The Importance of Clarity When Trying To Make Change

Any organisation whatever industry or sector it operates has to move forward.  In many ways people in organisations are always in change mode.

They set plans for the day or week.  Things don’t always go as expected or there are obstacles to overcome.  Most of the time people find a way.

From time to time there will be factors, internal or external to the organisation that require change on a different scale.

In the private sector a lot of organisations, such as those in retail have had to look at how they provide their services as a result of moves towards more online shopping.

In the public sector the NHS is has had to look at different ways of dealing with an ageing population while all parts of the sector have had to look at priorities faced with a reducing level of resources.

Whenever organisations are faced with significant change, they know that there is a huge difference between talking about it and actually delivering the change.

On one level one would think it would not be that hard.  Yet to make change you have to address the rational and emotional responses to change.

One of the many challenges that leaders and leadership teams face is being able to provide sufficient clarity about what they are trying to achieve.

Often they come up with vague statements about wanting to improve productivity, make things safer, be more efficient and the like.

While these might all be reasonable aspirations, the trouble is they lack clarity.

So why is clarity so important when it comes to change?

It Eliminates Doubt

Think about it.  What would you rather have?  People who have no doubt about what is to be delivered and when it or people who are trying to figure it out?

It Helps People To Focus

Sometimes organisations want to leap too far too fast.  They see and perhaps even believe you can make giant leaps quickly.

The problem is that if people see a big open landscape, it is really hard to focus.

It Allows You To Measure

If you have clarity on what you are trying to achieve, it helps you to measure progress and achievements.

It Helps You To Communicate Better

Communication is a challenge for leadership teams and leaders at the best of times.  In times of significant change when the stakes are higher, it is even tougher.

Having clarity about the change and being able to communicate it well makes the likelihood of progress greater.

It Provides A Means Of Self Checking

As you go through the process of articulating change in your own mind, it provides some sort of self checking and self reflection to ensure that what you have identified as the area of change really is the right one.

So how do you get the level of clarity you want about potential change?

Think About What You Really Want To Achieve

Start by asking yourself the big picture aim of any change.

Look At The Potential Elements

The big picture might well give you the overall idea of the change.  Within that bigger picture there are likely to be a range of different elements that you can identify.

Think About What Will Give The Greatest Benefit

Chances are that there will be a few key elements that will deliver a significant amount of benefit.

Focus Your Change Goal Around One Of These Change Elements

Once you have this understanding of the elements you can start to create a very concise change goal that is both specific and measurable.

Goals and Achievements work with public and not for profit organisations and leadership teams to support change and improvement.