Common Grounds: Build Better Budgets with VISION!

Budgets promote vision with numbers. They just do. A lackluster budget process represents a lackluster vision. An engaged budget process with visits to key stakeholders and excitement for new or enhanced offerings brings engagement. A comprehensive budget plan that considers and promotes the vision of your key stakeholders/customers brings good support.

Organizations work through new budgets at different times of year. However, as the New Year approaches you ponder end of year purchases, vendor deals, moratorium weeks, supply arrangements, staff, rent, and a myriad of miniscule items specific to your shop. Do it with vision.

Visibility: GVision - Futureet visible. Make sure the right decision makers understand you are watching out for their needs. Visit, call, listen, and integrate their ideas. Help them see how what you do accomplishes their goals.  Put out a simple brag sheet on some special accomplishments.

Integrity: This is not the time to fudge numbers and hesitate. Admit defeats and mistakes. Project confidence you have plans to go forward and be there. A newer stake holder in a shop walked up to me one day, faced me squarely, and asked, “Are you going to be here for me?” Be there.

Sensitivity: Some of your best stakeholder/customers may be going through a rough budget.  Learn from them. Find ways to creatively assist them through your services. Another may be planning to explode and need more. Find the balance.  Make sure you are not steamrolling past another’s need or vision that catches you in a surprise battle.

Influence: You are who you are. You are the expert in your services. Go ahead and be a little bold. Communicate confidence and concern and competency to your customers. Update them with new ways you can serve them and changes that might affect their future. Take care of your normal alerts concerning mail, paper costs, etc.. Then consider something not as evident and show some proactive interest in their world.

Opinion: This is a good time to be assertive. Don’t be aggressive. Do be assertive. If there is a conversation ongoing that might affect you and your team, put in your two cents. Show you care and show your personal ownership of serving the needs of the organization.

Necessity: Make sure all the necessities of the organization are handled in your budget. It can be easy to look to the exciting items and expansion. That is good. Daily operations must continue performed with excellence. A good in-plant can invisibly handle necessities and become overlooked. Communicate you are printing those 200,000 or 2,000,000 pieces of necessity a month alongside all the extras and expansions.

ROI/ROESummary: Tying dollars in clear ways with visibility, sensitivity, influence, opinion, and necessity can give a total VISION to your budget for decision making stakeholders. They are buried in their own budgets of which you are a line item. Make it easy and supportive for them. When you need the extra push for added software, online systems improvement, facility build out, equipment, training, or people, they will remember you well.

Your budget covers every area on the THRIVE pyramid. Consider them all.

Let’s talk: Phil Larson Shepherd Consulting OK

Common Grounds: Razor Sharp Relationships – 10 Risk Taker Tips

With one client, when I took an antagonistic department head into the inner workflow of the shop, I was frozen with fear.  Surely they would tear the client apart in front of some executive over a small disagreement of approach.  On the contrary, they reciprocated and let me into their workflow.  We built a cooperative system of workflow that ended up in our locking shop and customer into a 100% provider relationship”

Read the full article by Phil on GCWORLDBZ

Common Grounds: Razor Sharp Relationships – 10 Risk Taker Tips.

Renaissance Man – There is No Box

Danny DeVito starred in an acclaimed movie entitled, Renaissance Man.   He impacted others to believe outside the restrictions of present systems.  My junior year of university, Dean Musselman tagged me with that title.  As he reviewed my business, psychology, literature, religion, and sociology mix of courses, he both scratched his balding dome and complimented me for being broad in my quest for understanding.  Renaissance leads to revelation.  There is no box.

Wikipedia defines the Renaissance Man as “A polymath (Greek: πολυμαθής, polymathēs, “having learned much”), is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas; such a person is known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific problems”

renaissanceman

My personal form comes in taking a few keen skills honed over many iterations in business, community, and congregation and offer them to you.  Most of us in our journeys do not discover who we really can be until later in life.  Some find the path early.  Finding and early path to late discovery is a joy.

