We know that not everything in your plan will go according to plan.
You will need to be nimble and adaptive, responding to what is actually taking place, rather than what you hoped would be taking place!
When you are Cultivating Change, I call this move on the part of leaders Iterate: Paying attention to how your environment responds to these activities and the progress being made, and adjusting as necessary.
To know whether you are making progress, you will need to have identified Key Indicators that you can use as a reference point. By regularly monitoring these, you will be able to have timely feedback on when things are heading off-course, allowing you to Iterate with appropriate responses.
Early awareness of your progress can allow for relatively simple responses and updates to the change process. Discovering that a key part of your plan has not made sufficient progress until it is too late can be fatal for the change initiative.
While there are many ways to establish Key Indicators, one practical format allows you to do so with ease:
- Q Quality To what standard is the work expected to take place? How well should an activity be carried out before you regard it as successful and complete? What will you do to redress this situation?
- Q Quantity How many or how much of something is expected to take place? How far short of this target is considered a failure to meet the goal? How will you respond if there is a higher response rate than you expected?
- T Time By when is the activity expected to take place? What is the impact of a delayed completion? What opportunities exist if you finish earlier than planned?
- L Location – Where are the activities taking place? Have you been able to reach all these locations? What will you do if there is interest from locations you had not planned on reaching?
- P People – Who are the people to be engaged or impacted? Are they actually the people who participated? How will you respond if you fail to engage sufficient people, or if those who are engaged are not from the planned audience?
The Key Indicators exist for a very specific reason – to give you feedback on progress and to enable you to make timely responses (i.e. iterate).
They are not intended to be a checklist to monitor, but fail to provoke action. They should provoke discussion, further analysis, debate, leading the change team to reach conclusions on how they will respond to the unfolding situation. To decisions on how to iterate the change initiative to both stay on course and to make use of emerging opportunities.
This tip is one of several that leaders can use when Cultivating Change.
Do you find resources like this useful?
Contact me to learn more about how I support leaders as they manage change and growth.