To introduce and implement a new idea in an organization is one thing. To maintain the new level is quite different. It’s easy to forget the latter and just wonder why after a while we are back where we started.
Mary Lynn Manns’ and Linda Rising’s book "Fearless Change" offers many patterns for how to successfully introduce new ideas. Two patterns caught my attention more than the others:
- Everyone involved
- Sustained Momentum
Why? Because they are concerned with how to avoid falling back into old, bad habits.
“Everyone Involved” says that everyone should have the opportunity to support innovation and give its unique contribution. “Increasing support from as many people as possible means spreading the responsibility and the ownership of the innovation.”
Equally important is the “Sustained Momentum”. “Our natural tendency is to stop and rest once things are underway, but we run the risk of losing everything if we do not keep it going.” This is one of the strengths of Google. They did not stop with the number one search engine. They keep introducing new tools that drive users to their SERP. Manns/Rising writes: “Take a pro-active approach in the organization to the ongoing work of sustaining the interest in the new idea. Take some small action each day, no matter how insignificant it may seem, to move you closer to your goal.”
This also reminds me very much of Shitsuke in the 5S Kaizen methodology. We must not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways of working.