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July 16, 2008

Making it stick

Change is a very hard thing to implement. No doubt about it. And as the speed of technological, economic and social change speeds up, their will be a huge demand for people who can not only see the need for change; but who can also make it happen in a permanent and beneficial way.

Heroes, Sponsors and Champions

These are generally quoted as the driving force behind change. The fearless minesweepers who will climb over every barrier put before them., and who will face down any threats to progress!

Wonderful people. Every company should have a hundred of them at least. And when making change you do find these people. However the biggest barrier to sustainable improvement is these same people!

Why? Because often their efforts get noticed, the changes they are forcing through get seen, and they get moved along. Often upwards, sometimes sidewards, and sometimes they choose to move on to bigger and better things. And then it all stops.

Institutionalizing it...

If change is going to become permanent then it needs to have touch points with the roles that employees do every single day. Champions are great (If we weren't convinced before then Tom Peters convinced us of that) but if you want it to be permanent then it is part of the "way we do business here".

programs that require peopel to use as part of their daily routines, alerts and warning email systems, daily/weekly and monthly reporting systems, and a whole range of other triggers.

More to the point; tie it into their reward and recognition programs, or make special awards and ceremonies for people who are doing "it" well.

If it is part of the daily job, and part of the way they do business, and it is visible... then it will just become part of the scenery of the job.

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