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To Successfully Implement the Plan - Change Behaviors

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To Successfully Implement the Plan - Change Behaviors

Implementation is normally the hardest and most frustrating part of any business planning or business development activity. You have to implement a plan that has not yet been proven successful, in addition to dealing with new and ever-occurring crises and unanticipated obstacles along the way. Sure, the planning process was tough, but the actual implementation can be brutal.

To implement any major business plan successfully, expect to spend several months to several years in the actual implementation process. Why? Because in addition to "simply" changing the way your business operates, you have to change your employees' behavior patterns along with their attitudes—and that all takes time.

It’s relatively easy to re-set a production line or relocate an office. The real challenge comes into play when we have to help our employees understand and support a new way of doing business. In actuality, plan to spend 3 to 4 times as much time training for new behaviors as opposed to training new business procedures. Employees can quickly learn ‘How’ to perform a new or modified task. It is the ‘Why’ do they have to do it the new way that can create problems for all of us.

I’ve helped several manufacturers initiate employee project or product teams. For many people, working in somewhat, self-contained teams, is a new concept and, therefore, not the norm. Furthermore, where resetting production lines is relatively straightforward, helping employees understand ‘why and how’ the line resets and ‘why and how’ teams will benefit them is not. Because we’re trying to change behaviors, this process will take time, training, and communication (in abundance).

As old as each of your employee’s is, that’s how many years he or she has been developing specific behavior patterns. So when we ask them to learn a new procedure, and possibly, modify their behaviors and beliefs to implement the change effectively, there is resistance. Intentional or not, the resistance is there. Think about it. We are forcing people to behave in ways that are not normal to them and, to most of us, “not normal” is wrong.

The solution: We have to help to develop a mindset that the Change Is Normal—the act, the journey, the move from here to there (physically or behaviorally)—normal, normal, normal. Because (listen to me now) unless we keep an intense focus on changing behavior patterns before, during, and after the business changes occur, we will not be able to successfully implement any plan.

 

Copyright MCMXCVII - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890

Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching.

Liz Weber CMCLiz Weber, CMC CSP

Liz Weber coaches, consults, and trains leadership teams. She specializes in strategic and succession planning, and leadership development.

Liz is one of fewer than 100 people in the U.S. to hold both the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designations.

Contact Liz’s office at +1.717.597.8890 for more info on how Liz can help you, or click here to have Liz’s office contact you.


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4 thoughts on “To Successfully Implement the Plan - Change Behaviors”

  1. Great thoughts Liz.. It's so easy to focus on creating the "perfect" plan, without worrying about implementation. Just because the CEO's signature is on it doesn't necessarily mean it will actually work. There are just too many ways to resist change.

    1. Thanks for the note Tim. I'm so pleased you agree with me! However, as you well know, the plan (strategic, business, operational, etc) is only in its most basic form, ideas on paper. The "life" of any plan depends upon the people who are tasked with making it happen. They need to see the potential success, believe in its benefits to them and their customers, and commit to changing the way they think and behave to make it all happen. Thanks again for taking the time to read and post. Liz

  2. J.J.Brown says:

    Readiness to change varies so much from person to person, and in different stages of life. In a community of people like a work setting, recognizing a person's readiness to change can be very helpful. Some may be contemplating change and others implementing changes but encountering barriers. Thanks for the thoughtful advice on change as normal, in your blog from an expert.

    1. Liz Weber says:

      Jennifer thank you for very accurate comment. Change effects everyone differently -- and that's the challenge for managers and leaders. As you say, recognizing a person's readiness is helpful - but hard to do when the pressure is on.

      I am honored you found my blog and commented. Your work is inspiring. Best of luck with your travels & writing. L

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on June 2, 2011 in Leadership Development and tagged ,