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MNC Consulting Group Newsletter
August 2013
The Efficient Organization


Action Planning for Action


When an organization discovers its problem's root cause, it is faced with the task of discovering the best solution. And the best solution may not always be the most obvious one. This is where action planning can help.


Action planning involves many minds to generate the best possible way forward. And engaging minds from all levels of the organization-from the boiler room to the boardroom-usually provides the best overall ideas for solutions.


When conducting action planning, include one or more idea-generating sessions to allow staff to provide answers to the problem. Any type of forum can be used for the sessions; but in all instances, allow participants to provide any (I do mean "any") solutions, without threat of judgment. This is crucial.


With the myriad of ideas in hand, use analytical thinking to dissect the probable from the improbable. Use a short-list to narrow your alternatives. Evaluate each alternative with a simple "pros and cons" approach to help you generate one or more probable solutions.


The next step is to further evaluate the probable solutions based on their critical success factors and risks, as well as priority and timing. By doing this, a clear picture emerges about what can reasonably be accomplished with the organization's resources now and in the future. To this end, a prioritization matrix can also help refine immediate, short, medium, and long-term action items.


To round out the action plan, include an evaluation of considerations for managing change as implementation begins. All good leaders know that change management will be a key consideration in developing the action plan.


Pursuit of Profit
Change - Not as Alarming as it Sounds

As of this writing, there are 87,967 results for "change management" on amazon.com. This may seem like a big number, but it's not surprising. The reason so much is written about change is because sustaining change is difficult. But done correctly, effective change in the organization can help create a culture of productivity and boost staff morale.


When making changes in your organization, here are considerations to help your change initiative be successful:


  • Involve staff in an appropriate way.
  • Start with a simple high impact change (e.g., policy).
  • Allow different departments to follow their own schedule, especially if it impacts acceptance.
  • Introduce major change in the middle of the project (e.g., installing a new application).
  • People are eager to know what to do, so just tell them.
  • Consider building online training that can be used repeatedly.
  • Make maximum use of the Intranet to communicate what's new and how the project is progressing.
  • Leave room at the end of the project for unexpected changes.
  • Have a forum where people can communicate concerns as the change happens.
  • Give people feedback on this (what are concerns, how are they being addressed).
  • Get feedback (e.g., use instant surveys).
  • Keep the communication lines open. Always.
  • Meet regularly with stakeholders.
  • Explain major shifts from the implementation plan.
  • Allow people to get as much (or as little) information as they want (pull vs. push).


Remember that the most important component of change management is the action plan itself. And while a change initiative will itemize specific action items and a priority for their implementation, remember to apply the 80/20 rule. That is, implement the 20 percent of the proposed action items that will produce 80 percent of the anticipated results.


The key is to consider where your organization is now and what is reasonable to implement, not what is perfect.


In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)


In my experience, change initiatives succeed because leaders inspire a culture of openness and honesty. Employees who are treated with respect will give respect. Organizations that operate in secrecy and on a "need to know" basis permeate suspicion and adversity. It's as simple as that. Leaders that keep wondering why change is always so difficult in their organization need to stop and check their pulse, so they can stop wondering. IMHO.


"They say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself."

 Andy Warhol

About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.


ISSN 1925-8941   

Extreme Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more money. 


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In This Issue
Planning for Action
Change - Not as Alarming as it Sounds
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

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