This is the fifth 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.

Follow through is just as important as taking the first step.

How will you optimize the new way of doing business to achieve lasting change?

Continual awareness of how your new organization is performing will help you achieve lasting change. When you can see how people respond to your work, you have the ability to make adjustments on the go as customer demands evolve, as employees find better ways to make things happen, or as the economic landscape shifts.

Knowing how and when to implement change is just as important as having the knowledge and information about your work. Not all changes will have the desired effect, but you have to be willing to take the chance that it will improve what you are doing. If it doesn’t work out, then move on to the next idea.

How will you measure success?

Reaching milestones or goals that you have set for yourself is good way to start thinking about how to measure your progress. So is keeping customers happy or solving a particular problem. Goals can be quantitative in nature and tied to a specific metric, or may be qualitative and related to how your perform your work.

I find that the process gets off to a good start when you create specific goals in the first place. The more definition that you can provide for your goal, the better you will be able to assess your performance. Once the goals are set, then reviewing your progress at regular intervals is the framework you will use to track your progress.

How will you get feedback and continually improve your business system?

The establishment of channels to provide feedback are the first step in generating information about how your business is performing. People need to know how to reach you and communicate their thoughts to you.

The most effective way to get feedback is to get out and talk to your customers and with the people that are performing the work. Qualitative information about how people are responding to your new business products or services is invaluable and will help you to develop a sense of what may be coming next.

Reviewing business metrics adds another dimension to understanding how a business is performing. This information will indicate that there is a problem, but may not direct you to the cause or where a change needs to be made. Reviewing quantitative and qualitative information is the best way to get a holistic view of your new operation.

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