How to implement change effectively?

Abdul Aziz Shaghlel

12/28/20233 min read


Change is very powerful, it brings in enormous results if done right. However, if change is not done right, change becomes worthless or even worse, destructive. The importance of motivating people to make that bold decision of making a change is as equal as the actual process of how to anticipate change, handle it and move forward. As a matter of fact, Harvard Business School (in their 10 HBR’s on Strategy) conducted a study of 100 change initiative and found that 50% of those initiative actually failed because of reasons such as resistance and inefficient processes in place to implement the change. In brief, being courages and audacious alone is not sufficient to generate outstanding results out of change initiatives. Great results require audacious and hard/smart working people who translate their bravery into a strategy heading confidently to their objectives.

Strategies of making a change varies depending on people, circumstances, and the set goals. As we always say, the diversity and abundance of strategies available in articles, researches and books are because psychological solutions can’t be used in generalization, it is mostly used as case to case basis solutions that are strictly dependent.

This article discusses a simple 3 steps strategy on how to implement change successfully.

1- Make the right decision that matches your goals.

Though change is a bold move that people take to turn around their lives, it is still a delicate decision that needs to be taken smartly and cautiously. First thing first, you must embrace the golden rule that says; avoid taking a decision when the circumstances are completely not suitable (Example, do not open up a business if you are drowning in debts). Once you believe that you are in a place that you could make a rational decision, you can start the process of making the right one. (Please go to my article “Making the right decision?” that discusses in detail the science and art of making right decisions).

However, make sure the decision is being made matches your goals. You need to be extra-cautious about changes that barely (or not at all) serves your goals, they may at times seems tempting, but also deviating and distracting. Practice caution here, and make sure your goals gets your full attention. Few extra important tips to follow are; avoid procrastinating or rushing decisions, and definitely get away from second guessing as it complicate things further.

2- Adapt, learn and stay consistent.

Once a decision is made (wether it is right or wrong), and change actually starts taking place. It is time to start adapting. Do not force yourself to accept change so fast, take your time and adapt to the new reality to phase in your self seamlessly. While you are in the process of adapting, another process comes in parallel and is as important as adapting. Learning here is key, change means learning. You cannot know it all even if its your line of business (like they say, a person is knowledgable as long as he/she is continuously learning, once he/she stops, they become ill-informed). Finally, wether it's adapting or learning, consistency is essential, you have to stay consistent in the process, because without consistency you will never finish. Stay consistent, finish what you have started, and remember why you started in the first place.

3- Stay Focused and Never look back.

Finally, making the decision, adapting, learning and staying consistent is easier said than done. Along the way and through out the process, distractions and noise will be everywhere. The last thing you want is to get derailed from the track you set for yourself to reach “success station”. Its extremely important to stay focused on your work and not worry about the results. No matter what happens you have to refrain from looking back thinking whether you have took the right decision or no. You must stay focused on your goals and never worry about any setbacks (Major or minor). Stay focused, look forward and never look back no matter what the reasons are. What was done cannot be undone, but it can be a lesson learned for you to improve and moving forward.