Building a house, changing a career, making a plan – all of these require a certain focus and approach in order to be successful. It is also critical to remember that these shifts and changes don’t happen in moment nor do they rely on just one factor. It is often most challenging to make real lasting change when there isn’t a plan and strategy to support the growth. So many people will attempt change and then give up when the results are not immediately gratifying.
The failed approach to change is often something like this: “I want a change. I am afraid of a change (or don’t know how to do it). I am going to gain strength to make a change. I make a change. ‘See…I told you so!’” Now, while I applaud the effort and the focus, I also acknowledge that there are some critical stages missing from this approach. As I coach people through the planning and execution of change I tell them to follow the 5 C’s of lasting change.
Consumer – Who is the change designed to affect? It is important to know who the stakeholders in the change process are. This can be yourself, your family, your relationship, your career.
Conceive – What is the goal? One of the most important parts of making change is being able to define what success would look like. How will you identify positive improvement when you see it?
Configure – What resources and energy do you need? Too often, we conceive of a great idea and just start doing it. It is important to slow down, ensure that we have all of our resources, support from key stakeholders, information, etc. We are more apt to find success when we have better equipped ourselves for the change.
Construct – Make a change! Go ahead and do it! Don’t try to change everything at once. Take the first step. Remember that real and lasting change is done over time. Dramatic shifts are harder to bear and less likely to stick!
Continuous Improvement – Reevaluate! It is time to take stock in what has happened. How has the change brought you closer to the goal? Think of this as waterfall development. Start with Change 1.0 and then move onto Change 1.1, Change 1.2, etc. This requires that you go back up to the top and check in with your consumers for clarity, revisioning and additional support, Conceive of the next level of change, Configure… you get it!
If you are facing a great deal of change and want to talk about how to better manage it, contact Elliott Kronenfeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.