Excellence in operations and communications really shouts what I want to say to you.  Business, community, and home are fields of prosperity.  Leadership in community (business, government, education, non-profit), leadership in the people services (non-profit, congregation) and leadership in the home (fathers and families) build the environment in which healthy, dedicated, morally and emotionally and socially competent individuals and groups develop in balance and holistic health.

Contact me to assist in improving your business results.

Contact me to assist in improving your non-profit or congregation results:

Contact me to assist in your family results:

Contact me to GET RESULTS.. 405.388.8037 cell/text

 

Manage Well: The 3 Questions

Bring a team into high productivity and positive morale with “The 3 Questions”.  Managers must master these.  Imbed them into your psyche.  Repeat them in your sleep.  Make them your meditational mantra.  Get it.

What is the down-line impact of this action?  How often do you have problems in production or sales or finance because of an inadequate exploration of this question?  What will happen in accounting if we promote this new product line at 5% markdown?  What will happen to other product lines?  Can marketing adjust in time for the sales season?  Will production be ready to handle sales volumes?

Put off this question at maximum risk of failure.  Even the simplest action in a sequence of workflow has to pursue an expanded understanding before change.  If we print this at a new size, will the finishing team be able to handle it?  If we promote a new advantage to our product will it meet compliance guidelines?  When we implement this change to our computer program for billing will it cause extra workload at 3am that affects another unrelated cycle?  There is no end to implications of one actions on other team action.  No one can know them all.  But you need to ask.

Who else needs to know?  How familiar is your team with the interaction of what they do with others?  Do you have workers living in a vacuum?  Have you taken time to educate them about interplay with other departments, people, teams, divisions, customers, and vendors?  When you change the usage of a machine, it might be wise to include the manufacturer in the discussion.  Ask often, “Who else needs to know?”

What is your information plan to include them?  When do they need to know?  Do they have access to enhanced information that might help you make a better decision before advancing?

Work with a production team with large dependency on delivery cycles proved out value here.  The delivery team was constantly a day behind.  They were only being informed at the time of pickup.  By moving the information to them at time of beginning of production, a day was cut out of delivery cycle to the customer and orders increased with increased customer satisfaction.  The sales team also needed to know at the same time instead of being informed only after delivery.  This enabled them to engage the customer along the path with pertinent and reliable information.  Who else needs to know?

What is the best use of my time right now?  After you ask the first two questions, answer this one.  Too often we ask this one and answer it only considering what we know and what we are doing.  We need to consider what others know and what they are doing.  A project launch could falter due to conflicting priorities in the organization.  A customer order may not be deliverable as requested due to a supply shortage and should be renegotiated.  After considering the plans and availabilities of others and related resources, we may want to work on an entirely different project or action and time this one in front of us into another day or week.

Summary Simplicity:   These 3 questions are priceless practice for any manager for self decisions and for training team members in their decisions.  After working with a team for a season on these, you will find they become masters of the top manager rule.  What is the top manager rule?  NO SURPRISES.  These questions eliminate the element of surprise and provide a foundation for a self managed team.

Ask them often.

What is the down-line impact of my action?

Who else needs to know?

What is the best use of my time right now?

Be Busy Building Better Business,

Phil

Phil@shepherdok.com

405.388.8037

Manage Well: Reasonable Price and Trusted Service

If I can do this for a reasonable price, will you do the business with me?

The executive and manager establish thought pattern and policy among service and sales and customer.  Go for reasonable price business.  The bid mentality prevalent in many industries is predicated on being short changed in a transaction.  Reasonable price is predicated on trust, loyalty, and commitment to the good of the customer.  Over time, a reasonable price relationship delivers the best product for a customer at the best price.  Excess people time, unwanted and mismatched goods and services and mistakes decrease.  Major cost savings are engaged.

Meet A Need: Ask this question when working with “bid” mentality buyers before you haggle on pennies.  The question digs to the real trust involved in the transaction.  The question reveals your heart to do the best work for the client at a reasonable cost according to their needs.

Ask this question when working with a trusted client, who has come to you with a bid.

