Organizations often go out of their way in an effort to manage change. Recently however, we have seen a desire for those individuals who can come in and effectively inspire change and new ways of doing things.  While we constantly see advances influencing change in every other aspect of our organizations, one of the most difficult jobs is influencing change among the people themselves. People, by nature, resist change.  Suitably timed for the New Year, below are strategies for finding opportunities to drive change within your organization: 

Embrace Potential Problems. You should first and foremost adopt a positive attitude towards change and be excited by the opportunity. Having such a mindset will allow you to take an active role in identifying opportunities and potential issues.  It is important to not only focus on the issue at hand, but also take a proactive approach identifying those future problems and opportunities for a resolution. 

Research and Gain Additional Insight. Those who are seen as natural leaders within an organization seem to always have a practical understanding of the situation at hand, no matter the project. This usually stems from their desire to gather information from a wide variety of sources to stay current with what's happening in their field of work. In order to successfully address the root cause of a problem you have to at least have an understanding its current status and possible underlying issues.

One of the primary tasks at Source One is to present benchmarks to clients that compare their performance with industry best practices. A benchmark can also be a source to find out how well others are addressing similar problems, and look at the issue from a wide range of perspectives.  Having this additional insight at hand allows you to analyze your initial identification of potential problems to confirm whether or not a real problem does exist.  While having the correct attitude is one key component of driving change within your organization, gaining additional insights, can save you a great deal of time later on and will help ensure that you only act on the most relevant problems and issues.

Generate Solutions. When working with a new department or for a new client, it is easy to identify all the things we would like to do different or changes we would make for improvement.  This task becomes even more difficult once we are set in our ways and have become accustomed to a certain routine. Organizations often struggle to see familiar things in a new light. They often enlist the help of an outside resource, such as a consultant, to assist with providing a new way to do things. But why wait until the problem already exist to begin looking for solutions?  An effective change leader is always looking for opportunities to investigate how things are working, and improve accordingly. Complaints and bottlenecks are typically a good indicator that there is a better solution available and an opportunity for change.  It is also important to realize to not be discouraged just because there may not be enough resources at a particular time to implement a proposed solution.

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Iyana Lester

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