The Problem With New Year’s Resolutions
People talk about wanting to change, wanting to improve their circumstances personally, professionally, or both. We mark the turning of the calendar to a new year by proclaiming resolutions. It gets to the point where they become a cliché that’s made fun of in an endless series of memes such as this one:
The reality is that change is hard. Whether being attempted by the individual, small group, or large organization, the process of change can prove to be overwhelming. This is why we have personal trainers, change management consultants, and others whose roles are to help guide the path from “current state” to “desired state.” Indeed, my colleague, Bernie Haffey, recently wrote Cutting Through as a guide to unraveling the complexity of change by using a logical, data-driven approach to making change happen in organizations of any size. It’s an excellent resource for those who are serious about change and struggling to get a critical mass of support in their environment.
Bernie’s work, based on the groundbreaking high-performance management system (HPMS) developed by the legendary Dick Palermo while at Xerox in the 1980s, has long resonated with me. My college major in Organizational Behavior focused on how companies foster change to remain competitive. I had the privilege of interning with one of the pioneers of large-scale change, Kathie Dannemiller, and her firm, Dannemiller Tyson Associates. Kathie’s work with Boeing, Ford Motor Company, and others proved that even the largest entities could change. They had the content expertise and often needed the process to help them achieve new results.
The simple model I learned from Kathie helps us understand why change is hard and the 3 key ingredients for making change happen. It boils down to this simple formula:
D x V x F > R
This formula has helped me personally, as a consultant, and most recently in my role guiding a refractive practice to a breakthrough level of performance. It’s easy to remember and also synchronizes well with the HPMS framework of defining the current state, desired state, and transition plan when assessing what areas of a business are worth changing.
I’ll close this blog with a quote I heard recently by the inspiring runner Tommy Rivers Puzey:
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
Refer to this rather than those internet memes when you need the inspiration to make change happen!