Rule of Respect: Ask this question as a rule of respect and many clients will engage business with you based on trust and your commitment to reasonable pricing and exceptional service.  Both of you will save money as trust is a faster transaction, requires less people involved on both ends, and over time ends up in a continuing lowering of cost based on watching out for the good of your client.

Are You Being Real? Are you coming to me with this business in order to justify an action with someone else on which you have already decided?  Are you bringing this to me as an honest opportunity with a fair chance for me to do the business?  Do I have a chance to establish a trusted relationship with you for other business?

Are You Still With Me?  For the existing client, this could lead to other questions.  Maybe they have lost some trust due to a miscommunication.  Maybe someone has opened a question in their mind about you and your team that needs answered.  Maybe they are just feeling a little neglected or want to express some freedom.  It is worth asking.

Engage The Heart of Service: Many internal organization providers look to get “right of first refusal” or “right to do business within a fixed percentage”.  It amounts to the same question only if your heart of service is fully engaged.  If you are looking to force someone to do business with you through top down edict, they will mistrust you and find an alternate path.  Frustration and lack of liberty in decision making breeds corruption and creative means of policy avoidance.

Reality Check:  One client continually asked for pricing.  This habit was costing us and them.  The cost of estimating many times was more than the total price of the transaction.  They were losing money bidding the items and we were losing money estimating minute work orders.  Our customer service team engaged the “reasonable price” approach.  Since the customer was familiar with our pricing through many transactions, they began to say yes.  This alone cut four or five phone calls out of each transaction.  Then they just moved to ordering with reasonable price expectation.  This cut hours of their time and our time out of each order and moved orders into the production queue many days faster as approvals accompanied the initial request.  People focused on quality and clarity and exactness in delivery instead of pennies.  This customer is a customer for life in a trusted relationship based on reasonable price.

Build business better.  Let me help you.  Phil  405-388-8037  phil@shepherdok.com 

Presence Communicates Production Priority

Managers and leaders communicate priority by where they spend their time. Production teams make America happen. A walk through a production press room tells the workers they are important and what they do is important. Stopping by the front desk in the morning and looking the receptionist in the eye followed by a specific word of appreciation tells the company that guests are important. Openly discussing decisions and gaining feedback from the team along the way gives them a stake. Presence communicates production priority.

30 years of overseeing production teams 24/7 leaves me with a little insight on helping a shift through their day. Every shift is a day in itself. Each one needs right attention and priority.

Every meeting you attend, every walk down the hallway, every lunch in public communicates your deepest heart. You are being watched. An encouraging word, a kind action, opening a door for someone else, or a playful interchange all communicate compassion and priority.

An ancient proverb tells us to not muzzle the oxen as they tread grain. One visual picture we draw is of an ox pulling along in a field being harvested. He needs to munch a little every once in a while. He needs to gain benefit while working, not just at the end of the season. Your presence and encouragement is one of the daily benefits you can give with little cost and great results. Corporate parties, big meetings and bonuses help. They can never replace personal attention and involvement. Presence communicates production priority every day and communicates concern for the people.

Early In The Day Sets A Tone
A manager starts the day for work teams. A little whistle up the hallway in the morning tells the team it is a bright day. P lesant greetings communicate positive expectation and confidence. It is not just physical presence but emotional engagement that builds a productive team of individuals bound by mission.

Middle Of The Day Stimulates
By mid day in a production crew, sales team, customer service group, or any other set of individuals bound by mission, there have been problems. Opportunity to turn dour has come many times by noon. This is one perfect moment to inspire and prioritized. Where you spend the last minutes before lunch tells the team where to focus.

A purposeful and thoughtful communication to key team members on priority projects can keep problems from dominating. Customer service needs to keep moving while issues are resolved. Down equipment needs attended. Production schedules may need adjusted considering current availability. Sales teams may need a pep talk to overcome any weight of complaints.

End Of The Day Rules Over Tides
By the end of a good day, there have been powerful moments and struggling moments. Tides have pressed against the team attempting to bring them to defeat. They need presence. They need reinforcement that the customer is king and the team is in your heart. You need to let them know you are one their side. Before you go home, visit the oncoming team and give them the same whistling start you gave the first team.

