Before and After Pictures

I facilitated a session last week discussing Action Learning Projects that a group of leaders were embarking on. They had to pick a problem to solve that was in their immediate circle of influence. The problems are often easy to identify and in many cases, so are some of the solutions.

What is very challenging is the change management association with going from “current” to “future” state; to sell the solution to peers, bosses, and the organization in a way that actually allows the solutions an opportunity to be realized. One of the more effective ways of doing this, I offered the group, was to capture “before and after” pictures for the change management process.

In this case, the action learning projects have to be implemented by June 30th, 2012. So whatever it is that they pick, one of the key steps to do early in the process is to capture baseline data on the project. Whether it is cost, time, resources, or process oriented – having this data is very much part of the “before” picture.

What can be even more powerful is to take pictures or videos documenting how things presently are with the problem you are looking to solve. Then, obviously, gathering the same data after you have implemented the solutions can then paint a wonderful “after” picture. The subsequent story can be very motivating and inspiring, as I am sure all of us have seen some version of “before and after” – whether its people who lost weight, or a home being remodeled, or a business transformation.

So this week, take a few “before” pictures of all the problems you think your team or department has–remember, within your circle of influence. You may want to have your team do this too. End the week by asking what potential “after” pictures might look like.

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