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How to Effectively Manage Change

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Posted 28 March 2014 by Chris FarmerChris Farmer

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You may find the following will help with your change management skills.

How to effectively manage change

Change is upon us. You cannot escape it. You should not even try to escape it. Because change is a fact of life. Especially now. In today's world, because of the advances in technology, the changes in politics, the changes in social structure, we know that the world will be changing radically, in the next few years. So you have a fundamental choice to make;

  • Accept the fact of change, and make change work to your advantage.
  • Don't accept the fact of change, and make change work to your disadvantage.

Why is it that some people fight change, and thus make change disadvantageous?

Many people don't like change for two reasons.

  1. They fear that the change will leave them worse off than before.
  2. Many people prefer certainty and they don't like uncertainty. And as change brings uncertainty, many people don't like change.

Because they fear change, and because they don't like change, many people resist change. Which is unfortunate for them, since the change will happen anyway, regardless as to whether the person is for it or against it. It is useless to evade change. Like the changing seasons, the change will occur anyway. To remain passive, or to evade the issue, is a recipe for disaster. If the summer is good, you must recognise that winter will come and with it some radical changes in behaviour are needed.

  • Failure to adapt to changing environments will make you weaker.
  • Adapting to changing environments will make you stronger.

If you want to win, then you need to make change work to your advantage.

How to make change work to your advantage.

Here are the steps.

1. Carefully observe the direction of the change

Identify the current context; meaning: Ask yourself, what is the prevailing trend?

In the nineties, the prevailing trend was towards borrowing more and spending more. The prevailing trend was Keynesian economics, the prevailing trend was governments gross spending; spending as if there were no tomorrow. Banks were lending any amount, to anybody. The prevailing trend was free money for all.

But wow the trend is the opposite. The trend is less government spending, the trend is banks not lending money to anyone, and the trend is no free money. Now you gotta earn money!

Another trend is for business to be done on line, not face to face. So the high street stores are suffering as the online stores take their business.
Another trend is that politics is fragmenting. So Scotland is thinking of breaking away from UK.

The UK is thinking of breaking away from Europe.
The European community is fragmenting.

Individual countries are fragmenting, (Syria, Egypt, Ukraine, and Cyprus are fragmenting).
Look at the way the world is going.
The past does not equal the future.
Now you have identified the trend, set your goals.

Set your goals

Within the terms set by the economic and social context, set your goals. Make them coincide with the trend. Go with the flow. Swim with the tide. Think about how your goals might coincide with the general trend. How can you use technology to your advantage? How can you reach out and help others by delivering to them your product or service, at a profit for both of you?

Build your plans

Always have a plan. Many people start most days without a plan. They just hope things will turn out okay. Don't hope.
Plan. Plan in writing.
Plan ahead. Plan in detail.
Plan ahead, in detail, in writing.

3. Give your best. Implement your plans as well as you are able

Many people don't give their best. Many people do less than their best. And some come to work with the intention of doing as little as they can get away with. These are the people who will not survive the next round of cuts.

There is always room for people with goals, plans and who are willing to do their best.

4. Keep moving forwards in the same fashion.

Here is how to navigate the next set of changes.
Reiterate the same steps.

  • Observe the direction of the change: Keep your eyes open.
  • Set your goals that are in line with the direction of the changing environment.
  • Build your detailed plans of action.
  • Give your very best.

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