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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 1, 2020

            Productivity Can Be Improved By These 10 Actionable Steps

            Productivity Can Be Improved By These 10 Actionable Steps

            If there is any challenge that is common to everyone apart from staying happy, it’s improving personal productivity.

            Nothing stimulates joy like getting things done and doing the right things. You become happier when you are focused and productive.

            So what is productivity and how do we improve it?

            What is Personal Productivity?

            Personal productivity means different things to different individuals. Some might define personal productivity as accomplishing your milestones without failing, or setting goals and completing them.

            So what, then, is personal productivity?

            Personal productivity can be thought of as completing a set of tasks that moves you forward in the direction of your life purpose without causing you to sacrifice other life aspects.

            Personal productivity can be improved by identifying your key objectives and what actionable steps you need to take to fulfill them.

            In all of this, it’s important to remember that personal productivity is different than workplace productivity. Here’s why.

            Personal Productivity Vs. Workplace Productivity

            Workplace productivity deals with your level of efficiency in accomplishing corporate goals and providing goods or top-notch solutions for customers. For instance, productivity in the workplace could incorporate the speed at which you respond to a query as a customer service assistant or design a website for a web development agency.

            The 4 Components of Productivity

            Penny Zenker, a notable Productivity Coach, propounded four essential components of productivity: purpose, language, focus, and physiology. Let’s break these down.

            Purpose

            According to Penny,

            “When you are on a course or purpose that goes beyond what’s in it for you or what you need to do, you gain a higher sense of being more productive and a feeling that you are working on something significant.”[1]

            One way to find your sense of purpose is by answering your “Whys.”

            Language

            Language is another crucial component. It’s how you express yourself in describing the world around you.

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            Any time you utilize negative words during self-talk, you are conditioning yourself to produce negative situations.

            Productivity can be improved by paying attention to the language you use. That way, you can change your words consciously and then talk yourself into becoming more productive.

            Therefore, try to change your language to improve your output!

            Focus

            You only have 24 hours each day. How do you guide your energy within this limited time-frame? The answer lies in being focused.

            Focus is the art of directing your energy towards your objectives. It is eliminating every form of distraction and achieving your set goals.

            Physiology

            You need a great body to be productive. That’s why your physiology influences your level of productivity.

            For instance, what you eat affects what you can do. If you continuously neglect the habit of eating healthy, you will continually undermine your performance and efficiency.

            So what’s the way forward?

            Take good care of your body!

            Productivity can be improved by eating healthy, exercising regularly, and spending time with nature.

            How to Evaluate Productivity

            Evaluating your productivity is an important step as it helps you keep track of what you’re doing right and wrong on your journey to completing your goals. Try these five proven steps to keep you on track.

            1. Review Your Completed To-Do Lists

            One of the strategic means of assessing your productivity is by examining your completed to-do lists. You can accurately look at your activities in the past two to three weeks. Find out what you have accomplished. Estimate how many tasks, how long each task took you, and find the ones you failed to complete.

            Were you distracted? Busy? Or lacking sufficient time? The essence of this assessment is to enable you find a solution that can assist you in completing your objectives on time.

            2. Track Your Time

            Tracking your time is highly crucial to determining your productivity level. You only have 24 hours, just like any other person. How you spend each second is what differentiates you from the rest of the world.

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            While some are experts at managing their time productively, others retire at night without any significant thing they have accomplished all day.

            You just can’t live your life like that.

            Track your time to derive an accurate evaluation of your accomplishments and performance in your workplace.

            3. Practice Accountability

            While you can collaborate with an accountability partner to monitor your progress, Jones Loflin, a keynote speaker and a prolific author, also recommends that you ask yourself some reflective questions daily[2]:

            • Was I productive today or reactive?
            • Have I accomplished any of my short-term goals?
            • What took my time today?
            • Who is excited that I was part of their day?
            • What did I accomplish today that will relieve me of stress tomorrow?
            • What did I fail to do that can make my tomorrow worse off?

            While you don’t have to ask all these questions each day, you can ask them at intervals throughout the week.

            You can also practice journaling or blog about your experience.

