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The DIVA of Change

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seattle_marinersThe Major League Baseball trading deadline came. And went. Since the All-Star break, sports radio hosts and fans alike were trying to figure out the Seattle Mariners. Would they be buyers or, would they be sellers? When asked, point blank, what their approach would be, General Manager Jerry DiPoto cleared the air once and for all. ‘We aren’t buyers or sellers. We are more like shoppers.’

SHOPPERS?!? Are you kidding me!?! I need to know which direction to set my ‘fan compass.’ Should I be excited for this season? Should I flush all expectations and look to the future? Nothing like a little ambiguity for a moribund franchise hovering around .500 to fuel the inferiority complex of Seattle fans everywhere. Thanks, Jer!

This got me thinking about change even more.

Whether you are changing internal processes, launching a new APP, or finally taking a creative approach to your on-hold advertising program, there is a simple, 4-step process that will help you lead the change you are about to put into action. Pay attention, now. The DIVA of Change has entered the building.

DEVELOP the Idea.

Why change? What do you want to accomplish? What must change (be specific)? What are the costs? What is the timetable? How will you measure success? These are only a fraction of the myriad of questions to go through during this phase. Spend the greatest amount of time on this step. Once you understand the ‘why’ behind the change, the ‘what’ will be easier to define.

IMPLEMENT the Plan.

Many people make the mistake of getting stuck in the development phase which is understandable. You want it to be absolutely perfect when launched. This is why you establish a timeline; to ensure you move from planning to doing. So, come on! You are ready. You have a well-researched plan that will benefit your business. It’s go time!

VERIFY the Results.

Here’s where the importance of metrics come in – which is why you established your methodology for measuring success during the development phase. If you have no target, how will you know when you hit it? Resist the urge to rely on your feelings at this point. Look at the results. Did you hit the benchmarks you set? Did you exceed expectations? Is there still work to be done? Good. Now proceed to the next step.

ADJUST as needed.

This is why it doesn’t need to be perfect at launch. You can never foresee all the variables. Instituting change is not a ‘set it and forget it’ proposition. Don’t let pride set in and keep you from making the adjustments necessary to successfully implement the change. Keep evaluating and adjusting until you achieve the results you planned for when the process began.

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Will Rogers said, ‘In order to succeed, you must know what you are doing, like what you are doing and believe in what you are doing.’ It is also important to communicate what you are doing with your team and get them on board. If they understand the reason behind the change, it will be much easier for them to follow the DIVA. Develop your idea. Implement your plan. Take the time to evaluate the process and Verify the results. Then, make the Adjustments necessary to ensure success.

Now that the trade deadline has passed, it looks like the Mariners have finally made a move. After another blown save, Steve Cishek has been removed as the closer. Now that is a change I can get behind.

Tom McTee, Super-Genius
Woodstock Media Group
On-Hold Concepts, Inc.

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