Effectively implementing and managing change is vital to success, both personally and professionally. During the next two weeks I will be chronicling the most effective processes for dealing with, driving and managing change.
Unforeseen change is an opportunity, not a threat.
Change is most often represented in two forms; unforeseen change which is thrust upon us, versus change that is strategically pursued. Dealing with unforeseen change is the most tactical of these two forms, and as a result the most effective leaders must possess the innate ability to rapidly decipher, adapt and mange unforeseen change.
Managing unforeseen change is accomplished most effectively through the application of an informal process consisting of the following three steps:
1. Prioritize. If you have ever attended a Hospital Emergency ward, you have been categorized, knowingly or not, through a triage system. Such a system is applied to effectively deal with unexpected change and minimize the unnecessary investment of time and resources. We can adapt a similar system informally to deal with unexpected change, by quickly identifying the severity, criticality and impact of each change, thereby prioritizing our efforts and energy.
2. Capitalize. Once unexpected change has been prioritized, the next logical step is to determine how best to capitalize upon the change to improve your current situation. As individuals we spend far too much time and energy attempting to deal with problems and improve upon weaknesses. We should instead be expending that effort on determining how best to capitalize upon our strengths and opportunities to improve, be it personally or professionally. How can you capitalize on unforeseen change to improve your situation?
3. Systematize. With all of the changes that impact our daily lives, we must find swift means by which to minimize our time and resource investment while maximizing outcomes and results. Consider a company such as Tim Horton’s, whose success is measured by consumers based on the rapid and consistent delivery of high quality goods and services. Success for Tim Horton’s has been built upon systematizing their processes, from store design and aesthetic appeal, to product preparation and staff training. Once you have capitalized upon a change, it is important to systematize a process with which to deal with the change on an ongoing basis.
Change doesn’t happen to us if we are prepared. Develop and apply this system to turn unforeseen change into strategic opportunity.
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.