Stage 6.3  Keeping the Change Fresh


It is important to maintain the vitality of the change effort, to sustain and increase the energy investments of the key players and to preserve the sense that something new and important is happening. We can do this in a number of ways, among them;

  • bringing in new blood,
  • being sensitive to and responsive to changes in the local environment,
  • being continuously open to redefine the boundaries of the system,
  • being continuously open to redefine the nature of the concern,
  • being always on the alert for new resources and knowledge sources, and
  • being always ready to reshape and repackage the innovation.



Bring in new blood

When we include more people in the process, we raise the likelihood that a new set of actors will be in the second and subsequent rounds. This is mostly to the good, provided there are still enough first round players still around to maintain continuity of learning.

 

Respond to changes in the local environment

Times have changed since you first arrived on the scene. Some key roles have been filled by different people. There may have been political, economic, or social changes unrelated to what you are doing which have nevertheless changed the atmosphere and the willingness to take risks for better or worse.

 

Be open to redefine the boundaries of the system

Your initial definition of who the client was may have been too limited. The boundaries of "system" are always somewhat arbitrary. We tend to limit "system" boundaries to what we can comprehend or what we can realistically deal with at a given point in time. With experience, we come to recognize the initial "system" as something embedded in something larger. How much of that larger "thing" we chose now to include in our redefined system is also arbitrary, but the decision is an important one because it defines the limits and dimensions of the change effort. Redefining the system is always an enlightening exercise and is one way we can keep the change effort fresh.


Be open to redefine the nature of the concern

Now replay Stage O. Reconsider what the real concerns of this system are. Are the levels of concern the same as they were in your prior analysis? Are the priorities different? Does redefining the system change the nature, priority, and levels of concern?

 

Be on the alert for new resources and knowledge sources

As you have worked through the stages of change in the first project you should have become aware of many resources that you were not using. Which of these might now be accessible for an expanded and renewed change effort?

 

Be ready to reshape and repackage the innovation

If your second round effort is going to continue in the same general direction as the first, building directly on what you have done, you should not be locked in to presenting the innovation in the same way. In all of our sample change case studies, there were lessons learned about how to present the innovation differently if given a second chance. There are hot button words that should not be used or redefinitions of what you are trying to do that will have more appeal to particular stakeholders.