Facing Change with Confidence

Extract from article by Jim DeLoach

Probably the most important aspect of the change process is correctly diagnosing the opportunity or issue precipitating the need for change. Most managers, if they know what the real opportunity or issue is, believe they can allocate the appropriate resources to address it.

Change comes in small and large dosages. Small dosages usually result in incremental improvements in business processes. When operational and financial results fall short of expectations set by management’s objectives and quality, time, cost and innovation performance goals, focused efforts are undertaken to eliminate non-value-added activities and enhance suboptimal processes. By contrast, large dosages arise from disruptive change, which is discussed in the next section.

Incremental change may address new requirements arising from changes in laws and regulations, contracts and internal policies. Alternatively, it may focus on improving customer and employee satisfaction levels as well as innovation performance or on improving risk management capabilities. Whatever the drivers of incremental change, the continuous improvement discipline is never-ending, as internal and external factors constantly raise the bar for processes to scale to achieve business objectives.