Summary: Presence communicates production priority. Production is the ox of your company. Sales must happen. Production must run seamless. An ancient proverb tells us to not muzzle the ox as he treads the grain. Consider your time and attention and presence as unmuzzling the oxen. Invest in your people. They are the strength of the company.

Be Busy Building Better Business.  Have a Great Day!

Phil

================================

Make a definitive difference in the community!

I need your help. I need you to join me for lunch.  (It is okay if you want to just give to the work also if you can’t come.)

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On Sept 16th at 11:45am join Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering, Hon. James Lankford, U.S. House of Representatives, Chuck Bowman, Larry Campbell, Imagenet+ Consulting, R.K. Black, Kimray, Tom Hill, keyevado, Shepherd Consulting, Willow Creek Golf and Country Club and others.

  • Understand the immense fatherless crisis impacting our nation, state, and your neighborhood.
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You can join for golf afterwards, if you would like. But, I need you to join me for lunch.

You can sponsor more, but, I need you to join me for lunch.

Register Now: http://www.championfatherstourney.org/

Fix The Plumbing

Don’t hand your customer toilet paper for a messy problem. Fix the plumbing.

Creative managers create solutions alongside staff. Duct tape and WD40 and vise grips may be all that is needed to do small jobs around the house. That won’t do in a productive and viable business. You need to fix the plumbing. You need to eliminate the repeating problem. You need to take responsibility instead of putting the issue in the customer’s hands. Don’t make them clean it up.

Good service management attends to a few items. There are incidents and service requests, problems and changes. Keep clarity between items. Address appropriately.

Incidents and Service Requests: These two items make up the bulk of customer service.

A service request is what we live to do. A customer asks for a product or service to be delivered. So do it. Do it with excellence and alacrity. Do it with pizzazz and punctuality. Do it. A service request may ask for an altered product or service or a new product or service. That means we have to jump into the area of change and that is another manage well article.

An incident is what we wish would never happen. While delivering a product or service, something is not right. Color is too light. The size is too big. The pizza came with pepperoni instead of black olives. The customer wanted 250 and we delivered 1000. While working with a client, every other email returned an error. My service provider was experiencing incidents. Thankfully they cleared the issue, but not before my customer had to wait extra minutes waiting on reports to be delivered as I had promised. Incidents need to be restored to proper service levels immediately and product or service delivered.

Problems and Changes: Confuse these and your customers will suffer unreasonable delays and constant delivery disruption.

Problems are incidents that won’t go away until a change is installed or a fix applied. A fix is just a fancy name for a change. When the plumbing backed up into my house through the shower drain, it impressed me something was tragically wrong. All the paper towels and mop buckets would not resolve this. When a problems occurs you need to look for root cause of the issue and determine a resolution or change to be made to stop the incidents from coming back. The sewer main had collapsed at the saddle in my back yard blocking all drainage from the house. The city came, sent cameras down the lines, and claimed it was an incident, it was my incident, and they were going home. I don’t think so. A friend and I dug seven foot deep in my back yard until we found the collapsed connection leading to the major collapsed connection. The city came back and repaired at much expense and then paid to restore my house to right order. Their paper towel and toilet paper solution was not going to fix my backhoe and major plumbing problem. Full repair and restoration was needed. The root cause had to be determined and a change made to get us back on track.

Changes move the nature of the service into a different order. Replacing the main saddle in my back yard not only restored right water flow out of the house, it took care of a sinkhole that could have swallowed one of my children. No one knew the sink hole existed until we dug up the yard. There were bigger problems looming that the change repaired. Changes fix things for good. Not necessarily forever, but for good. And they have potential to adjust the nature of the product or service. By handing me a toilet paper solution the city was setting us all up for some major pain.

