Change the World – Step One

Change the World - Step OneDo you want to change the world?

Even just one tiny corner of your own world?

Change often feels overwhelming, scary even, and frequently we don’t know where to begin.

Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire focused on helping organizations identify and remove barriers to innovation, and has also served as a great innovation primer for innovation practitioners all over the world.

As people choose and commit to going down the innovation path in a measured way, one of the first things they discover is that many things will have to change inside the organization and in how the entity engages with others outside the organization for their new product or service ideas to successfully walk the transitional path from insight to idea to experiment to implementation project to market offering and market success.

Because of this, my next book and most of my future articles here on Innovation Excellence in the run up to the release of my Change Planning Toolkit™ will be focused on helping people build a strong foundation for achieving successful organizational change. This series of articles will culminate with the launch of a new book from Palgrave Macmillan in January 2016 on the best practices and next practices of organizational change and an introduction to my Change Planning Toolkit™.

So, if we’re hoping to change the world, our world, whether that is with a big W or a little one, where should we begin?

Let’s begin by painting a background for the landscape of organizational change.

Four Keys to Successful Change

Above you’ll see a visualization of the Four Keys to Successful Change. Leave one out and eventually your change effort, no matter how big or small, will eventually fail. If you’re setting setting out to change the world, even a small corner of it, then you’ll want to be sure to consider each of the four keys and make sure that you proceed in a measured way that takes each into account.

Let’s look at each briefly in turn before we look at each area in more detail in future posts, and eventually in the book in January 2016.

The Four Keys to Successful Change

1. Change Planning

Change Planning is the first key to successful organizational change, and it focuses on drawing out the key issues of the necessary change and puts some structure and timeline around them. You will find you have a better experience and a more successful outcome if you use a more visual, collaborative method using something like the Change Planning Toolkit™ I will be releasing soon to help you create the necessary change plans, goals, metrics, etc.

2. Change Leadership

Change Leadership is the second key to successful organizational change, and is important because good change leadership provides the sponsorship, support and oversight necessary for the change activities to receive the visibility, care, and attention they need to overcome inertia and maintain momentum throughout the process of transformation.

3. Change Management

Change Management represents the third key to successful organizational change, and it is probably the one most people think of when they think about organizational change because it focuses on managing the change activities necessary to achieve the change objectives. The term itself has some challenges however as the term also refers to the management of code changes during the software development process and its relationship with project management is confused. We will dig more into the relationship between project management and change management in a future article.

4. Change Maintenance

Change Maintenance represents the fourth and probably most neglected key to successful organizational change. Many change leaders lose interest after the major launch milestones are achieved, and this is a real risk to sustained success of the change effort. During the change maintenance phase is when you measure the outcomes of the planned change activities and reinforce the change, to make sure the change effort has met the change objectives and when you ensure that the behavior change becomes a permanent one. Neglect this phase and people often slip back into their old, well worn patterns of behavior.


This is the first article in a series to help make changing the world seem a little less overwhelming, a little less scary. I hope you have found the article and the framework a useful first building block as we work together to build a strong foundation for successful organizational change. To be alerted when the Change Planning Toolkit™ becomes available, please be sure and click the link below to join the mailing list, and stay tuned for the next article in this series!

Sign up for updates on the Change Planning Toolkit™ (Charting Change Insiders)

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6 thoughts on “Change the World – Step One

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