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July 2008

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Last month, we announced the release of our brand new Training Evaluation Toolkit and the second edition of our comprehensive trainer's guide, From Training to Enhanced Workplace Performance. Both products received an outstanding response. Last month, we were busy again revisiting two of our other products. In addition, we now have more purchasing options so that it is even easier to buy from our website. See below for more details.

We are devoting this month's newsletter to the challenge of leading and managing change in today's organizations. Put simply, organizations that don't change and adapt don't survive. There are a number of key factors that are driving this need for incessant change. These include the commoditization of technology and short product life cycles, the struggle to keep talent in this time of skills shortages and the increased sophistication and environmental and social awareness of today's consumers. And yet few organizations seem to get it right when it comes to prioritizing change, getting people on board and following through. Our article this month crystallizes what we see as the key principles behind successful change.

Expanded Purchase Options

When you buy a product from our website, you have always had the convenience of using any of the following currencies: US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro and Australian Dollar. We are pleased to announce that you can now select any of these additional currencies: Swedish Krona, New Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Krone, Yen, Hong Kong Dollar, Danish Krone, Swiss Franc, Rand, Singapore Dollar and Yuan Renminbi. Simply select your local currency from the drop down currency box at the top of the online order form at the time of ordering. Paying in your local currency means that you will avoid your bank's conversion fees. And don't forget that we accept a variety of payment methods. These include: Credit Card (Online, Telephone or Fax), PayPal, Bank/Wire Transfer, Check/Money Order and Invoice.

New Products

Managing Change in the WorkplaceLast month, we updated our guide to managing change in the workplace. The book walks you step by step through the change process using the unique CHANGE Approach. It also includes a reusable and customizable workbook so that you can start applying the lessons learned as quickly as possible. This second edition sees some minor enhancements and is a must-have resource for anyone contemplating change in their organization. You can find out more and purchase the guide and workbook from the product web page at www.businessperform.com/html/managing_change.html

Writing Learning OutcomesAnother book getting a fresh look is our compact practical guide on writing learning objectives. This guide is designed to help trainers focus on the organization's objectives for the training and the behaviors required from training program participants to meet those objectives. If you are interested in designing and conducting high-impact training, this guide will get you on the right track. As an added bonus, the new edition now includes the learning outcome templates as customizable and reusable Microsoft Word forms. Visit the product page at www.businessperform.com/html/writing_learning_outcomes.html

If you had purchased previously the first edition of either our Writing Learning Outcomes or our Managing Change in the Workplace, drop us a line at office@businessperform.com with proof of purchase and we will send you the new second edition at no charge. This is part of our commitment to you to keep you up to date with the latest changes.

Change Management Principles
Change programs that succeed adhere to certain enduring principles of effective change management. Organizations that act in accordance with these change management principles are more likely to see their efforts result in real organizational benefits. Here are three principles that have well stood the test of time.

Isaac Newton was a giant in the field of physics. We can all remember him from our school days as the genius that discovered the law of gravity. The picture of an apple falling from an apple tree on to Newton's head is etched indelibly on our minds.

Newton is also famous for his three Laws of Motion. The formulation of these three laws was the largest single scientific advancement since the days of Aristotle, some two thousand years previous. Newton's laws of motion apply to physical entities operating in space and describe how they interact at the most fundamental level. However, they can just as easily be applied to human entities interacting in an environment of workplace change.

Newton's First Law of Motion states that an object will remain at rest or in perpetual motion until an unbalanced force acts upon it. Think of your organizational change program for a moment as the object in Isaac Newton's First Law. Once your change initiative gets going, think about what will keep the program moving towards your goal.

As with the object in Newton's Law, your change program will need a force to get it going and will need a force to move it to each new level. Also, given the natural inertia in organizations, if the driving forces dissipate, like a rolling stone the program will eventually come to a halt.

Just as with Newton's First Law, the force must be immediate for your program to progress. A potential force that will provide an impetus in the future is of no use in the present. What is the immediate force that will get your people moving and what are the forces that will keep them moving? For some, discussing with them the forces for change may compel them to follow and support you. You could point to:

  • legislative changes such as corporate governance, occupational health and safety, and risk management
  • competitor activity such as new entrants and decreasing market share
  • financial results such as profit and loss and share price
  • quality indicators such as defects and delivery to commit
  • customer feedback from surveys, mystery shopper, focus groups and field reports
  • employee satisfaction survey results
  • benchmarking comparison results
You could also highlight the impact of not changing. Impacts that you could discuss may include:
  • loss of market share
  • fines or jail sentences for non-compliance or personal injury
  • tarnished business reputation
  • increased rate of customer complaints
  • loss of key staff

Whatever the forces for change, make sure that the forces are applied to the people needed to bring about the change by communicating often and using a variety of methods.

To find out about the other two laws of change management and how to apply them practically to your change program, click here to read the full article

From all of us here on the Business Performance team, we wish you a productive month and look forward to communicating with you again soon.

In This Issue
Expanded Purchase Options

New Products

Change Management Principles
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