Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Change Curve


Business success occurs through change.  The organization seeking purposeful long-term success pursues Excellence and Lead Positions.  It practices Constant Innovation.  It diligently simplifies and eliminates.  It practices Management Judo and guards against developing weaknesses internally.  The organization that does not do those things is at the mercy of the natural forces that change us for the worse.

I am reminded of a TV commercial.  Unfortunately I can’t remember what the ad was for.  It showed a harried office receptionist trying to handle incoming phone calls.  She says, “They told us that this new phone system would make everyone more productive.”  There is a long pause.  She looks into the camera and says, “If you ask me they have just made things worse.”  To understand why things got worse, you have to know what change looks like.  We make changes like the new telephone system because we want to move to a new level of performance or benefit as illustrated here. 


In the real world that is not the way change behaves.  Change creates a sharp downward spike in performance—the bigger the change, the bigger the downward spike.  The less investment made in preparing for and managing change, the bigger the downward spike.  The Change Curve turns upward only over time, and the rate of that upward climb is dependent on how effectively the change is managed. 
 

PS: My new novel, The Claret Murders just got another great review from one of the professional review organizations.  This is what Kirkus had to say: "Collins keeps the story motoring with writing that is frank but not scant, muscular but not tough-guy, something akin to the 1960s TV show The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”  You can get e-book copies (Kindle, Nook or Ipad) for just $2,99 or the printed copy for $15.99.

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