Consulting Services – Implementing Change

It’s Not the Idea, It’s the Action

Ideas for change are all around us. Ask anyone how they could improve some aspect of their personal or work lives, or their organization’s performance, and you will get lots of good ideas. And you will get even more ideas if you ask how other people could improve. It is not a lack of ideas that blocks improvement. People get stuck talking and thinking about change. The challenge to change-this requires action.

Implementing change takes discipline and commitment. This is true even for simple changes in our personal lives. Habits repeat themselves, often in spite of our best efforts. Build and test your models for implementing change by loosening the grip of your habits and learning new ways of thinking and acting.

Guidelines for Implementing Change

Fall Line Systems helps organizations and their leaders design and implement change. Here are some practices that produce success:

  1. FOCUS ON RESULTS. People care about producing good results for their clients or customers. Change efforts that improve those results will be supported. Change efforts that are focused on the process of work (teams, quality circles, matrix organization and the like) sometimes seem to be based on fashion. Fashion-driven initiatives are rarely supported.
  2. BUILD ON STRENGTH. Amplification of current strengths is the easiest type of change to implement. Increase the frequency of use or the potency of any strength and you will see immediate improvement in performance.
  3. REDUCE OBVIOUS PAIN. All systems have inefficient processes, common sources of error, poor communication or other problems which cause difficulty for staff and clients. Change efforts that reduce these irritations will be strongly supported.
  4. ENGAGE OPINION LEADERS. Ignore informal leaders at your peril. Informal leaders can be seen as troublesome, as they have opinions that they are willing to share, but their views are listened to. Engaging these people in priority setting, design and monitoring of the change effort increases the likelihood of success.
  5. LOVE RESISTANCE. Resistance can be a sign of your success. You will feel resistance only when you are changing something significant. Listen to the resistance for ideas and for identification of problems.
  6. LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE. Few implementations work completely according to plan. Gather data as you implement, identify problems and adjust as needed. It is perfectly OK to identify and correct mistakes. It is very dangerous to ignore issues and errors.
  7. CELEBRATE PROGRESS. It is much easier to focus on the work that has yet to be done than on the results achieved so far, but it is these results that build the momentum needed to get to the finish line. Identify mileposts and interim goals and celebrate these when they are achieved to build confidence and enthusiasm.
  8. ACT WITH COMMITMENT. Many ‘leaders’ think their job is done when they start something. Real leaders commit to delivery, knowing their job is not done until implementation is complete.

All of Fall Line Systems Inc.’s consulting work relies on our ability to help our clients initiate and implement change in their organizations. Typical examples follow:

  • We have coached executives from Emera Energy, Devon Canada, Williams Energy Canada, Encor and many other organizations for their role in implementing significant change. The difficult reality is that executives must act differently in order for the organization to implement meaningful change. There is no free lunch.
  • We have advised teams implementing new strategic direction at Emera Inc., TransCanada Pipelines, Novagas Canada, National Energy Board, Minerva Energy and many other organizations.
  • We have trained and coached organization development specialists and other change leaders at Nova Chemicals, Syncrude Canada, Amoco Canada, Esso Canada and many other organizations.

The following projects in our portfolio describe our work with Implementing Change: