Change – Sustainable Change for Leaders

Change has become a bit of a joke.

Everyone has heard the adage that change is like surfing – “you duck your head down under each wave of change and when you come up again, it’s flat”.

The other common joke is “initiative du jour” – “initiative of the day” – like the soup of the day in a restaurant.

The most important part of change that you can impact, is making it sustainable. The change you put so much time, energy and resources into must be sustainable, and stay in the business as planned – making a difference to the business, customers or the team. Otherwise, why would you bother?

The two aspects of the change that are important are:

  1. Making the change sustainable – i.e. staying put in the business, making the difference you planned, and
  2. Making the business “change capable” – i.e. making the capability to change a sustainable competitive advantage.


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mwah. making work absolutely human

Making the change sustainable is about great change planning, and about normalising the “new way” into the way you do business every day. It’s about changing expectations of the way people work, and making sure you now set measurements against the new way of working.

Making “change capability” sustainable is about mainstreaming the capability into how you train people to work, as you “normalise” the new way into the business, AND about making sure your team doesn’t become “change fatigued”. Change fatigue is when you don’t swap out one way of working for the new way, but instead just keep rolling in extra change work on top of the normal work, so change is seen as “increasing work” not “changing work”. If you keep ramping up the extra change work, people will get tired of both the volume and the confusion of working two different ways at once.

Longer term, as you manage change well, you can constantly improve, or increase the way the business runs without increasing workload.

Your team will start to see change as an event that makes the business work better and be more successful in the long term, and therefore more secure. It becomes part of your business DNA – plan a change, run it well, rest, move forward, and then plan the next change.

What you’re looking for is for your team to:

  1. Be confident in your ability to lead change,
  2. Be confident in their ability to deal with change, and
  3. Be motivated to get the business moving forward and working better. 


© 2017 All rights reserved
mwah. making work absolutely human

There are some great articles on sustainable change. We suggest the following as a great place to start:

The psychology of sustainable change

© 2017 All rights reserved
mwah. making work absolutely human

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