            4. Allocate a Time-frame for Your Goals

            Establishing a timeline is one of the requirements for creating SMART goals. You can determine if you have accomplished your objectives when you have a time period as a point of reference. You provide yourself a timeline to implement your tasks when you assign deadlines for all your milestones.

            That way, you can detect when you are not meeting your deadlines and quickly get back on track.

            5. Complete a Weekly Review

            The best time to audit your accomplishment is the weekend and not the end of the year. Create time each week to evaluate your objectives and track your outcomes. Find out which stage you are in, and determine how you can tweak your schedules and routines to better achieve your aims.

            How to Improve Productivity

            Tracking productivity is important, but it’s all for naught if you’re unable to improve your productivity in the face of difficulties. Productivity can be improved by incorporating these simple things into your life.

            1. Exercise

            Do this first thing when you wake up. According to research, exercise, especially team exercise, can enhance your mood for up to 12 hours after a workout.[3]

            Therefore, if you care to have a productive day, invest your first 20 minutes in physical exercises.

            Nothing energizes you like physical exercises, and productivity can be improved by a boost in your energy level.

            2. Prioritize the Most Critical Tasks

            Everyone has specific activities that count the most. An important step is to identify three things that add value to your life’s purpose.

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            What three things produce the most income?

            What three things generate the highest impact?

            Delete the “additional stuff” as much as you can. This action will enable you to enjoy the importance of focusing on your most important activities.

            3. Allocate Less Time for Major Projects

            Time is like a new mansion. You fill a new house with furniture and fittings, just as you load each block of your time with activities.

            So here’s a practical approach you can apply.

            Reduce the amount of time you assign for a critical task.

            That will help you to focus and stay productive. It will also optimize your energy level and help you get things done faster.

            4. Chunk Your House Chores

            Now that you are working from home, housekeeping activities can become your greatest distractions.

            You don’t have to worry about that.

            Instead of performing those tasks at any time of the day, sort them out in an organized block. Then, schedule the blocks and take them out when you are tired or need a mental break.

            5. Learn to Say No

            That does not mean you are not polite. It’s important to protect your time by saying no as often as you say yes.

            Time is a great asset; you cannot waste it trying to please everyone.

            6. Schedule Free Time

            Don’t let your free time just happen. It should not also be a product of “if you have a chance.”

            Plan it!

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            Set out fun things to do during those free periods. It could be watching a new movie or playing an exciting game. Let it be something that you love so you can anticipate it.

            Productivity can be improved by an increased level of happiness, which we can improve during those crucial moments of free time.

            7. Take a Productivity Nap

            A quick nap has the ability to boost your creativity, retention, and focus.[4]

            Midday siestas can supercharge your productivity, so don’t overwork yourself; take a nap!

            8. Use Your Mind to Think, Not to Recollect

            Never clutter your mind with mental lists of things you need to remember.

            Instead, write those things down and focus your mind on how to do them better. Avoid wasting your mental energy on remembering important ideas, and let papers take care of that.

            9. Turn off Notifications

            Turn off email dings, phone buzzes, and pop-ups. Every notification distracts you from the most important task, so eliminating them is an important step if you want to focus your energy.

            Go notification-free, and once or twice each out, check for a few minutes if you’ve missed an urgent call or a message.

            Most of the time, you will discover you haven’t missed anything and that the time you gained was better spent being productive.

            10. Create Room for Reflection

            Block about 20 to 30 minutes of your working time for reflection.

            Close the door and reflect. You can also take a walk during this period. Exercising this way can aid your thinking as it encourages focused energy and relaxation.[5]

            Bonus Point: Use the 2-Minute Rule

            In his book Getting Things Done, David Allen recommends:

            “When an activity requires less than two minutes, do not schedule it, do not set it aside for a later time, do not set a reminder — just do them instantly.”

            Bottom Line

            Productivity can be improved by the ten actionable steps mentioned above. Don’t forget to do the most important things first, allocate limited time for them, and focus like a laser to achieve your milestones.

            Don’t forget the two-minute rule! If you can get it done quickly, get it done now.

            More Productivity Tips

            Featured photo credit: Carl Heyerdahl via unsplash.com

            Reference

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