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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 October 16, 2019

            Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

            Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

            Do you like making mistakes?

            I certainly don’t.

            Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

            Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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            Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

            Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

            • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
            • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
            • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
            • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

            We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

            If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

            Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

            Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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            When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

            Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

            We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

            It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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            Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

            Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

            Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

            1. Point us to something we did not know.
            2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
            3. Deepen our knowledge.
            4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
            5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
            6. Inform us more about our values.
            7. Teach us more about others.
            8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
            9. Show us when someone else has changed.
            10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
            11. Remind us of our humanity.
            12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
            13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
            14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
            15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
            16. Invite us to better choices.
            17. Can teach us how to experiment.
            18. Can reveal a new insight.
            19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
            20. Can serve as a warning.
            21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
            22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
            23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
            24. Remind us how we are like others.
            25. Make us more humble.
            26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
            27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
            28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
            29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
            30. Expose our true feelings.
            31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
            32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
            33. Point us in a more creative direction.
            34. Show us when we are not listening.
            35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
            36. Can create distance with someone else.
            37. Slow us down when we need to.
            38. Can hasten change.
            39. Reveal our blind spots.
            40. Are the invisible made visible.

            Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

            The secret to handling mistakes is to:

            • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
            • Have an experimental mindset.
            • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

            When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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            When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

            It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

            When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

            Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

            Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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            Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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