Kudos for the city. The next time I had a city potential issue, the service manager came out, inspected, found a crack in the line feeding water to my house, repaired it, installed a new meter, and made me a happy man. It was a different experience and one for which I am grateful. Oh, they also reversed charges on my water bill even though the leak appeared to be in my pipe not the city pipe. That is service. They took responsibility for a debatable item and went an extra step. I love my city’s service.
Summary: Get your customer back to service as rapidly as possible. And then look deeper to determine if a problem exists that will cause service to be impacted again. Find the root and fix the plumbing. Work on your shop processes. Look for machine malfunctions. Examine reporting routines. Do whatever it takes to eliminate repeating incidents. Your customer will appreciate. Your business will grow.

Be Busy Building Better Business Have a Great Day!

Phil

========================================

I need your help. Looking for plumbers. We are building a great team at the National Association for Family Ministries. Fathers.com and grandkidsmatter.com are building a side hustle team that love people and love team. You will love the product. It is exciting and all profits go to support families. Your commissions are ample and more. Lifetime residuals. No license required. I and the national team are your trainers.

Shoot me an email phil@grandparentbenefits.org and we will get together on a zoom.

Exceptions Are Not Rules: 3 Safe Guards

The life of a manager would not be complete without that wonderful day where she finds herself stumped as to why a staff member acted in a certain manner inconsistent with policy.  After several months of training a colleague, you find them going a different direction than guided.  It is inevitable.  It will happen.

The next surprise is when they tell you it was  your idea.  What?  My idea?  What incredible bump do you have on your head that caused such a thought?  Have you lost your mind?  Where did you get that idea?

Then you remember.  You remember the question you answered last week in the middle of a major emergency.  A customer needed an exception to your normal policy for a critical project.  You authorized the team to process the job in a different manner.  It was an exception needed and specific to that day and that job and that customer.  Now, it is a rule.  Now, it is embedded in the minds of staff as the way to cut a job short.

Of course, if you take this exception route on a routine basis you will lose all your profits, mix up customer work orders, and generally destroy the business.  One time on a special project is okay with manager discretion.  Any time on normal jobs with a staff discretion is chaos.

Every manager must understand exceptions, communicate them clearly, and contain expanded usage.

Understand Exceptions

The impact of an exception on the minds of team members is big.  They watch you, manager.  They take clues for action from your action.  When you step out of the normal, they believe it is okay to do the same anytime they so choose.  Get it?  Get it!  Guard it.

Understand your own decision.  You cannot simply make an exception without understanding and being able to explain to someone else.

Exceptions are not meant to be rules; however, if you don’t take the next two steps, they will become rules.

Communicate Clearly

Exceptions will cause a problem.  They will.  You have order and rules to prevent problems.  Okay, accept that and be prepared to contain the problem.  Of course, you accommodate for that in your decision.  Explain the problem.  Explain the accommodation.  Explain why this is a onetime decision.  Be prepared for questions and distrust.  Yes, you worked hard to communicate why you would never do what you just did and then you did it.  But, it was an exception, right?  You really did have a reason other than you just wanted to do it?  Right?

Let your leaders and decision makers know this is an exception, why you made it, and how they might follow your logic in their next decision.  Logic?  You had some, right?

Contain Expanded Usage

After an exception, reinforce the rule.  Take time to pull documentation if necessary and explain why this is a onetime decision and why not to do it with any regularity.  Be honest.  Did you do it for political purposes?  Then explain the urgency of the situation and protocol you followed.  Did you do it to prevent  Don’t hide behind, “Because I said so.”  That is weak and lacks open communication to the team.

Summary:  Do these three things when you make an exception and they won’t become a rule.

Be attentive and cautious when making exceptions that they really fulfill your direction.

Always enjoy managing the exceptions and the disciplines.

Be Busy Building Business  Have a Great Day!

Phil

========================================

I need your help. I need you to join me for lunch.  (It is okay if you want to just give to the work also if you can’t come.)

Register now. http://www.championfatherstourney.org

On Sept 16th at 11:45am join Carey Casey, CEO of the National Center for Fathering, Hon. James Lankford, U.S. House of Representatives, Chuck Bowman, Larry Campbell, Imagenet+ Consulting, R.K. Black, Kimray, Tom Hill, keyevado, Shepherd Consulting, Willow Creek Golf and Country Club and others.

