Sunday, August 10, 2008

Five Key Ingredients of Change and the “Power of FM”

Like most of us I am a real fan of change. It mixes things up, forces me to develop new relationships, puts me outside my comfort zone, and energizes me.

Well, let’s be truthful about this. I am a big fan of change that I envision and create. I am not always a fan of change that happens “to” me.

FM’s are often in the difficult position of being the voice of change when they are, in fact, simply doing their job. You may be restacking a building or implementing a new office reservation technology, but in the process you become the focal point of the change that is occurring. You are the one who must deal with staff who are upset, with unforeseen complications and mid-plan changes.

That makes it critically important that you understand the elements of successful change initiatives and the probable outcome when one of these key pieces is missing. Knowing this allows you to preview the project at the very beginning and validate that all required elements are in place. Understanding the symptoms of a missing or poorly performing element can also be important during damage control and revitalization efforts. If you must repair an element then make sure you repair the correct one.

The five key ingredients are Vision, Skills, Incentive, Resources, and Plan. When all five are in place and strong then there is a very high probability of success. Projects are successful, customers are happy, and people get rewarded.

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Plan = CHANGE

But take any one element out of the equation and see what happens:

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Plan = CONFUSION

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Plan = ANXIETY

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Plan = SLOW CHANGE

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Plan = FRUSTRATION

Vision + Skills + Incentive + Resources + Plan = FALSE STARTS

It makes sense, doesn’t it? You can look at each one of the equations above and immediately validate that the missing element will produce the stated outcome. We all know this to be true because we’ve all “been there and done that.”

There is another element that should be in the equation, however, one which I refer to as “the Power of FM.” You are that missing element. You have the ability and capacity to understand change management from a leadership perspective, and to be a force multiplier. Further, you have an obligation to your organization, your staff, your constituents, and yourself to do just that. You have a responsibility to speak up when you see symptoms that others may not recognize or are unwilling to articulate. Be informed, objective, and stay on point…..and exercise the “Power of FM.”

Don’t talk about leadership. Lead.

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