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Change - Reducing Resistance & Gaining Buy-In With the Five W & One H Model!

SERIES: Part One of a Four-Part Article

The ability to positively influence change within oneself and among others – and have others embrace it enthusiastically – can be the simple difference between success and stress.
By far, one of the greatest contributors to reduced productivity and, subsequently, profitability in the business place and at home is the failure to understand the “change process” has a very defined structure. There are three distinct steps to change. How one addresses each and facilitates each has a direct correlation with the outcome or lack thereof

Build the “Bridge to Why,” and all will reach “Change” easily!

 Convincing people to travel with you, from where they are to a powerful, positively changed future, involves getting them to cross the “Bridge To Why”. That is the single bridge most in management – and many parents – fail to build and aid others in crossing. Call it lack of understanding, lack of patience to build or just plain stubbornness. Whichever term you use, without the bridge you will be left attempting to push and pull others across the river of perceived insurmountable change!

The Three-Step Change Process involves minimal or significant work. It’s up to you to make that calculated judgment call.

  • STEP ONE: AWARENESS equals both the “WHAT Factors” and the “WHY Factors”. What does one do to make oneself and others aware of the “Need”, “Problem”, “Pain” or “Gain” of a raised issue that needs to be addressed and, thus, changed?

This first step involves action items such as reflecting upon how best to raise an issue; determining what steps may be required to condition the vested player(s) to be receptive of the subject matter; recognizing the best environment in which to raise the matter; considering the amount of time and the best time to raise the matter; which power players or advocates may need to be pre-engaged and present to assist in influencing buy-in from others. If people are not on the same subject line as you, talking about the new thing will be a waste of time!
The most important step in the AWARENESS process, and the one most grossly ignored, forgotten, side-stepped and loosely addressed by most managers is the “WHY” or rationalization step.  While the case may be clearly communicated in terms of the “WHAT Factor” (what is being changed, what must start, what must stop, what must be avoided, what is now obligated, etc.), frequently what is not addressed as adequately is the rationalization, reasoning or logic of “WHY” that “WHAT” has been addressed.

  • STEP TWO: Engagement addresses the “HOW Factors” of the action plan. With a clear understanding of the “WHAT/WHY Factors”, mental and physical energies can now be directed toward the development of viable action plans and selections.

In this second step of the change process, you will want to ensure you feel confident with the action plans you have designed to fulfill the needs identified from STEP ONE. If you are engaging others as a managerial-leader, STEP TWO is critical in ensuring that others really do feel that “HOW” the “WHAT Factor” is to be addressed is practical and necessary, thereby feeding their “WHY” compulsions.

  • STEP THREE: Commit to implement the action plan from STEP TWO and specifically reveal “WHEN” action will occur. At this step, you will know the “WHEN Factor” of implementation, forward momentum and, thus, success. Organizations frequently implode at this stage, and management goes into melt- down due to lack of commitment and missed deadlines by the implementation team.

During the first two steps, if people feel they are being dictated to or, conversely, do not feel involved, breakdown in STEP THREE can be expected!
Facilitate effective change with yourself and others by independently focusing all energies on one step at a time:

1.        Awareness equals the “WHAT” and “WHY Factors”.

2.        Engagement equals the “HOW” components of dispensing the “WHAT Factor”.

3.        Commit to implement the “HOW” of a plan!

Which step are you on?

 Change is embraced by successful people and organizations and avoided by most. Now that you have the three-step plan mapped out, the question is simple. Will you commit or wait for someone else to implement plans for success, thus garnering the spoils of victory before your very eyes? -- Dr. Jeff Magee

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