The Shelf-Life of a Change

One of the people in this week’s Lean Change Agent workshop in Perth asked a great question about using Lean Coffee to create open dialogue about a change initiative.

The question was: “Does the time come when it stops being useful and you stop doing it?

At the time I thought it was an interesting question but now that I’ve had some time to chew on it a bit, I had an ‘aha!’ moment.

I pick on the 70% stat and change resistant a lot. Deservedly so. It’s time to start picking on my 3rd most loathed topic: Sustainable change.

Changes have a shelf-life. A successful change isn’t one that is sustained, it’s one that has served its purpose. That purpose might have been to help people figure out what the change means to them, or to accomplish a quick win, or meet a short-term objective or to figure out what change to do next.

Then it’s done. It’s gone the way of the dodo and it’s time to move on to the next change…err…Experiment.

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