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You’ve got the Pain, Are you getting the Gain?

Have you ever made a change in your strategies or style that you’re pretty sure will help your company to run more smoothly, or more profitably, or just plain better?  So you’ve got a strategy, you’ve implemented some new systems or tools, maybe you’ve asked some folks to help you maintain your focus, and now you’re wondering, just why was I doing this in the first place!?!

Change is hard and most of us don’t like it.  Sometimes we have an enthusiastic moment and we think “Ah ha! That’s the answer to my frustration, or the thing that’s been blocking my success!” and we set about on a new bunny trail, chasing a new shiny thing that we’re certain will be the answer to all of our problems.  Sometimes we’re much more intentional about making a change, and we have a plan, a timeline and an implementation strategy.  In either scenario we can easily run out of steam, get discouraged and forget what we thought we were going to accomplish in the first place.

If you’re going to set out on a new strategy of performance, leadership or management, set yourself up for success.  Set a specific metric that you are going to measure so you can see your progress.  Measure regularly, daily or weekly, and watch for the change that you intended.

For example, if you are going to practice positive reinforcement of a team member’s contributions, look for a specific task that person has been doing regularly and find a way to measure the volume, efficiency or quality of their tasks.  Over the course of a week, look first at whether or not you’ve actually implemented the change, then review the employee’s performance.  A week might not be enough time in this scenario to change much more than the energy of your office, but you might be surprised.  Happy, engaged people are more productive and you will see a difference in performance if you’re making positive changes in your work environment.   Or, you might be setting this goal for yourself only so you feel better about your leadership style at the end of the day.  Set yourself a benchmark and design a way to measure your improvement.  The bottom line is, if you can’t measure the change, do you really have a plan?  It’s an old saying, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never know when you get there.  For today, I’d like to adopt a new saying. . .

If you can’t demonstrate the result of your new strategy, don’t bother to change!