Your registration goes directly to works in progress at Tulakes Elementary in North OKC, Epperly Heights Elementary in Del City, East OKC, West OKC, Dad’s University, and Matamoros families. Through the support of a friend, lunch expenses are covered. That means your registration goes directly to the work.

You can join for golf afterwards, if you would like. But, I need you to join me for lunch.

You can sponsor more, but, I need you to join me for lunch.

Register Now: http://www.championfatherstourney.org/

Are you a PMO or a PCO?

Entitlement breeds discontent. There really is no productive way to look at entitlement. Don’t read this if you like entitlement organizations. Don’t read this if you enjoy getting something for existing.

“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher

Business, NGO, and government must face the question. Are a PMO or a PCO?

“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.” Abraham Lincoln

PMO – Poverty Maintenance Organization

PCO – Positive Change Organization

PMOs proliferate under social thrusts. The easy part of being a charitable organization is asking people to give for compassionate repair and reparation and life needs. Food, clothes, housing, and basics are all needed. People will give to maintain a certain level of poverty in another’s life. Poverty is the mentality that there is never enough resource and my efforts will never be rewarded adequately. Poverty is a codependent focus instead of an interdependent cooperation. Poverty is not an economic condition. Lack of economic resource is a result of poverty mentality and living. Societies and organizations that promote systemic adaptation to low rewards encourage economic, moral, and mental poverty.

PMOs proliferate under corporate mentality. Oops, you thought this was about charities. Any business that purses entitlement mentality of ‘get the minimum done to get paid and get benefits’ is as life force destructive as a charity giving out groceries to people who need growth. Businesses that emphasize fun and frivolity and fairness and equality usually end up with a work force bent on work avoidance and entitlement expectation. Those are all good things. They need to be built alongside productivity and profitability. After all business is about a fair return on investment. Jobs happen when profits happen.

PMO is the way of life of the government. Government consumes more and more of the community resource as laws get added and modified and bureaucracy grows and grows. It is impossible for all the government entities to pay off the exorbitant early retirement programs that are inequitable and inconsistent with business productivity. More and more cities, states, and nations have reached bankrupt points of no return. PMO.

How do you become a PCO when you are a PMO?

Positive change organizations proliferate under reward and recognition. Now, reward and recognition do not mean everyone gets the same dole or the longest tail gets the biggest piece of the pie. In a PCO, reward comes in relation to present contribution not position or power or political expertise.

In parenting theory we call that love and logic. Raising children in a positive environment keys on establishing positive and negative consequences for behavior. Reinforce that environment consistently and a productive citizen is formed. Oh, that is also a great system for correction systems and addiction recovery. Entitlement is an addiction. I used to believe nicotine was the hardest addiction to break. Entitlement is tougher.

So how do you change from PMO to PCO. This little graphic maps the path.

entitlementtoconsequence

Document the state of entitlement. Confront the facts. Identify where behavioral consequences are missing. Quantify the cost to your organization of death by indecision. Decide which battles you are willing to fight. Any reversal of entitlement will be met with violent resistance and revolt. Better to build with encouragement and consequence systems, but PMO happens. So be real and be honest.

Communicate change repetitively to those involved. Give plenty of lead time to the change but not so much that griping and groaning have time to build barriers. That is a fine balance.

Start rewarding productive behaviors before removing entitlement doles. This won’t change anything, but it will establish a new thought pattern in those affected. It might have been so long since they had positive reward for productivity that they have forgotten what dignity feels like. Entitlement strips dignity and inner drive. Dignity based on reality has to be instilled fresh.

Move to consequence and positive reward. You might find this difficult. Your management team may have no idea how to identify positive and productive behavior. They are used to promoting entitlement and systemized to zombie workplace. Dilbert might be their favorite cartoon for a reason. Of course, as the executive leader admit your guilt in leadership. You will have to change, too. The greatest failures of organizations wanting to make this move is that top leadership credits the workforce for being more powerful than the executives and blames them instead of the mirror. Truthfully, it takes combined efforts of management and work team to enter entitlement and to exit entitlement.

