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Managing change has become the “silver bullet” in seeking the final component of successfully managing strategy, process, people and culture in most organizations today. More and more, staying competitive in the face of demographic trends, technological innovations, and globalization requires organizations to change at much higher rates than ever before. Few people will argue with this statement, but fewer still will say their organization does a good job at managing those changes. Managing change well is a continuous and ongoing combination of art and science that assures alignment of an organization’s strategies, structures, and processes.

A growing number of companies are undertaking the kinds of organizational changes needed to survive and prosper in today’s environment. They are streamlining themselves and thereby becoming more nimble and responsive to external demands. They are involving employees in key decisions and paying for performance rather than for time. They are taking initiative in innovating and managing change, rather than simply reacting to what has already happened.

“Producing major change in an organization is not just about signing up one charismatic leader. You need a group – a team- to be able to drive the change. One person, even a terrific charismatic leader, is never strong enough to make all this happen”

John P.Kotter in his book called “Leading Change” provides a sound process in eight stages to create a powerful template to follow:

  1. Establish a Sense Of Urgency
    a. Examining the market and completive realities
    b. Identifying the discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities
    2. Creating The Guiding Coalition
    a. Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change
    b. Getting the group to work together as a team
    3. Developing A Vision And Strategy
    a. Creating a vision to help direct the change effort
    b. Developing strategies for achieving that vision
    4. Communicating The Change Vision
    a. Using every vehicle possible to constantly communicate the new vision and strategies
    b. Having the guiding coalition role model the behavior expected of employees
    5. Empowering Broad-Based Action
    a. Getting rid of obstacles
    b. Changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision
    c. Encouraging risk taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions
    6. Generating Short-Term Wins
    a. Planning for visible improvements in performance, or “wins”
    b. Creating those wins
    c. Visibly recognizing and rewarding people who made the wins possible
    7. Consolidating Gains And Producing More Change
    a. Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the transformation vision
    b. Hiring, promoting, and developing people who can implement the change vision
    c. Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents
    8. Anchoring New Approaches In The Culture
    a. Creating better performance through customer- and productivity-oriented behavior, more and better leadership, and more effective management
    b. Articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational success
    c. Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession

The process of setting goals is a never-ending one – it changes as your needs change as you get older [or mature!], or if your life situation changes, for example if you start a family. But whatever stage of life you’re up to, the process remains the same

1. What’s the ‘big-picture’
2. What do you want and what can you achieve
3. Set SMART goals based on achieving what you really want
4. Prepare action plans that allow you to launch into action
5. Monitor the progress of your goals.

Someone once told me that you need to ACT to succeed and achieve life satisfaction. And to be motivated to act, you must have goals – as well as the right attitude of course. Remember that YOU are the only person who can take control over your life, so do it NOW!

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