FREEZING, THAWING AND REFREEZING!

Over recent weeks we've delved into various facets of change that impact the way we run our businesses. In particular we've looked at the effect of the ever changing environment, not just the 'green-type' things but the economy, the political landscape, legislative change, technology and those ever present competitive forces.

Pages and pages have been written by often brilliant change practitioners, some of which can be quite complex at times. Our focus has been on keeping it simple and so, to wrap up the topic of change before we all head off for a well deserved Christmas break, let's share in a very simple, tried and tested, 3 step theory of change developed some 60 years ago (Kurt Lewin 1958). Indeed, we can take this wisdom with us into the New Year and beyond:

Unfreeze; this applies when we take stock of the old ways we have been managing our business and, in doing so, create a sense of readiness where we need to confront a new changing environment. This is supported by proper diagnosis which,in turn, strengthens the very need for change in the way we do what we do.

Move/Change; this is where the hard work kicks in mainly through our setting out an implementation agenda in order to propel all necessary change interventions to maximise our effectiveness.

Refreeze; this is about stabilising the new behaviours as we embed them into our culture, practices, norms and values and, most importantly, ensure we have mechanisms in place to avoid slipping back into those ever comfortable old days and ways!

It would be nice to think that it all ends here but, as we said in a previous posting, change is very much a continuous state of affairs in the modern world. Once that refreeze is locked in, lo and behold, so often we're back again into thawing or unfreezing mode, and so the process starts all over!

The good news is that, by embracing change with enthusiasm and positivity, the more we deal with it, the easier it becomes. And so, for example, if we want to expand, re-brand or add a new feature to our product or service range, we have already embedded into our practices the versatility, energy and attitudinal qualities to enable us to proceed with all the changes associated with those strategies.

So there's some food for thought as 2018 comes to a close accompanied by all our very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Ted Beecher
BLA Director