Leading in a Whitewater World of Change

Nowadays change is a way of doing business and the burden for implementing change usually falls on the shoulders of leadership. Our research consistently provides evidence that those organizations that can effectively respond to or create change are more likely be successful.

Our upcoming seminar, Leading in a Whitewater World of Change, is designed to help leaders apply several strategies and tactics for leading and facilitating change. One of the change concepts we will be working with is the formula D+V+P > C.

The “D” is for dissatisfaction, the “V” is for vision, and the “P” is for process. These three components must be greater than the “C” cost of the change. The cost of the change usually relates to people’s unwillingness to change. In this blog I am focusing on the “D” component of the D+V+P>C formula.

If people are comfortable or satisfied with the current state, then it is probable that they will resist the notion to change. Here, the leader and members of the organization need to carefully build a compelling reason for change to increase the level of the “D” dissatisfaction. If people are dissatisfied with the current state, they are more likely to accept the need for change.

Larry Wilson called this “building a case for change.” Answering the following questions will be essential to building the case for change: “What will be the consequences if we continue to go along as we are in the face of the tremendous and continuous change in the world?” How will our “staying the course” effect customers, our employees, our strategy and profitability? The answers to these questions can form the foundation  for “building a case for change.”

Enrolling others in building the case for change is essential and once the case is clearly articulated, leaders must effectively communicate the case for change. However, as our formula suggests, building the case for change to increase dissatisfaction is only one of the three components for leaders to focus on. Leaders must also work on developing a clear and compelling vision and the process that will lead to that vision.


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