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Successful Entrepreneurs’ Secret Strategies to Maximize Benefits

Successful Entrepreneurs’ Secret Strategies to Maximize Benefits

Nearly three centuries ago, Benjamin Franklin made a profound statement that every entrepreneur should live by: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”

This value in this quote didn’t pass with the late genius. In the 21st Century, his advice is more relevant than ever.

Change is an inevitable part of entrepreneurship. New demographic trends, technology and other changes are constantly shaping the future of your business.

Unfortunately, most companies fail to implement change. According to Tor Benrick, nearly three quarters of these efforts are unsuccessful.[1]

A number of factors contribute to these failures. Fortunately, you can execute change more effectively by choosing the right change management models.

Overview of Top Change Management Models

Many change management models have emerged over the years. They include:

  • The Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze Model. This model focuses on the fact that certain customs and processes are built into the organization. Before change can take place, the organization must open itself up to the concept of change.
  • Kotter’s 8-Step Model of Change. This model focuses on setting short-term goals and creating a sense of urgency to every member of the team.
  • Bridge’s Transitional Model. The Bridge’s Transitional Model focuses on the impact change and complacency have on the organization and individuals within it. While this model can’t be implemented on its own, it is a great complement to other change management models.
  • Prosci ADKAR Model. This is an incremental, individualized process that all employees must embrace. Each individual sets their own objectives to make change more flexible.
  • Virginia Satir Change Process. The Virginia Satir Change Process is a more holistic change management model that focuses on the impact on individuals and helps them welcome new change.

Each of these models has its own benefits and drawbacks. Organizations should be aware of all of them and use them to their fullest advantage.

Which Is Best for Your Company?

Several change management models have gained acceptance over the past century. While these models all serve important purposes, some are better suited for specific business goals.

It is important to understand the merits of different change management models and know when to apply them. Here is an overview of some of the most widely used.

1. Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze Model: Break Resistance

In the 1940s, German-American psychologist Kurt Lewin developed the Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze model,[2] which remains one of the most widely used change management models to this day.

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Lewin recognized that humans are ambivalent about change. They may recognize the benefits change brings, but fear of the unknown can halt efforts to execute change.

    When is it most effective?

    The Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze model focuses on breaking their resistance to change. In order to accomplish this, leaders must provide a motivation to venture out of their comfort zones. Tai Lopez [3] states that motivation can come in different forms: higher compensation, better working conditions and promise of future praise are all commonly used.

    Once employees are given the motivation to embrace change, the process can begin. After it is completed, the change is permanently accepted as part of the company structure.

    When is it less effective?

    Negative motivators are less effective, such as threats of termination for failing to accept change. However, there may be instances where fear needs to be used, such as dealing with particularly stubborn employees during a crisis. As a rule of thumb, positive motivational strategies should be used whenever possible.

    While the Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze model is undoubtedly effective, it has one key downside: it takes a long time to execute. Leaders need to gradually encourage employees to come around to the inevitable.

    2. Kotter’s 8-Step Model of Change: A Collaborative Effort

    John Paul Kotter, the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, for the Harvard Business School, has been one of the leading organizational change researchers for 45 years. One of his most ground-breaking accomplishments was the development of Kotter’s 8-Step Model of Change.

    This model is more detailed than Lewin’s. It relies on the following steps:

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    • Communicating the urgent need for change
    • Developing the coalition to guide change
    • Formulating the vision
    • Communicating the vision
    • Empowering employees and delegating duties to execute change
    • Setting short-term goals
    • Consolidating gains and setting longer-term goals
    • Ingraining new changes into the company culture

      When is it most effective?

      For many organizations, the advantage this model has over the Unfreeze-Change-Refreeze model is that it makes change a collaborative process. For companies that strive to foster a sense of inclusiveness and mutual accountability, this is a better model.

      Alberto Irace, CEO of Acea, has heavily praised Kotter’s system.[4]

      These results and initiatives have an extraordinary and immense value, because it contributes not only to the spirit of the participants, but it also shows with evidence and tangible clarity that this dual system is for us reachable and doable and is dependent on the desire, curiosity, interest and passion that each of us can bring to his or her daily work.

      When is it less effective?

      However, it is still one of the top-down change management models, so it may not be participative enough for smaller companies. The nature of small companies which employees tend to take multiple responsibilities and are more familiar with the entire operation of the business renders the process of communicating the change and vision quite nonsense.

      3. Bridge’s Transitional Model: Let go, comply and accept

      Bridge’s Transitional Model focuses more heavily on the impact change and complacency have on the individuals within the company. While it isn’t a stand-alone model for driving change, it is a great tool to be used in conjunction with other models. The model is 3-stage which can be summarized by the diagram below:

        The first phase involves ending, losing and letting go. These happen when people are forced to experience a change unwillingly and to let go of something they have been comfortable with.

