Thursday, November 3

Four requirements for change

Dear Son
here's an excellent way to think about change. As you know, my job at the moment is to deliver change at the firm. Of course its a bit more complicated than what this article makes out, but its a good starting point to know if there is a place for change. Now why would you want to know this? Well, its not just for project managers like me, it can be for entrepreneurs who are interested in launching a new product or somebody wants to introduce a new service or improve a product or what have you.
Interesting way to think about change and then think about how to get to a place where you can deliver the change. Remember the cost of change is a function of the amount of work to be done, the quality of the work to be delivered, the time you have to deliver this and the amount of money you have. Any change in any of these 4 factors will force a change in one or more of the other three factors.
Or easier is to get a girlfriend or mother or wife or sister or some or all of them. You have no choice then but to change.

Four requirements for change
Posted: 21 Sep 2011 01:17 AM PDT
The major requirements for a person or an organization to change can be summarized with the following formula

D * V * P > C

Here, D is the dissatisfaction with your current position, V is the vision of the new position, P is the plan, and C is the cost of changing. Incidentally, I so hate it when mathematical equations is abused to explain concepts because it leaves an unwarranted impression of precision.

However, the multiplication aspect is somewhat warranted for the sole reason that if one of the variables on the left-hand-side is small, the entire left hand side is small. Yet, it does not imply that one half D and two V is the same as one D and one V. The important message the first sentence of this paragraph plus (Argh!) that it takes a combination of all three variables being somewhat large (see my post on S-curves) for change to happen.

If dissatisfaction is lacking, obviously no change is going to happen. If there is no vision, change is not going to happen and if one has the dissatisfaction and the vision but no plans or ideas for how to change, change is not going to happen either. Finally, there is the issue of (often perceived) cost. If the cost is too high, change is not going to happen either.

Changemongers thus have four variables to play with.
1. Increase dissatisfaction with present situation.
2. Strengthen vision of future situation.
3. Build a plan to get from the present to the future.
4. Lower the cost of the plan.

The funny thing here is that I suspect many are not consciously aware of which variable is their limiting factor. In fact, I do not know it either, and thus I try to split my posts between the four (at least when averaged over a time scale of months; right now I mainly seem to write about 1 and 4).

What is your limiting factor?

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