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Monday, August 14, 2017 2:30 PM

Change is Constant, How Do You Manage It?

Written by Michelle Schneider, Product Director


In Healthcare, as in life, the one constant on which we can all rely is change. While change usually brings better outcomes and moves us forward, the process of change can be painful. There are some, however, who come out of major change with a better-than-ever reputation and trusted partnerships with unlikely colleagues. How do they do it? How do they make it look so easy?

Some people are just good at change; cool as cucumbers. An intuitive understanding of human nature and how to gently guide team members through change is a gift.

Luckily, it’s something that can be learned and practiced, and enhanced over time; with perseverance. Dr. John P. Kotter has articulated the art of change so well in his book “Kotter’s 8-Step Process for Leading Change.”

Dr Kotter describes these 8 steps as:

1. Create — Sense of Urgency 5. Enable — Action by Removing Barriers
2. Build — Guiding Coalition 6. Generate — Short-Term Wins
3. Form — Strategic Vision & Initiatives 7. Sustain — Acceleration
4. Enlist — Volunteer Army 8. Institute — Change

The right planning and processes, along with a clear vision can produce a successful outcome no matter what you’re changing, from your outfit to your EMR! Dr. Kotter’s 8 principles offer insight into the most common mistakes people make during times of change.

It’s entertaining in a strange sort of way, to read this book and then reminisce about changes we’ve made professionally and personally. How many times have we hurtled to the solution without getting buy-in from key stakeholders who will be affected by a change? It is key to step back and think about what you’re changing, why you’re changing it, and enlist a team of people to propel your vision to reality.

The 8-step process should not be feared. It should be revered! It reminds us to consider and plan for the human factor and how everyone will adapt to cultural change. It provides tips for the challenges of managing change that affects people who may not report to you, or may not be a part of your organization.

If your organization is going through changes now, or you know that you have an upcoming project that you need to plan for, you can view the on-demand webinar where I will go through each of these 8 steps in detail. I covered how the human factor affects each stage, and how you can plan for a successful organizational change.

View the on-demand webinar "Adapting to Change - Workflow Planning and Change Management" now.