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        The second phase involves the neutral emotion. People at this stage are trying hard to cope with the change and cause some emotional ups and downs.

        The third phase involves a new beginning. At this stage, people have fully adapted to the changes and start developing skills around the change.

        When is it most effective?

        It requires entrepreneurs to get input from their employees through every stage of the process, thereby getting them to buy into it, so this model is ideal for smaller companies with more participative leadership styles.

        When is it less effective?

        As the focus of the model is on transition and how to cope with it smoothly, this model alone is ineffective in change management. Most usually, it is best employed with another change management to ensure the harmonious transition.

        4. Prosci ADKAR Model: Incremental steps-oriented

        The Prosci ADKAR Model is a goal-oriented approach to change-management. It requires businesses and individuals to setup incremental steps.

        One of the unique things about the Prosci ADKAR Model is the focus on individual change and organizational change. By helping individuals set their own goals, they can often foster change better. However, individual goals need to be sync with the direction of the company.

          When is it most effective?

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          The feature that it magnifies the potential pros and cons can be a confidence boost for employees to work harder for the change. While most companies fail their attempts to change due to their focus on the method employed, this model shifts the focus to maximize the contribution of employees.

          When is it less effective?

          While the model emphasizes the emotional aspect of human involvement in change, it actually doesn’t give a very concrete explanation on how to implement it. Also it mentions quite less about the actual management method.

          5. Virginia Satir Change Process: Embrace negativity

          Developed by a leading family therapy researcher, the Virginia Satir Change Process focuses on four stages:

          • Coming to terms with the problems of the status-quo
          • Recognizing the need to address new change into the process
          • Embracing chaos
          • Using chaos to inspire new ideas

            When is it most effective?

            The good thing about this model is that it forces people to embrace the stressfulness of change, rather than resisting it. Learning to properly handle the negativity can facilitate the change process.

            When is it less effective?

            Despite encouragement on the acceptance of the potential negative emotions arisen from changes, the model does not provide actual solution on how to deal with the problem.

            Review Your Business and Choose the One That Fits It Most

            Many different change management models have been developed over the years. They all have their benefits, but there are a variety of things you need to keep in mind before choosing one. The size of your company and the level of autonomy in your leadership style are the two biggest factors that need to be taken into consideration.

            Reference

            [1] Tor Benrick: Barriers to Organizational Change
            [2] MindTools: Lewin’s Change Management Model)
            [3] Linkedln: Tai Lopez
            [4] Kotter International: The 8-Step Process for Leading Change

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            Last Updated on December 10, 2019

            How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

            How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life

            It is hardly a secret that the key to successfully accomplishing one goal after another is staying motivated. There are, of course, tasks which successful people may not like at all, yet they find motivation to complete them because they recognize how each particular task serves a greater goal.

            So how to stay motivated most of the time? Here are 5 simple yet effective ways on how to stay motivated and get what you want:

            1. Find Your Good Reasons

            Anything you do, no matter how simple, has a number of good reasons behind it.

            You may not be able to find good reasons to do some tasks at first but, if you take just a few moments to analyze them, you will easily spot something good. We also have many tasks which don’t need any reasoning at all – we’ve been doing them for so long that they feel natural.

            If you’re ever stuck with some tasks you hate and there seems to be no motivation to complete it whatsoever, here’s what you need to do: find your good reasons.

            Even when you set goals, there needs to be reasons behind these goals. They may not be obvious, but stay at it until you see some, as this will bring your motivation back and will help you finish the task.

            Some ideas for what a good reason can be:

            • A material reward – quite often, you will get paid for doing something you normally don’t like doing at all.
            • Personal gain – you will learn something new or will perhaps improve yourself in a certain way.
            • A feeling of accomplishment – at least you’ll be able to walk away feeling great about finding the motivation and courage to complete such a tedious task.
            • A step closer to your bigger goal – even the biggest accomplishments in history have started small and relied on simple and far less pleasant tasks than you might be working on. Every task you complete brings you closer to the ultimate goal, and acknowledging this always feels good.

            2. Make It Fun

            When it comes to motivation, attitude is everything. Different people may have completely opposite feelings towards the same task: some will hate it, others will love it.

            Why do you think this happens? It’s simple: some of us find ways to make any task interesting and fun to do!

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            Take sports for example. Visiting your local gym daily for a half-an-hour workout session sounds rather boring to some. Yet many others love the idea!