Measure Shock and Fear. This will be large. Get ready. Get poised. Backbiting, blaming, and bickering will explode. But it will pass if you hold ground. Keep focus on where you are going, encourage the afflicted, and do not let this stop you. If you stop here, you will find it doubly difficult to work on this in the future. Many companies sell out at this point and leave the issues for the new owner. They may scuttle great managers and executives as sacrifices to the masses. Don’t doubt in the dark what you know in the light. Keep moving forward. Plan to run. Run the plan.

Productive Behavior and Growth. Here is where you land. Here is where you focus. Here is where you want to be. The Positive Change Organization promotes, inspires, and realizes productive behavior and growth. Not everyone can exist in this environment. Yes, you may lose some people you had believed to be key. Not everyone wants to change. Try to salvage them, but don’t sink productivity in the process. New leaders will rise. They’ve been poised for this new environment and potential was shadowed in the old system. Now you can see them.

PMO or PCO? You decide every day with every decision what environment you wish to build.

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Change is Never Straight

Controlled chaos is a normative term in the management of change.  Change is never straight.  Change defies a linear constraint.  Change is messy and change is curved.   Leaders must be curved people.

Mentoring a growth team, we reviewed normal impact of change on the growth leader.  In this model vision leads to planning and implementation leads to problems and pressures leads to perseverance leads to accomplishment and success leads to celebration and rejoicing leads to increased vision.  Or you can choose crisis instead of perseverance which leads to exhaustion and withdrawal can lead to restoration can lead to increased vision.  Or crisis can abort the progress.  There are hundreds of divergent paths that may happen.  Change is messy and curves a lot.

Change is not for straight line people.  They are good at regular performance and processes.  Change bothers them.  A leader must learn to be a curved person.  Change is inevitable and needed. Leaders lead through the curves.

There is one major curve in change you should explore and master.  It is the curve between your starting level of productivity and your landing level of productivity.  In that curve lies all the potential for disaster and triumph.  In that curve many leaders lose sight of vision.  In that curve success is assured and failure is certain.  Master the curve and master change.

Starting Level: Preceding productivity curve is your present level of productivity and accomplishment.  How successful are you?  What are your measurements?  Know them and get them recorded. changecurve

Plan: Now, plan the change that you intend to take your business or other endeavor into the next level of productivity.  Go from 100 widgets a day to 200 widgets a day.  Add a new product line while keeping current production levels on others.  Penetrate a new market.  Implement improvement in service.  Change for growth.

 Launch: Launch the change.  Communicate, take action, and plunge into the change.  Paralysis by analysis is deadly.  There is a moment and point of demarcation.  Take it.  Fall off the mountain.  That’s right fall off the mountain of your current productivity level.

Freefall:  Change causes freefall.  Problems come from change. Teams get confused.  Productivity decreases while people absorb new information.  The right screw becomes the wrong screw.  Questions abound.  Production plummets.  This was in your plan, right?  You made allowance for this, correct?  No?  Whoops.  Fingers get pointed.  Doubt crawls up the ladder to challenge the change rationale.

Adjust:  Light shines.  People push through learning curves.  The services straighten out on the planned track.  There is smiling in the camp instead of groaning.  You knew you would get here, you just wished it had happened on schedule and without the problems.  The changes begin to push productivity above your starting level.

Landing Level:  Why endure the pain of change?  Reach new levels.  Plan diligently.  Execute well.  Adapt strong.  Obtain outcomes.  Receive reward.  Of course, it does not always look so pretty.  You might drag onto the landing level scarred and scattered.

Summary:  This conversation is one I’ve had with hundreds of learning leaders.  Every new leader expects smooth change, gets into the curve, panics, and needs some encouragement.  Have your eyes open when you enter the change curve.  You still might get blindsided, but you will be ready.  Adapt with good and frequent communication and intentional feedback points.   Go ahead and fall off the mountain.  The landing spot is higher than where you stand.