As product managers and innovators we are often at the center of change because our work involves creating something new, which itself is change. Further, we need to persuade and influence others to change their perspective and embrace our ideas for building better products.
Sometimes the change is small, like a new feature to a product, while others it is large, like acquiring another company.
Adding change management tools to our product management toolbox is wise, which is why I am bringing you the one and only creator of the Change Planning Toolkit. He also wrote the book, Charting Change: A Visual Toolkit for Making Change Stick. And, he is a recurring guest. Back in episode 024 he discussed five keys to developing an innovation culture. His name is Braden Kelley.
In addition to being a speaker and executive trainer, he has helped numerous organizations increase their revenue and cut their costs through the creation of innovative strategies, organizational change, and improved organizational performance.
I am glad to welcome Braden back to discuss change with us.
Practices and Ideas for Product Managers and Innovators
Summary of some concepts discussed:
- [3:26] People don’t automatically resist change. They resist change they don’t like or don’t want. If they want the change, they will support it.
- [5:53] Change is definitely not easy; 70% of change efforts fail. That’s why Braden created the Change Planning Toolkit. As an innovator, he was being tasked with change initiatives and needed a toolkit to be successful. The Toolkit is based on what we’ve learned from Agile, Lean Startup, and change management methodologies.
- [13:26] The framework for effectively dealing with a change initiative is called Architecting with Change and begins with Strategy and ends with Change Maintenance. See the figure below.
- [18:23] Using a tentative approach to making a change can be dangerous. For example, a leader sharing that we’ll try something new for 6 months and try something else if it doesn’t work may result in employees waiting out the 6 months for things to return to normal.
- [20:26] There are 8 change mindsets in organizations that can be harnessed for success: (1) mover and shaker, (2) thrill seeker, (3) mission driven, (4) action oriented, (5) expert minded, (6) reward hunger, (7) team player, and (8) teachers.
- [24:33] Even with good planning, not everyone can be turned into a supporter. Those involved in a change can be characterized as (1) strong supporters, (2) tepid supporters, (3) disaffected, (4) passive resisters, and (5) passionate resisters.
- [28:33] Creating and conveying a compelling vision of the future after the change is critical to the success of the change. This quote sums it up well, “Nobody cares what’s over the horizon unless you send back some pictures and a map of how to get there.”
- [30:45] The chance of success greatly increases when you get the right people involved from the beginning and they are involved in building the plan. Those that will be impacted by the change should contribute to the plan.
- Change Planning Tools
- Disruptive Innovation Toolkit, including the Experiment Canvas
- Braden’s book, Charting Change: A Visual Toolkit for Making Change Stick
“True innovation requires that you consciously leave the breadcrumb trail behind for others to follow and come join you.” – Braden Kelley
Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.