            They like exercising not only because they recognize the good reasons behind it, but simply because it’s fun! At certain time of their daily schedule, they find going to gym to be the best thing to do, simply because nothing else will fit their time and lifestyle so perfectly.

            Depending on how you look at it, you can have fun doing just about anything! Just look for ways of having fun, and you’ll find them!

            A simple approach is to start working on any task by asking yourself a few questions:

            • How can I enjoy this task?
            • What can I do to make this task fun for myself and possibly for others?
            • How can I make this work the best part of my day?

            As long as you learn to have the definite expectation of any task being potentially enjoyable, you will start to feel motivated.

            Some of you will probably think of a thing or two which are valid exceptions from this statement, like something you always hate doing no matter how hard you try making it fun. You’re probably right, and that’s why I don’t claim everything to be fun.

            However, most tasks have a great potential of being enjoyable, and so looking for ways to have fun while working is definitely a good habit to acquire.

            3. Change Your Approach And Don’t Give Up

            When something doesn’t feel right, it’s always a good time to take a moment and look for a different approach for the task.

            You may be doing everything correctly and most efficiently, but such approach isn’t necessarily the most motivating one. Quite often, you can find a number of obvious tweaks to your current approach which will both change your experience and open up new possibilities.

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            That’s why saying “one way or another” is so common — if you really want to accomplish your goal, there is always a way; and most likely, there’s more than one way.

            If a certain approach doesn’t work for you, find another one, and keep trying until you find the one which will both keep you motivated and get you the desired results.

            Some people think that trying a different approach means giving up. They take pride in being really stubborn and refusing to try any other options on their way towards the goal.

            My opinion on this is that the power of focus is great, but you should be focusing on your goal, and not limiting your options by focusing on just one way to accomplish it it.

            4. Recognize Your Progress

            Everything you may be working on can be easily split into smaller parts and stages. For most goals, it is quite natural to split the process of accomplishing them into smaller tasks and milestones. There are a few reasons behind doing this, and one of them is tracking your progress.

            We track our progress automatically with most activities. But to stay motivated, you need to recognize your progress, not merely track it.

            Here’s how tracking and recognizing your progress is different:

            Tracking is merely taking a note of having reached a certain stage in your process. Recognizing is taking time to look at a bigger picture and realize where exactly you are, and how much more you have left to do.

            For example, if you’re going to read a book, always start by going through the contents table. Getting familiar with chapter titles and memorizing their total number will make it easier for you to recognize your progress as you read. Confirming how many pages your book has before starting it is also a good idea.

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            You see, reading any book you will be automatically looking at page numbers and chapter titles, but without knowing the total number of pages, this information will have little meaning.

            Somehow, it is human nature to always want things to happen in short term or even at once. Even though we split complex tasks into simpler actions, we don’t quite feel the satisfaction until all is done and the task is fully complete.

            For many scenarios though, the task is so vast that such approach will drain all the motivation out of you long before you have a chance to reach your goal. That’s why it is important to always take small steps and recognize the positive different and progress made. This is how your motivation can sustain in long term.

            5. Reward Yourself

            This is a trick everyone likes: rewarding yourself is always pleasant. This is also one of the easiest and at the same time most powerful ways to stay motivated!

            Feeling down about doing something? Dread the idea of working on some task? Hate the whole idea of working? You’re not alone.

            Right from the beginning, agree on some deliverables which will justify yourself getting rewarded. As soon as you get one of the agreed results, take time to reward yourself in some way.

            For some tasks, just taking a break and relaxing for a few minutes will do.

            For others, you may want to get a fresh cup of coffee and even treat yourself a dessert.

            For even bigger and more demanding tasks, reward yourself by doing something even more enjoyable, like going to a cinema or taking a trip to some place nice, or even buying yourself something.

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            Your progress may not seem to others like anything worth celebrating but, take time and do it anyway! It is your task and your reward, so any ways to stay motivated are good.

            The more you reward yourself for the honestly made progress, the more motivated you will feel about reaching new milestones, thus finally accomplishing your goal.

            Mix and Match

            Now that you have these five ways of staying motivated, it is a good moment to give you the key to them all: mix and match!

            Pick one of the techniques and apply it to your situation. If it doesn’t work, or if you simply want to get more motivated, try another technique right way. Mix different approaches and match them to your task for the best results.

            Just think about it: Finding good reasons to work on your task is bound to helping you feel better; and identifying ways to make it fun will help you enjoy the task even more.

            Or, if you plan a few points for easier tracking of your progress and on top of that, agree on rewarding yourself as you go; this will make you feel most motivated about anything you have to work through.

            More to Boost Your Motivation

            Featured photo credit: Lucas Lenzi via unsplash.com

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