Tag Archives: resources

Leveraging Free Resources for Innovation

Leveraging Free Resources for Innovation

GUEST POST from Mike Shipulski

Since resources are expensive, it can be helpful to see the environment around your product as a source of inexpensive resources that can be modified to perform useful functions. Here are some examples.

Gravity is a force you can use to do your bidding. Since gravity is always oriented toward the center of the earth, if you change the orientation of an object, you change the direction gravity exerts itself relative to the object. If you flip the object upside down, gravity will push instead of pull.

And it’s the same for buoyancy but in reverse. If you submerge an object of interest in water and add air (bubbles) from below, the bubbles will rise and push in areas where the bubbles collect. If you flip over the object, the bubbles will collect in different areas and push in the opposite direction relative to the object.

And if you have water and bubbles, you have a delivery system. Add a special substance to the air which will collect at the interface between the water and air and the bubbles will deliver it northward.

If you have motion, you also have wind resistance or drag force (but not in deep space). To create more force, increase speed or increase the area that interacts with the moving air. To change the direction of the force relative to the object, change the orientation of the object relative to the direction of motion.

If you have water, you can also have ice. If you need a solid substance look to the water. Flow water over the surface of interest and pull out heat (cool) where you want the ice to form. With this method, you can create a protective coating that can regrow as it gets worn off.

If you have water, you can make ice to create force. Drill a blind hole in a piece of a brittle material (granite), fill the hole with water, and freeze the water by cooling the granite (or leave it outside in the winter). When the water freezes it will expand, push on the granite and break it.

These are some contrived examples, but I hope they help you see a whole new set of free resources you can use to make your magic.

Thank you, VF.

Image credit: Pixabay

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Standardizing Change

In The Five Keys to Successful Change I highlight five key areas for organizations to focus on if they are serious about building a strong, sustainable capability in organizational change, including:

  1. Change Planning
  2. Change Leadership
  3. Change Management
  4. Change Maintenance
  5. Change Portfolio Management

Five Keys to Successful Change 550

As you can see Change Management is but one of five keys to sustainable change success, but it is one of the most important. It is also the only one of the five that has its own professional association and working to establish itself as a recognized profession, complete with its own certification.

To get to a place where you can have a certification, you must have a collection of shared knowledge. In project management, they have the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) maintained by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in support of the certification of Project Management Professionals (PMP). For change management professionals, this is The Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP) Standard for Change Management, also referred to as ACMP’s Standard.

ACMP Standard Components

The main components of the standard according to the ACMP brochure include:

1. Evaluating Change Impact and Organizational Readiness

  • Reviews the overall change and how it will impact the organization
  • Establishes whether the organization is ready and able to handle the proposed change

2. Formulating Change Management Strategy

  • Develops the approach for moving an organization from current state to desired future state in order to achieve specific organizational outcomes

3. Developing Change Management Plans

  • Documents the scope, actions, timelines and resources needed to deliver the change

4. Executing Change Management Plans

  • Addresses the implementation processes for performing the change activities by monitoring, measuring, and controlling delivery against baseline plans

5. Closing the Change Management Effort

  • Documents the actions and resources needed to close the change once the Change Management Strategy is achieved and activities are deemed sustainable and maintainable

But managing change is extremely complicated and there is much more involved in doing it well than can be achieved just looking at these five high level phases, so there is a lot more detail contained in ACMP’s Standard, highlighted for you below:

5.1 Evaluate Change Impact and Organizational Readiness

— 5.1.1 Define the Change
— 5.1.2 Determine Why the Change is Required
— 5.1.3 Develop a Clear Vision of the Future State
— 5.1.4 Identify Goals, Objectives, and Success Criteria
— 5.1.5 Identify Sponsors Accountable for the Change
— 5.1.6 Identify Stakeholders Affected by the Change
— 5.1.7 Assess the Change Impact
— 5.1.8 Assess Alignment of the Change with Organizational Strategic Objectives and Performance Measurement
— 5.1.9 Assess External Factors that may Affect Organizational Change
— 5.1.10 Assess Organization Culture(s) Related to the Change
— 5.1.11 Assess Organizational Capacity for Change
— 5.1.12 Assess Organizational Readiness for Change
— 5.1.13 Assess Communication Needs, Communication Channels, and Ability to Deliver Key Messages
— 5.1.14 Assess Learning Capabilities
— 5.1.15 Conduct Change Risks Assessment

5.2 Formulate the Change Management Strategy

— 5.2.1 Develop the Communication Strategy
— 5.2.2 Develop the Sponsorship Strategy
— 5.2.3 Stakeholder Engagement Strategy
— 5.2.4 Develop the Change Impact and Readiness Strategy
— 5.2.5 Develop the Learning and Development Strategy
— 5.2.6 Develop the Measurement and Benefit Realization Strategy
— 5.2.7 Develop the Sustainability Strategy

