or make an improvement. Or as a speaker at a conference I attended years ago said, “Don’t ever let a good crisis go to waste.”
- Methods that facilitate continuous learning – adopt a learning process that encourages review and reflection of actions and results.
- Dedicated expertise – identify, support and hold accountable a core team of skilled individuals responsible for directing and coordinating change and improvement.
Building an infrastructure of continuous improvement around the never-ending wheels of change will help keep your bus on the road to success.
Thanks, Todd, for good insights. Hypothetically, one wonders how many Minnesota institutions of higher learning (public or private) have these four concepts firmly in place?