I have successfully affected change for many organizations. Several years ago, I was given a group of people and told “We want you to transform this team from internally focused to a customer service organization. You have 6 months.” Another time, it was to transform from functional- to matrix-managed. Then using waterfall to agile project methodologies.
Don’t tell him I said this, but my husband is right – every time an organization I work for initiates change, it’s an opportunity for me to do what I love to do. Have fun solving problems and making new, cool things that didn’t exist before.
Over the years, I have developed a method for affecting successful change. I did not learn this in school or go to some special training program to figure it out. It has been developed over twenty years of people asking me to make new things happen, trusting me to figure out how and deliver through others.
I have used different techniques in every role, with every team, simply because you have to adjust based on the nature of the change and the group you are working with. That said, there are common themes – things that I feel are absolutely critical to successfully getting any group of people to follow you into the great unknown.
Have you ever filled out a comment card? Maybe at a restaurant, store or other service provider? Odds are, you have only filled them out in one of two instances.
The first type of experience that is mostly likely going to result in a comment is a negative one. It is in response to feeling very displeased with the experience.
You could have been ignored, treated poorly, received the incorrect item more than once, or otherwise gotten to a point where you are willing to go out of your way to let someone know you will not be back. Likely even badly enough to influence others you know, so they won’t share the same experience.
On a scale of 1 to 5, the 1’s are the most likely to not only be lost customers, but cost you more customers because they will spread the word.
It may not seem like a big deal. It’s just a moose after all. I would feel that way about it, except for the 10 years I have been denied a moose sighting. Ten long years of searching finally came to a close this weekend. And I couldn’t be happier.
In December, I will have lived here 10 years. By far the longest stretch I have been in one place. New Hampshire has its plusses, but there are 3 things that frustrate me to no end.
First and foremost, the weather. A surprise blizzard on Halloween last year? Don’t get me started. I am not the only one with issues in this particular area, so we’ll just leave that discussion for a few months from now.
A few years ago, my mother-in-law and I had a debate about failure. I was a new mother at the time, and she had very particular thoughts about my role in my child’s education as it relates to that topic.
She is now a retired English teacher, but at the time she was still knee-deep in papers and dealing with all the fun of High School Juniors and Seniors…and their parents. She adamantly believes that children need to be taught how to fail – that too many parents are bailing their kids out or otherwise protecting them from the life lessons that can only be learned through being allowed to fail. She recounted endless stories of parents who refused to “let” any sort of failing grade stand in the way of their child’s future success.