Challenge of change pt. 2

"Business man hand" by kev-shine is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

“Business man hand” by kev-shine is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

In my last post we introduced the four areas your organization needs to focus on if you hope to successfully implement change. The first two, process and talent, were discussed in my previous blog. In this post we’ll talk about metrics and communication.

Metrics
Your metrics probably helped determine the need for change in the first place. So, how can you effectively use those numbers to advance the change process? The use of benchmarking, research and best practices helps motivate and begins to quantify the success of your change.

  • Benchmarking
    Gives you something to shoot for and shows the team where others are beating you.
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  • Best practices
    Best practices can be transformative and help spur innovation. When you adopt best practices you are basically using the research and development resources of other organizations to advance your business.
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  • Research
    Helps you build a case for your intentions and assists you in operationalizing the vision to assure you get the outcomes you want.

Communication
In the end, communication is likely the most powerful instrument of change you have at your disposal. The greatest indicator of your success is your organizations narrative. The frequency, method, message and whether or not communication is two way, will determine your success. Have you made the case? Is it written down? How many people other than you can tell the story? Are you accessible? Are you listening to the concerns of those going through the process?

One of my favorite sayings is, “Never assume because something has been said that it has been understood.” You need to be ruthless in the consistency of your message as well as the consistent use of language that is agreed upon and understood. You need to be open, accessible and listening so you can continually take the organizational temperature.

If you give attention to process, measures, talent and communication you will exponentially increase the likelihood that your new vision, direction or strategy will be wildly successful. As a further bonus you will be able to measure that success in your organizations growth and return on investment (ROI) as well as in the growth and satisfaction of your team members.

About Leslie Ann Howard

A native Pennsylvanian, Leslie was born in Easton and attended Lafayette College there. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology in 1976 and went on to earn her master’s degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1979. She has been a resident of Madison ever since. An advocate for collaboration and change in the health and human service delivery system, Leslie has spent a lifetime working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector. Her focus includes issues related to education, safety and health. Leslie has been president and chief executive officer of United Way of Dane County since 1989. The organization has grown from a campaign of $5.5 million in 1989 to over $20 million in 2013.

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