5.3 Develop the Change Management Plan

— 5.3.1 Develop a Comprehensive Change Management Plan
— 5.3.2 Integrate Change Management and Project Management Plans
— 5.3.3 Review and Approve the Change Plan in Collaboration with Project Leadership
— 5.3.4 Develop Feedback Mechanisms to Monitor Performance to Plan

5.4 Execute the Change Management Plan

— 5.4.1 Execute, Manage, and Monitor Implementation of the Change Management Plan
— 5.4.2 Modify the Change Management Plan as Required

5.5 Complete the Change Management Effort

— 5.5.1 Evaluate the Outcome Against the Objectives
— 5.5.2 Design and Conduct Lessons Learned Evaluation and Provide Results to Establish Internal Best Practices
— 5.5.3 Gain Approval for Completion, Transfer of Ownership, and Release of Resources

Obviously there is a lot more value in looking at this more complete view of the content of ACMP’s Standard than in looking at the five components of the standard. A number of different people provided input into ACMP’s Standard and so there is a lot of good information in it, and I’d encourage you to download it and check it out. For my part, I’ve been all the way through it as part of the research for my new book Charting Change, in part because I wanted to ensure that my new book and the accompanying Human-Centered Change™ methodology are consistent with ACMP’s Standard so that practicing change management professionals can pick up my Change Planning Toolkit™ and begin using it right away to simplify their change planning process and increase their rate of successful change adoption.

ACMP Standard Visualization

Click to access this ACMP Standard for Change Management visualization as a FREE scalable 11″x17″ PDF download

Click to access this ACMP Standard for Change Management visualization as a FREE scalable 35″x56″ PDF poster size download

But the ACMP’s Standard for Change Management, because of its breadth, can be difficult for people to digest and easily access quickly and so to help with that challenge I have created a visualization of the standard (pictured above) as a scalable 11”x17” free download for people to download and share with others or post on their cubicle or office wall for easy reference, with a free 35”x56” poster size version available now too! The visualization will help you see at a glance how the main components and all of their sub-components inter-relate and come together to create a comprehensive approach to change management. I hope you download and enjoy the ACMP Standard for Change Management visualization, share it freely with your friends and colleagues, and get added value from the other free downloads from the Change Planning Toolkit™!

Sign up for Change Planning Toolkit™ launch updates

Buy the Change Planning Toolkit™ NowNow you can buy the Change Planning Toolkit™ – Individual Bronze License – Advance Purchase Edition here on this web site before the book launches.

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Measuring Change Readiness

Measuring Change ReadinessAre you and your organization ready for change?

Too often organizations define the change effort they want to pursue without first identifying whether there are people, resources, legislation, etc. present that must be in place before the change effort can begin. We will explore the circumstances you may want to explore before beginning any change effort and the areas to explore as potential prerequisites to the change program and its eventual success.

During the course of any change initiative many different challenges will appear, and the most successful change efforts will anticipate those challenges and have a plan for dealing with them. Part of that anticipation begins with identifying how ready the organization is for change.

The Change Planning Toolkit™ is designed to assist your change planning team by making the planning process easier with its collection of 50+ frameworks, methodologies and other tools.

One of the keys to change planning success is carefully identifying the prerequisites for change, including:

  1. What must we know? (Knowledge)
  2. What must we have? (Tools)
  3. What must be completed? (Foundation)

This information is captured in one of the worksheets in the toolkit.

One other concept we should stop and discuss briefly is the idea of change saturation. This concept captures the idea that organizations in general, and certain individuals in specific, can only absorb so much change at one time. One frequent occurrence with change efforts is the situation where more than one project or larger change effort may require the same human, financial, physical, information or other resources at the same time. To become aware of this situation and to enable you to work to mitigate the effects of change saturation, you will want to build a heat map identifying the different timing, duration, and intensity of the different requirements all of the different projects and change efforts will place on the different types of resources within the organization. This too is a prerequisite.

Another prerequisite for change is having a deep understanding for what the current state looks like, including having answers for the following:

  • Who is feeling the pain? Pushing for the change?
  • What is the pain caused by the current state?
  • Where is the bulk of the change likely to take place?
  • When did the current state start causing pain?
  • Why is the change being pursued

These questions can be asked and answered during your change planning session, but they must be asked and the answers must be integrated into your examination of your readiness for this change BEFORE you actually begin the change.

An additional prerequisite for change is also having a deep understanding for what the desired state will look like, including answers for the following:

  • Who are we making this change for? Who will feel the greatest benefit from this change?
  • Where will the resources and support come from?
  • When do we need/want to complete the change process by? Is there a legal deadline?
  • What solution would we like to see in place?
  • Why is this solution better than the status quo?

