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Three Important Principles for Managing Change

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant.”
—  Benjamin Disraeli

Change cannot be stopped, and many times it is for the good of many. But it is not always convenient. How do we deal with change? There are twelve important principles in managing change, but for our purposes, let’s discuss the three most important.

Change only happens when each person makes a decision to implement the change.

A definite decision to change is necessary in order to have change. According to Napoleon Hill, decision is necessary to succeed. Had our founding fathers not been decisive, America would have not been born; you and I will not enjoy the freedom to effect change (Hill 1938). Therefore, if we truly desire change, we must decide and act on it quickly.

The intrinsic rewards of a project are often more important than the material rewards and recognition.

According to Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihaly, people will more likely to engage in activities that they enjoy, where the demand on the use of their skills are high and they feel challenged. If that happens, people experience flow or happiness or the “experience of optimal fulfillment and engagement (Debold 2002).”  Therefore, we should only allow change that will be more conducive to flow. 

A clearly defined vision of the end result enables all the people to define the most efficient path for accomplishing the results.

According to Steven Covey and more specifically his 2nd Habit, we should begin with the end in mind. In other words, before making any action, we should visualize a desired goal, feel like we have achieved it, and then work on it (as cited and summarized by White Dove Books). Without vision to guide us, we will only move in circles.

Action Points

The principles discussed above are absolutely necessary in order to produce and manage change. There are several ways to apply them, and I will provide some. Since decisions are important, it is necessary that organization and business leaders be decisive. The only way that they can be decisive is to have deep and comprehensive knowledge of their business so that decisions made will be sound.

There should be regular consultation with all members of an organization. This way, taste and preferences may be surveyed. If the leaders will only know what members really enjoy and love doing, they can easily decide which direction to tackle.

Finally, every member of an organization, from the leader up to the ordinary member must memorize by rote and by heart the mission-vision statements of the organization. This would ensure that people know what they are working for and why.

References

Debold, Elizabeth. (2002). Flow with Soul: An interview with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

What is Enlightenment?, Spring–Summer 2002. Retrieved November 25, 2008, from http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j21/csiksz.asp.

Hill, Napoleon. (1938). Think and Grow Rich. Ralston Society [Public Domain].

Retrieved November 25, 2008, from http://www.sacred-texts.com/nth/tgr/tgr13.htm. 

White Dove Books. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Steven Covey). Inspiration

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Retrieved November 25, 2008, from http://www.whitedovebooks.co.uk/7-habits/7-habits.htm.

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