New Year. New You. New Changes.

This time of year – we seek improvement and renewal. We dedicate (or rededicate) ourselves to taking on new habits. I’m going to exercise, eat better, call Mom and Dad more often, take vitamins, see the doctor. Floss. We are eager to embrace change and start something new. But somehow, come the end of the month, those promises and new year’s resolutions fizzle out.

What stops us from executing these aspirations in our personal lives?

Is it dedicated time? Prioritization of where to start? Is it laziness and excuses? Is it just plain fear of doing something new to interrupt our daily habits – basic personal inertia? 

What could help us achieve those aspirations, and do those same tactics translate into business change management?

In our personal lives, we use all kinds of techniques to adopt new habits. We write our resolutions and new year’s goals down with deadlines (lose 10 pounds by March). We find accountability partners to help us stay committed (a workout buddy). We dedicate time, space and resources to the goal (join a gym, sign up with a food delivery plan). We add in metrics to make the goal real and to track our progress (put new batteries in the scale). We use vision statements or vision boards to see the benefits and believe that we are getting closer to that goal each day (beach volleyball team pics on the fridge, weight chart)

Do the same techniques that help us personally apply to business transformations? I advocate, yes. 

  • Write down the goals with deadlines: Treat your transformation like any other project, with a project plan and milestones – and measurablegoals.
  • Find an accountability partner: Put someone truly in charge and let everyone know who that change champion is.
  • Dedicate resources: If it’s important, it needs to be properly resourced, and the transformation effort should be part of your team’s day job for a while, not an after-hours afterthought.
  • Measure progress:If you set your goals correctly, you will have metrics you can publicize to let your team know they are moving forward.
  • Communicate the vision: Change is hard. Make it easier for your team by helping them see the end state. Not once, not in one way, but over and over again in multiple ways: meetings, emails, newsletters, banners, All-Hands or team socials. Tell them where you’re all going together, and what life will look like when you get there. How will this change benefit theirwork experience?

What stops you from adopting changes in your business? 

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