Persistence and multi modal in change pays off

Noise…that is the biggest problem in change…noise.

Many people who are concerned about the change, for whatever reason, tend to make a lot of noise.

This noise is something that we tend to react to and that causes us to slow down.

My advice in change is this…

1. Be persistent. Set a standard in meetings to have very complete minutes so those that don’t attend can only complain that they didn’t read the minutes’ not that you are moving forward without them. Have milestones and stick to them. Drive to decisions in meetings that feed the milestones and make sure that everyone knows what the milestone roadmap looks like. Don’t be pressured to deliver more or less than plan unless it completely fits…if you will hit your milestones, there is nothing you need to prove.

2. Operate in a multi modal structure. Identify all the change impacts and then develop plans in an agile function to address the risks of those impacts. Use various ways…meetings, leaders, communications, and special events to overcome the risks.

People will challenge you that you are not prepared for or you don’t have a plan to deal with something down the road, but having the plan to address it and addressing the current impact is a plan. Don’t let them stall your current effort in order to boil the ocean.

Don’t let them convince you to communicate to more people than you need to at this moment. There is a time and a place…releasing a lot of information at once to people not currently impacted by change decisions just produces more noise and now you are responding to it.

Keep moving. Those against change don’t want you to move forward so they win when the process is stalled and you start missing milestones. Essentially it’s like proof to them that this was a bad idea all along. The only reason milestones should be slipped is when external factors, not people slow them down.

Never say, “If this doesn’t work, we can always go back.” This is like throwing gasoline on a smoldering fire. You have just added significant fuel to give those against the change a glimmer of hope that if they derail this just enough, life will return to their expected normal. Out with the old and in with the new. Good ideas that are properly researched are good ideas…but good ideas fail when enough people significantly stall the ideas. Don’t give them this kind of rope.

Being persistent and having an agile multi modal approach to change will succeed. You will be frustrated and start to question–believe in the change and press forward. Not blindly, but with persistence.


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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