Saturday, March 23, 2013

My #3 Change Management Principle - from baseball

In tennis, golf, baseball, fly fishing, and just about any sport requiring a fluid motion to achieve a goal, you hear the phrase "follow-through".   I love baseball, so I'll use that sport in my analogy.

It's a simple thought, really.  You have an intended action (hit a homerun), you make a preparatory motion (pick up the bat), you conduct a primary motion "Swing batter, batter, batter" and then you follow-through.  The only time a batter DOESN'T follow-through is when they intentionally restrain the effort to avoid a 'strike'.   But NO ONE hits a home run when they check their swing.  It ain't happenin'.

The follow-through is just as important to the motion of swinging for the fences as any other part of the activity ...

So!  Why would we miss the follow-through in Change Management?  Why check the swing?

Reasons people don't follow through: I pointed out a few reasons in a previous post ... (see
The difficult discipline of follow-up).

Follow-through in change management is the most boring of the principles, but it is, in my mind, the most critical.

  1. People want to know if you're serious about this change.  Follow-through demonstrates commitment.
  2. People have a lot on their plates, and it's easy to forget the new change.  Follow-through helps them to remember.
  3. People sometimes resist change because it is costly.  Follow-through shows you are not changing the change.  It's gonna happen.
  4. People sometimes simply need reminders amidst distraction.

We all know the importance of 'sticking with something'.  We've heard it from youth.  Follow-up is nothing more (or less!) than persistence.  We all know persistence pays. 

If the change was worth investing in,
                         If the change was worth the human effort,
                                               If the change will make a difference for your organization,
                                                                           If the change has long-term strategic value...

Change doesn't happen with out follow-up.  It won't become integrated into your organization if you don't persist. 

Follow-through to assist Integration!

My #1 Change Management Principle

My #2 Change Management Principle

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