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Manager's Update

March 26, 2014

Change is part of our organization.  We see it through technology; we see it in process improvements; we see it in revenues, affecting the services we can provide.  For the most part, change is not a bad thing, but it can feel like a bad thing if people aren’t brought along with the change. 

Throughout the year, Sedgwick County employees will be talking about change and the different elements that make us more successful in the change process.  Our conversation started by discussing how to overcome resistance to change. Saying “I don’t want to,” or “I don’t have to,” isn’t a solution that will help us be successful for very long, and so we follow the D x V x F formula to help us move past roadblocks to change.

Dissatisfaction – You must allow people to express what they are unhappy about. Have you ever been asked to change something that you thought was working fine? It makes you feel like “they” are dumb for making change.

Vision – What is the vision? Where are you headed? In what direction do you think this change should take you? Don’t assume people will figure it out on their own. They are busy and have their own issues and work. Make sure they ALL know.  

First Steps – How are you going to move to the vision? Vision without implementation is hallucination. It sure seems like a good idea, but someone has to do the work, the heavy lifting to make progress. Define the steps for implementation.

By including each of these elements, Dissatisfaction, Vision, and First Steps, being deliberate to allow time for each of these steps to occur, and ensuring stakeholders are brought to the table, we can work past the resistance that inevitably comes with the introduction of change.

-William P. Buchanan