Summary: ChangeMasters By Barry J. Moltz
Summary: ChangeMasters By Barry J. Moltz

Summary: ChangeMasters By Barry J. Moltz

How to be a ChangeMaster

The key is just to start somewhere. Sometimes, almost anywhere will do. Forget the giant risky leaps. The key to making successful change is not making fatal mistakes along the way you can’t recover from. Often, when looking back, we tout the changes we made as massive risks, but in reality, there wasn’t one significant change but rather many small and incremental ones that led your company to a better place.

Seth Godin writes, “It’s possible you’ve come to the conclusion that the destination you’ve chosen isn’t for you. That being a pop star, a successful VP of accounting, or a receptionist with a secure position isn’t a life you’d like to lead.

But don’t confuse that with the journey. Maybe you’d be happy with finding the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow, but perhaps you don’t want to suffer the discomfort, indignities, and effort it will take to get to that destination. Maybe you’d prefer an easier path. You’d happily accept the destination, but the truth is, the journey is too arduous to get there.

And don’t confuse that with imagining the risks along the way. It may well be that you not only accept the destination, but you’re also willing to endure (or delight in) the journey. However, your narrative of the risks and dangers is just too much to handle.

When we conflate the destination with the journey with the narrative of the risks, we have no hope of improving any of the three. So instead, we often push to throw out all three at once or embrace them all. But it’s possible, with effort and planning, to make the journey more palatable or the risks feel more tolerable.”


1  Find the internal commitment to change.

There is no reason to pay for advice if you are not going to act on it. This doesn’t mean always following the consultant’s advice. But try to find a way to integrate it into your decision-making process. The process starts by understanding why you want to implement change and what will happen if you don’t. You need to know what the cost of staying exactly where you are will be.


2  Make small changes first.

Making radical departures from current practices are difficult to get your brain comfortable with, especially if your business is not a disaster. So, implement small pieces of advice first and measure the results before tackling more extensive changes. It is important to adopt several bits of advice, not just one, so you can judge the long-term outcome. This way, you can start to trust that the change will actually move you in the direction you want to go.


3  Seek multiple sources of advice.

There is no single business guru out there and no one correct way to do things. Seek advice from several different sources to get a 360-degree view of the marketplace and your business. Consider assembling an informal board of advisors that meets quarterly to give you various points of view to better inform your own opinion.


4  Shift your point of view.

Forget radical changes. Start by slightly shifting your point of view. This way, the change is not so extreme that you can’t return to where you were if this new approach fails.


5  Take action and commit to it.

Super trainer Jennifer Jacobs says it takes more than just desire to change; you also must take action. “You’ll never find the perfect time to do whatever it is that you desire, but it’s always the right time to start. Even if it’s just one pushup, that’s one more than you did yesterday. Take the simple approach to be better than you were yesterday. Simple to say, but [it’s]challenging to be consistent on a daily basis to take action towards that goal. By committing to and taking action to do just one pushup often leads to more, longer workouts, [and] increased motivation.”


6  Expect the change to be successful.

Forget failure and expect success! Formulate new mental maps of that change in your brain and where it can take you will help make this a reality.


7  Apply gentle pressure.

If you start overthinking or doubting yourself, apply a bit of pressure to take action. As Manish Patel, CEO of Brandify, says, “Pressure can bring out the best in you. Why do you think diamonds are so special?” Create that pressure on yourself, whether you are counting down from 10, or imagining yourself going live on television, or setting a deadline/timer to get yourself to move into action.


The 20 Steps to Making a Successful Change

  1. What is the change you want to make?
  2. How are you currently doing the thing you want to change?
  3. Why do you want to make this change?
  4. What will happen if you do not make this change? Be specific.
  5. What inspired you to make this change?
  6. What makes you uncomfortable when you think of making this change?
  7. Who is the one person who can support the change? Why are they the right person for this job?
  8. What precisely can they do to support you in this change? Name a specific action.
  9. Reread these tomorrow and make any changes to your answers.
  10. What is the smallest step you can take to move toward this change? Be very specific.
  11. What positive affirmation or reward can you give yourself after you complete the first small step?
  12. Share the success or failure of this step with your mentor.
  13. After talking with your mentor, rate your success in accomplishing this step from 1 to 5 (lowest to highest). If the rating was not 4 or 5, what can you do better next time?
  14. How did your success (or failure) reinforce your inspiration to—or your fear of—change?
  15. What is the next smallest step you can take to move toward making this change?
  16. What positive affirmation or reward can you give yourself this time after completing this task to fight the discomfort of change?
  17. Once again, share the success or failure of this next action or step with your mentor or support person.
  18. After talking with your mentor, rate your success in accomplishing this step from 1 to 5 (lowest to highest). If the rating was not 4 or 5, what can you do better next time?
  19. How did your success (or failure) reinforce your inspiration to—or your fear of—change?
  20. What is the one thing that will help you not give up on making this change?


How to Become a ChangeMaster for Others

As the company’s leader, you must establish the new goal or mission and explain clearly where the business is headed. You need to help your team, as Simon Sinek says, “Find their why.” Employees will rally to make a change if there’s a driving reason they can get behind. This doesn’t mean you put it up to a vote. Running a small business is not a democracy; it’s up to you to set the direction (with input from your team).

But you still need to answer the questions, “Why is it so critical to make this change now?” and “What does this mean for the company, the employees, and the customers?” Put another way, your team wants to know, “Why will this change make things better (and not worse) for the company, employees, and customers)?” Don’t skip over these three targets. If you want your team to enact the change, they need to understand the benefits to all three, especially for their own career and personal goals. Employees get lost when missions and visions are unclear, or they don’t know how it affects them. Articulate the parts of your company culture and principles that actually support the change. Your staff will also get lost if too many changes happen at once or if something changes every week. It freezes them in place as they just sit and wait for the next change.

Once you announce what you want to change, you and your team should determine the critical factors needed to achieve this goal in a set period of time successfully. Next, you need to decide the specific actions that must be completed to make the change a reality. This creates a roadmap to guide each person or department on what they must do for this to happen. Set small goals to start and gradually increase the difficulty and the frequency of the deadlines. Actually, beginning to change is one of the most challenging aspects of the whole process, and team members need to experience early “wins” to stay motivated and not get discouraged. This can establish a new momentum and eliminate inertia in the organization. Finally, let your team adjust the actions that need to be done for the change to occur. Giving them autonomy on which actions need to happen gets them invested in making it so.

It is also critical for you to find out what, if anything, your team fears when change is mentioned.

the natural tendency for most people is to keep things the way they are. Even if it is not working, people are comfortable in what they know rather than the unknown that change brings. Ask your employees what they need from you as the leader to support them in making this change. Ask them what connections they need to make with each other to ensure any changes actually occur.

You need to have a culture of change. It should be acceptable at your company to make small failures as a result of those changes. This reduces the fear (and any penalty) of transformation. If team members are afraid of change, it will never happen.