Five Ways to Make Change Happen: Review of Vol. II

As I reread Volume II – Changing Organizations, I was struck by five ideas – brought to life by several of the leaders quoted in various articles – that highlighted how hard it is to change and why people don’t like change:

Create a sense of urgency (Dr. Arick Forrest & Anu Singh)

It’s hard to make change without a sense of urgency. A need for change is the ‘why.’ It’s easier if you have a burning platform because people say, “If we don’t change, something horrible is going to happen.” But there’s not always a burning platform, so finding a real but reasonable sense of urgency can be a challenge.

Make sure your culture is ready to tackle change (Dave Schreiner)

The way people feel about change is just as important as the change itself. And the way people feel about change is tied to an organization’s culture. Are you a constantly changing organization where change is just change and no one gets bent out of shape about it? That makes it easier, but regardless, your culture has to be right to make change happen. Some organizations need to start by tackling their culture.

Let go of your ego (Stu Clark)

The number one killer of culture is leadership ego. Let go of your ego as a leader, because otherwise you’re going to hold on to things that don’t need to be held on to.

Approach change from a positive perspective (Nancy Schlichting)

Schlichting approached change from a very positive angle, especially when dealing with change that involves clinical staff. Instead of saying, “We either change or we die,” leaders can ask, “Do you think we’re perfect?” Or, as Schlichting put it, think about an experience you or a loved one had at the hospital. Was it great? Most people shake their head “no.” So if it’s not great, the work isn’t finished. It’s an appeal to pride and mission, a desire to move upwards towards the ideal instead of focusing on the potential negative.

Don’t wait (Ken Kaufman)

A lot of people in healthcare are waiting to see what the disruptors in our industry are going to do, or what the government is going to do or what… anyone is going to do. But if you wait too long, you’re going to become extinct. We’re never going to have perfect clarity of the future, so don’t sit around and wait and hope everything’s going to become clear. Because by then it’s going to be too late.

Read all of Vol. II: Changing organizations, here.
About the Author /

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As a partner and leader of Jarrard Inc.’s Regional Health System Practice, Kim Fox brings to our clients an in-depth understanding of multihospital systems and the evolving healthcare marketplace. Fox has spent her entire career – which includes more than two decades of in-hospital experience – helping healthcare providers use the power of communications and engagement to accomplish their most important strategic goals.