The Realty of Change

Change is a process that occurs over time. No day is ever the same. Something is always different. Change impacts everything and everybody, from countries, businesses, families and individuals.

 
Change is something that can be managed or directed to some extent. It can never be totally controlled, just channeled. In order to channel change it is critical to have some vision of where you are going and why you want to go there. Change is difficult because vision is usually blurred. In many instances vision is void and non-existent.
 
Business owners and leaders struggle to keep pace with the turbulent pace of change they are attempting to navigate. Competitors introduce new products or more productive methods of serving customers. Then developing new business models and processes becomes a necessity just to stay in the game. The ability of a business to stay ahead of the surging tide of new approaches and strategies is a fundamental lesson in survival.
 
The consulting projects that I have worked on over the past years have dealt with making changes in business processes to improve profitability. These efforts take time and money. Businesses processes also relate to individuals. If these individuals aren’t committed to making improvements, then improvements don’t occur. Typically things get worse to the point that a crisis develops. Then it is often too late.
 
The three types of change are anticipatory, reactive, and crisis. The best type of change is anticipatory. Some times the change is reactive, but when all else fails, a crisis will result. Since crisis change is the most expensive and ineffective change process, it is important that businesses start anticipating change.
 
Business leaders need to adopt approaches focused on anticipating changes. This is difficult because people don’t like change. How do we make change happen? Here are a few tips and ideas.
 
Change is a challenge. People often fail to see the need to change. Even when they see the need, they won’t take any action. And when they do take action they don’t go far enough or fast enough.
 
Some steps for meeting the challenge include doing the right thing and doing it well. Doing the right thing now often seems like doing the wrong thing. However, when people do the right thing, they will do it, but do it poorly. Eventually, people will do the right thing and do it well.
 
People make change happen, organizations don’t. People need to see threats and opportunities. They will see and identify them if they are presented with high contrast and then confronted with the reality of the contrast. The higher the contrast, the easier it is to see the differences.
 
By creating contrast and clarity it becomes easier to focus on the 20 percent of the issues that will generate 80 percent of the required results. This produces effectiveness by doing the right things and gaining efficiency. It then becomes easier to start doing things differently and some things that others are not attempting. Then the impossible becomes possible by doing things that can’t be done.
 
Organizational change is individual change. In order to keep people from getting lost it is critical to measure and chart results. Making change work depends on:
1.      What to measure
2.      Determining the method of measurement
3.      Identifying the measurement interval
4.      Agreeing on the baseline measurement
5.      Targeting the desired result
 
If people don’t see the need to change, they won’t. They won’t change until they are forced or required to make a change. Accordingly, give them the right tools and then teach them how to use these tools. Establish the destination; provide the tools, and reward achievement of accomplishment along the journey.
 
The road map to the journey of change is not easy to read. Creating simplified and focused approaches that are understood by the people who need to make the change is a key ingredient to progress. Success depends on confronting reality and keeping the journey as simple as possible in order that people can reach the desired destination. Give people the right information and the right tools and then reward them for higher performance.

This blog

Lynn Northrup, CPA, CPIM - Lynn's focus is on building business value for both family-owned businesses and other CPAs. I also specialize in lean accounting, process improvement, internal control, and assessment of audit risk. Other accomplishments include publishing two books, development of self study programs for Bisk Education, and an Adjunct Professorship at Villanova University. My wife Jessica and I live in southwestern Colorado and we look forward to contributing to the AccountingWEB community.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.

48160

Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.

81172

Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.

53308

Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

96057
Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.
24428

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".

60600

William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.

86206

Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (www.ubcc.com), a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.

28379

Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of TaxMama.com, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.

69296

Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

37986
Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website: www.leveragestateandlocaltax.com
108923
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.
29796

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

57565
Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
31803
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.
36325

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.

107392

The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.

37648

FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.

118641

Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.

66509

Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

43449
Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.
70984

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of Yellowbook-CPE.com a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.

97663

AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish AccountingWEB.co.uk share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.

58352