This is the third piece in a five part series on helping people lead change. Each of these sections will be incorporated into a resource, along with visual tools, that can be used to help leaders see how change can be effected within their business, system, or network.

Planning change starts with seeing the possibilities open to you.

Have you mapped your network and all possible options?

Seeing your resources, how they relate to you, how they relate to each other, and why they may be useful to you can be accomplished developing an understanding of the system in which you work. Key people, decision points, factors influencing your network need to be visualized. I find it effective to start drawing what I know, and then connecting the dots between items that have have direct relationships with one another.

When the network is mapped and the question of how to achieve your vision is asked, then it is easier for people to see how the system around them can be used or influenced to help them achieve their goals.

What is your long term plan to achieve your goals?

The path to achieving a goal and bringing a vision to life is very often not linear and time and competing interests can seem to conspire against you. Creating change requires taking incremental steps to get there. An overarching goal for the year is great, but what is happening quarterly, monthly, weekly, or even daily? When you can see the steps required to get there, it is easier to see how the resources around you can be utilized and influenced.

How will you accomplish your goals on a day to day basis?

The truth about change is that it requires a daily effort. Commitment to a cause at that level is necessary in order for you to make long term progress and, most importantly, for the change to become lasting. Lists of tasks that need to be completed work well for some people because it enables them to stay on task. Small, consistent steps are how you chip away at a large problem.

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