Finally, to be ready to pursue a change the organization must have people in place to look after each of the Five Keys to Successful Change and should be familiar with both the Architecting the Organization for Change framework and my PCC Change Readiness Framework (these are three of the free downloads from the toolkit).

My PCC Change Readiness Framework focuses on the psychology of key groups surrounding the identified change, the capabilities needed to successfully execute the change, and the organization’s capacity to tackle this change effort (along with everything else).

PCC Change Readiness Framework

You will notice that I don’t speak about organizational psychology or culture in my PCC Change Readiness Framework. The reason I don’t highlight culture in the same way that many other people do is that in today’s more social, customer-centric business, we must look more broadly than the typical inward focus of company culture when it comes to identifying the readiness of not only employees, but leaders, customers, and partners too. Inevitably many of our change efforts will have some impact on one or more external groups (possibly even non-profit entities and one or more governments).

You will notice that within the PSYCHOLOGY box there is a common focus on the mindsets, attitudes, beliefs and expectations of the individuals. Culture is incorporated into the psychology realm by focusing on what the shared understandings are around the potential change, but more broadly too. And, finally you will notice that my PCC Change Readiness Framework highlights the need for successful change efforts to move towards gaining commitment to the change from leadership, acceptance of the change by employees, and a desire for the change from customers and partners.

Within the CAPABILITY box of my PCC Change Readiness Framework we must investigate whether our change effort has any regulatory or statutory implications and whether we are ready to adapt, adopt or influence the changes necessary in this sphere. We must also ask ourselves a series of questions:

  1. “Do we need to get permission from anyone to do this?”
  2. “What knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for this change do we already possess?”
  3. “What knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for this change do we need to acquire?”
  4. “What relationships do we possess that will be useful in advancing the change?”
  5. “What relationships do we need to build to help advance the change?”
  6. “What are the enablers of making this change successful?”

Within the CAPACITY box we have to look at where our resources are approaching, or have already achieved, change saturation. This means they are unable to productively participate in any more change efforts or adopt any more change. But we also have to look at the availability of our resources:

  1. Human
  2. Financial
  3. Physical
  4. Information
  5. Executive Sponsors
  6. Space in our desired communication channels

It is easy to take for granted that the organization will have the capacity to undertake your change effort, but often there are capacity constraints that you will run into, especially as the pace and volume of change increases inside an organization. The one that is easiest to overlook and fail to plan for, is making sure that you’re going to be able to communicate your change messages in your desired messaging channels (they may already be full).

There is a worksheet that goes with the PCC Change Readiness Framework that will help you capture information around the:

  • History
  • Capability
  • Capacity
  • Partners
  • Context
  • Leadership
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Shared Understanding
  • Strategic Alignment (Commitment)
  • Cultural Alignment (Acceptance)
  • Brand Alignment (Desire)

You will find these companion tools for the PCC Change Readiness Framework in the Change Planning Toolkit™ to download for printing and use in your collaborative exploration of your change readiness.

Get Your Copy of Charting ChangeIn my next book Charting Change we will investigate additional aspects of change readiness and have a special section from one of my invited guest experts in the book, Beth Montag Schmaltz of PeopleFirm looking at several topics including change fatigue, where the change threshold lies, why people resist change, how to reduce change fatigue, how to build change capability, what change capable employees look like, and how you can embed change behavior into the very fabric of your organization.

The book is available for pre-order, and has received several strong endorsements, so I hope you’ll pick up a copy (or one for each member of your team). You can find more information on the Charting Change book page.

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.

Innovation Quotes of the Day – May 28, 2012


“The more successful an organization becomes the bigger it gets. The bigger it gets the more it focuses on optimizing its resources. The more it optimizes it resources the more it eliminates variation. Innovation requires variation. We have seen the enemy and he is us.”

– Jeff DeGraff


“It is in identifying which of The Nine Innovation Roles are vacant (or sub-optimally filled) that you will be able to see some of the areas where your efforts are likely to come up short, and then can take actions to improve your chances of innovation success.”

– Braden Kelley


“It is not enough to simply go through the motions. In order to build our abilities, cognitive or otherwise, we must think about what we’re doing, concentrate while we’re doing it and then review what we have done. Further, we need to seek out mentors and peers who will critique our efforts.”

– Greg Satell


What are some of your favorite innovation quotes?

Add one or more to the comments, listing the quote and who said it, and I’ll share the best of the submissions as future innovation quotes of the day!

Subscribe to Human-Centered Change & Innovation WeeklySign up here to get Human-Centered Change & Innovation Weekly delivered to your inbox every week.