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Measure Twice - Cut Once

Measure Twice – Cut Once  Measure Twice - Cut Once

 

Every once in a while I get a rather firm pushback from a client about making a specific change, or in implementing a specific process for their business.  Being respectful of their decisions but being one to always want to know "why" I ask the perilous questions that must be asked and in response often hear answers like "I've tried that, it didn’t work", or "that won’t work for me". 

Nothing bothers me more than to see someone shut-down to a suggestion without giving it due-diligence.  Somehow the need to know "why" overwhelms me, so I push further because I know that I have been here before too and contrary to their experience for the vast majority of times it does work and it could work for them too.  In my experience most process changes fail largely because of one of these two reasons.

1.  They saw the change as an element and not a process - a spoke without a rim & hub. 

2. They did not consider the human element

You see, all too often change decisions are based on what somebody else has done – something someone might have told you about at an industry gathering, or something you might have read in a magazine; and all too often the time it takes to plan and implement this change doesn’t come close to the effort needed to succeed. 

While these things may certainly be working for someone else; that person doesn’t have your facility, your clientele, your staff headcount, your staff skill sets, your finances, or your knowledge of the change process.  It worked for them because they made it work inclusive (knowingly or not) of all these things, and the time it took to get it all working might have take months or years to get right.

So here’s what I suggest.  When faced with the opportunity to implement change in your business, (and change is an opportunity!) look at the whole picture, think of how it could succeed and fail (that’s important, always have a back-door plan), consider how you will need to get the buy-in from your staff, ask your staff for their input (sometimes they have the best ideas on how you can make their jobs easier!), measure where you are today and know what the metric of success looks like, and plan to do a dry-run whenever possible. Write things down, make sketches of process flow and talk to people you trust outside your business about these changes.  Often we set our own limitations baised on our past experience and knowledge – getting someone from the outside could bring a whole different perspective to your strategy.  Consider hiring a consultant with experience in the change you seek, they may add a whole different perspective on the big picture.

Careful change-planning specific to the unique demands (both positive and negative) of your business will go a long way to ensure successful change implementation for your business.  As they say, measure twice – cut once.

 

By: Chris Sheehy – Auto Body Consultant at Autobody Consulting Group LLC www.AutobodyConsultingGroup.com

´╗┐Autobody Consulting Group, a business operations, administrative, production, estimating, management, marketing, and social media consultancy serving auto body collision repair businesses and vendors to the autobody industry.

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