Leading Change Insight No 1 - Know Where You Are Starting

in Change

You see a need for a change... Now what?
Is this where you find yourself when you see a need for a change?

  • No position authority
  • No senior manager role
  • No all powerful decision making capability in your organization

No worries - this is where most folks find themselves.
Needed change is often identified by people that do not have any official 'position authority' - people that are 'in the trenches' and engaging in hands-on problem solving. These folks are the astute observers that see what is and is not working but often don't know how to initiate the change and make the change happen. As result, people that see a need for change but don't know how to make it happen fall into victim mode because they don't have the knowledge and skills to make the change happen. Have you ever experienced someone in victim mode?

  • "Management doesn't care."
  • "Management just doesn't get it."
  • "There are so many politics that nothing will change in this organization."

Everyone one of us has come across 'victims'. I'm a believer that change is possible. A keen understanding and awareness of how to make change happen in an organization is a powerful skill. Let's get started with the first insight every change leader should understand - know where you are starting.

How do you initiate change?

Many change management models begin once the change is already identified, initiated, and approved. One of the most difficult pieces of change is getting to the decision to change. The first change insight I will share is Know Where You Are Starting.

The first two questions to ask yourself to know where you are starting is,

"Who are the people with enough decision making authority to make this change stick if approved?"
"How many decision makers are there? One? Many?"

If you don't have decision making authority, you need to understand who does. Only then can you begin to formulate your plan to get to a decision. The second question to ask yourself to know where you are starting is,

"What is the emotional intensity of the decision makers regarding the change proposal?"

This is important to understand because your strategy to get to a decision will be different depending on the answer.

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Melissa Dutmers has 1 articles online

View the The Change Decision Matrix to understand where you are starting. You will then be in a position to formulate your plan to take action and get to a decision.

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Leading Change Insight No 1 - Know Where You Are Starting

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This article was published on 2010/04/01